Better late than never they say??

Hey everyone, I hope this blog finds you well. First off I would like to apologize on behalf of the band for the delay in the blogs. We have been extremely busy working hard behind the scenes, working on new plans and projects to make 2012 an enjoyable year for our fans and audiences worldwide. On that note I would like to take this opportunity to reminisce on the past year and to sincerely thank everyone for making 2011 a great one for the band as we had many great achievements. In 2011 we released our first original single called “The Last One “which reached number 2 in the Irish singer songwriter charts and is still available for download on iTunes for 99c ha-ha… sorry I just had to get that plug in lol… we also toured Belgium, UK , Germany and our first USA tour which was a great success that seen us cover 5 states such as Kansas, New York , Las Vegas ( where lee found his wallet, but lost all his money)ha , Boston and Orlando, Florida (where Damian and John met with their childhood hero’s Mickey and Minnie Mouse) haha…

The last blog was from Damian who spoke about our time in Boston and Las Vegas, so I’m going to try my best to take over where he left off which could never be easy …lol… but here it goes… After our amazing week at the Ri Ra Irish bar in the Mandalay bay hotel Las Vegas it was time to make our way towards the last leg of our tour and no better place to finish “The Big Apple” New York as the song goes “concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there is nothing you can’t do”… I remember as I was starting out on my musical career singing along to the Wolfe Tones version of “The streets of New York”, dreaming of maybe performing there someday myself. It was one of the greatest experiences of my short life so far!! The memories of walking up and out of the Grand Central train station for my first time in the heart of Manhattan and seeing all these fantastic buildings and crazy busy streets will remain with me forever.

Our first gig was in Yonkers where we based ourselves for this leg of the trip. We played Fagan’s Friday and Sunday evening which is based on McLean Avenue and is a large Irish area. They were two great nights. I would like to thank a great family friend of the Hennessy’s Mr Dick Lyons for looking after us during our stay and sorting out the accommodation for us, and also Cathal and Brian from The Rambling House for looking after us so well. Saturday night brought us to Paddy Reilly’s Bar at the centre of Manhattan, it was packed to the rafters full of friends, relations and hopefully some new Na Fianna fans……it was a very enjoyable gig. Apart from performing we also got to meet up with friends , and the chance to do shopping along with some sight seeing such as times square, the statue of liberty and  of course Ellis Island where it all began for the Irish !! (I also got a few history lessons from Professor Damian who should really get a job making documentaries for the discovery channel) haha … It was time to bid farewell to New York and to the USA where we spent 9 amazing weeks touring and return home… USA we love you and we shall be back!!

Since returning home we have been working extremely hard, we wrote our own brand new soccer single which is in connection with the Irish soccer team making the European finals. The single is called the “The Irish Roar” which we performed live on National radio the morning after Ireland secured qualification.  Alan Thorney from the John Murray Show contacted us on the Tuesday of Ireland’s last qualifying game asking could we write a song celebrating Irelands qualification and perform it live in the studio the following morning, of course we said yes, sure how hard could it be haha….Anyway we did it and it all turned out great. We would like to thank John Murray, Alan Thorney, Denise Davies and all the crew on the show for their continued support. And for those of you that keep asking for the song…..well it is due to be released very soon along  with some other exciting news!…. There are plans of a few more singles being released along with some great news on the gigs and touring front. All will be revealed over the coming weeks…..

We had a rather busy December which seen us play many staff Christmas party’s in Hotel Kilkenny.  We also performed all over the country such as The Arlington Hotel DublinNaomh Columba in Donegal, Srtetford Arms in Kerry to name a few.

We have made many great friends both at home and abroad throughout our travels in 2011, such kind and generous people who helped us in everyway; it would be impossible for me to mention you all but ye all know who you are.

I hope that ye all enjoyed Christmas, turkey, ham and everything else that came with it. As for the four of us….well we all had to join the gym after…. haha

On behalf of Na Fianna I would like to say a big “thank you” to everyone for your continued support and help over the past year. We hope to see you all again very shortly.” Happy new year” may 2012 be a great year for everyone, best wishes…..

Do chara

Ross Mac Aonghusa

Ross Hennessy

Shipping up to Boston!!

Hey everyone here I am writing my last blog of our 2011 US tour it’s the morning after the night before and how time has flown. What an amazing action packed month we had at Raglan Road in Orlando Florida!!

That Friday feeling!!
Our second last night at Raglan Road was upon us and I had that Friday feeling that it was going to be a great one. As we played to a full house it was great to see all our friends and many new faces there. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bill for the lovely gifts, we’re still trying to burn off the calories from the cake ha!! And a big thanks to the ladies from Limerick who sung all the songs with us word for word it was great to have a front row choir!!

The last one!!
It was here the day had come “The last one”. It was time to perform our last show in Orlando for 2011 and what a way to finish. There was hardly room to move and the place was electric as we were joined on the stage by the fantastic fiddle player Colin Farrell who added so much and it was one of those evenings that I was hoping would never end as we finished on a high. I would like to thank everyone who made Na Fianna so welcome at Raglan Road we have made many great friends in such a short time. We were sad to have to bid farewell to Orlando, especially our pool and tennis court, lee really misses them…… I think he misses looking at them haha….

Shipping up to Boston
On our arrival at Boston it great to have a few days break and to get the chance to let the hair down it was time for some long overdue Monday madness….the only thing is I never knew the lads had such long hair haha …. It wasn’t long before we were back in the thick of the action as Wednesday seen us play at the Tinkers son. When we arrived at the Tinkers son there was a trad session been played and it was great to see how strong Irish music is in Boston, it felt just like home. As soon as the trad session had ended we done a quick sound check and got on our way with all the well knowing Irish classics. It was great to meet Eileen and all the crew from Quincy and Dorcester who travelled to see us thanks for a great night.

Mr Dooley’s
It was great to get the chance to play music in the heart of down town Boston and no better venue to play then Mr Dooley’s.  knowing for its music with such acts playing there in the past as Johnny Mc Evoy, Finbar Furey and now Na Fianna haha…. it was a fantastic night with a lot of Irish being present and it was great to chat to all of you we hope to see ye in Boston in the near future. I would like to thank Jeff our sound engineer for the evening who was rather helpful and done a great job.  I feel that this tour has been a great success for Na Fianna and I’m really looking forward to Las Vegas and New York. I would like to say a very special thank you to our driver in Boston for the week Brian “I’m with the band” Bailey who done a fantastic job, we would have been lost without you. Can we stop in Dunkin Donnut’s one last time?? haha…… 
I hope you enjoyed reading my last US blog for this tour I had such a great time but I’m also looking forward to getting home and seen my family and friends and reading Damian’s next blog which will be based on Vegas. For everyone knows “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” so Damian is going to have to be very careful with his wording haha……

Do chara
Ross Hennessy

Orlando Magic!!!

Orlando Magic!!!

Hey everyone, here I am sitting beside our pool in Orlando writing my first US blog!! I’ve often dreamt about things like this but I never thought they would happen, but as Walt Disney once said “ Disney World where Dreams Come True “  I have so much to talk about I’m not even sure were I should start but here it goes, hope you enjoy……

On Friday the 2nd of September it was our first full day in Orlando and we had the night off so this gave us a great opportunity to settle in and find our feet!! First up we had a good look around the area and noticed that on top of having our own pool there is a tennis court right across the road so we have no excuses what so ever for not been a fitter and healthier Na Fianna when we return home, sometimes it’s hard to keep the tennis going when Damian is carrying on like John Mc Enroe on the court ha!!!

After we got our few bits and pieces in the local wal mart like bread, milk and kerrygold butter we decided to take a trip in to “Raglan Road” in down town Disney to have a look at a band by the name of Creel. Creel has been the resident band at Raglan Road for the last number of years and that’s who we are replacing for the month of September. It was great to get the chance to see their show first hand and pick up some ideas. Both Damien and Colin from the band were so helpful and gave us some great advice and tips, they also left us a spare guitar and banjo. Thanks so much for all the help lads….

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the managers from Raglan Road who we met on the evening, Scott, Tom, Rachel and Jonathon who made us feel right at home. Thanks for the beers!!!

Kansas City Irish Fest!!!

Although it was an early start to our Saturday the mood in the Na Fianna camp was that of great excitement. For we were on our way to the airport to catch a flight to Kansas City, this would be our first time to perform live in America….

On our arrival we were greeted at the airport by a lady by the name of Gretchen Ryan, Gretchen is a extremely kind woman who on dropping us to our hotel gave us the complete history of the city which was highly interesting and all the information that we needed for the festival. After we got sorted at the beautiful Hyatt hotel we made our way towards the green room at the festival were we had our dinner and had the chance meet with other acts such as, Tullamore, Girsa and Kila…..

I had never been in a green room that was so friendly, it was full with food and refreshments and there was even a masseuse by the name of Paul Mc Carthy, a good Irish name of course!! Paul got us in great shape for our first performance, there was some moans out of Lee ha-ha!!

It was now time to make tracks towards the Atrium Stage for a quick sound check and before we new it we were playing our first gig on US soil…  this was an early gig and it was only one hour long. It past so fast and it was so enjoyable. We had the large audience on their feet from the off as we belted out Irish classics, such as the Irish Rover, Whiskey in the jar and the Holy Ground, we also performed three of our own tracks which were Cody’s greatest, the last one and the Irish man which got a fantastic response. I would like to thank the young dancers who kindly done some Irish dancing in front of the stage, ye were fantastic…. River Dance watch this space!!!

After our performance we went to the Miller lite stage were we seen three amazing acts. First up was another Irish band by the name of Goitse (meaning” come here ” in Irish)  who showed great skills in traditional Irish music, they also like Na Fianna have three members from Co. Laois. At one stage in the green room I thought Laois was about to take over Kansas city!!!

Next up were “Girsa” all the way from New York. These eight ladies surely know how to play their music, great dancers and are fantastic singers with super harmonies. They’re well worth checking out. And finally it was time for “Kila”, this been my first time to see them playing live… they are top class energetic musicians and are a credit to Irish music.

That concluded our first day at the Irish Fest as John turned in to catch up on his beauty sleep….. But wait a second,,, did someone mention an after partaaaay???

With word spreading of an after party been held at Kelly’s Westport Inn for all the acts who performed at the Fest!! Myself, Damian and Lee hit it like three members of the Irish wolf pack ha-ha!! What a night as we got the chance to chat to all the acts, I even chanced a bit of Irish dancing myself which wasn’t a pretty site… We did go to bed early Darren don’t worry ha-ha….

The greatest day of the year!!

Yes the day I’d been waiting for Kilkenny vs. Tipperary in the All-Ireland senior hurling final. Although it was another early start with the game been shown live at 9.30am in the morning, it was well worth dragging the lads out of bed to watch the masters Kilkenny in action what a win for the cats!! As the lyrics of great song said,,, “ Cody’s team the greatest that’s for sure”. With no time to celebrate it was time for our final performance at the Kansas Irish Fest.

Na Fianna “live” on the Boulevard stage on Sunday morning at 11.30am, the sun was high and the audience were mighty…. As some of ye may have witnessed first hand it seems…..it was streamed live on the internet… As we performed all the Irish classics with our own twist on them plus three of our own songs we received an amazing reception from a large crowd…

With only a few hours left in Kansas city we went back to the green room for a bite to eat were our own band member the one and the only Mr John Walsh was met with a nice surprise as for he was celebrating his birthday and the fantastic staff had organised a cake for him and shot of Jameson whiskey. This was a lovely touch and I would like to thank all involved… It was just a pity that we don’t drink whiskey… ha-ha…. NOT!!!!

Unfortunately it was time to say our goodbyes to the Kansas City Irish Fest, to all the lovely and kind friendly organisers, staff and all the amazing acts thanks for a fantastic time we really hope that ye all enjoyed the Na Fianna experience and that we’ll get to do it all over again next year!! I would also like to take this opportunity to speak on behalf of the band if I may, and say that we have never got treated as well as we did at the Kansas City Irish Fest. Thank you all so much.

Thanks for taking the time for reading my blog, until the time slan go foil

Do chara

Ross Hennessy

Rockin All Over The World

“Rocking all over the world” 

Hey everyone, Ross here with ye again for my second blog and my god do I have some news and stories to share so I wont delay, here we go!!!!

 First up was Jim Kennedys in Thurles Co. Tipperary. This was our first time to play in Thurles so we didn’t really know what to expect but never the less we were excited. We arrived early with our sound engineer Kevin “Rory” Broderick for our sound check and within minutes of starting the gig, the function room was packed to the rafters with a great vibe of energy being sent out. We got many request on the night such as the “Galtee Mountain Boy”, “Brennan On The Moor” and of course Slievenamon …. There was also a strong request for the “Rose Of Mooncoin”  Joke of course, but being from Kilkenny myself I had great Craic with the “Tipp fans”… “UP THE CATS”….. 

The dance floor was hopping and as we belted out our last couple of songs the manager came to the side of the stage to ask if by any chance we could play on for a bit extra, which we gladly did.  I would like to thank everyone in Jim Kennedys for fantastic evening and we hope to see ye all again very soon.

Balver Hohle Irish Folk Festival 2011, Germany

Straight from our gig at Jim Kennedys we hit the road for Dublin airport to catch our flight to Germany. This was our first time to perform at this festival and we were looking forward to catching up with our good friends Sean Reeves, Keltic Kats and The High Kings. It wasn’t long before the messing and joking started…. While on the plane to Germany a little prank was played on me by a couple of the High Kings….it was announced over the intercom on the plane that I was celebrating my 40th birthday ha…. I wouldn’t be much of a gambler but if I was, my money would be on Darren Holden and Brian Dunphy on being behind this… As the roars of cheers and laughter went up on the plane I knew that it was going to be a great trip…..

On arriving at the Balver Hohle I was blown away, it’s definitely the coolest venue we’ve played in to date with a big professional stage and lights all set up inside a “cave”. As the acts got on their way the atmosphere was constantly building with super performances from the Keltic Kats and The High Kings…..the crowd was electric. Then it was time for “Na Fianna” to hit the stage. WOW….. What a crowd, as we started our set with The Holy Ground (a Clancy’s brothers classic) the cave went wild as it was sung word for word by the audience. The time past by so fast, we could have stayed playing forever!! One of my personal highlights of the trip was at the end of the show when we were joined on stage by all the other acts from the night, and we all performed “Go Lassie Go” together, what a way to end the festival. My other highlight was the after party as we sang songs and played our instruments well into the early hours of the morning…

I would like to thank Sean Reeves and all involved at the Balver Hohle Irish Folk Festival for giving Na Fianna the chance to perform in such a a great venue and to such an amazing audience. We have made many great friends from this trip, as Lee promised one fan that he would learn “Johnny I hardly knew ye” for him…. We hope to see ye all again next year.     

 “The Hills of Donegal”

CLG Naomh Columba Co Donegal Sunday the 7th of August.

Fresh off the plane from Germany it was time to hit the road for old Donegal. As my co pilot Mr Lee Campion fell fast asleep in the passenger seat I had to pull in on the side of the road in Cavan to check him for a pulse “ha”…. He was out for the count!!! We finally reached Donegal after what felt like three days of non stop driving “ha”… I must say the views and scenery up in Donegal are out of this world.

We kicked off our gig in the marquee at 10.30pm and by 11pm it was packed!! This was also our first time to perform in this part of Donegal. Damian was on fire and had the crowd in his hands, as John said “sure why wouldn’t he not haven been asleep the whole way from Germany to Donegal Ha!! What a gig the place was rocking and the biggest song of the night was “Wagon Wheel”, at one stage I thought the marquee was going to turn over as the crowd were dancing on the floor so hard… Yet again thanks to all involved up there in Las Vegas in the hills of Donegal for the lovely dinner and taking care of us so well. See ye all for the dinner dance!!

  Monday Madness

Monday madness in Egan’s saw another great turn out as we were joined by Thomas the fiddler all the way from France who performed with us for the evening, a big thanks to him and also to Joanne Kelly who provided us with top class Irish dancing. I chanced a bit of Irish dancing myself with Joanne, her feet were on fire where as mine just got burnt L… a big thanks to all the singers on the evening, Johnjo Cullen and of course all the female singers “Na Females”. See ye all again next Monday for some more madness.

 Tremendous Tuesdays

Tuesday night we were back at the ranch in Paris Texas and as a special treat we had the fantastic Aonghus Buggy performing with us on the banjo, he surely can make it talk. Another tremendous night and a massive crowd for the third Tuesday in a row as we made new friends from Canada, America and Johnstown. It was great to see our good friend Jim from Carrickshock in to see us. Thanks to Laura Gaffney yet again for doing another fantastic job on selling our CD’s and DVD’s.

 Thirsty Thursday

Well what can I say about thirsty Thursday at Lanigans, it was extra thirsty and extra busy and as another little treat we had…….the one and only Mr Gerard Moloney who gave an absolute exhibition on playing the accordion. It was great to see our good friend Karen Galvin who was out celebrating her 25th birthday; I hope you had a great one. It was definitely our maddest Thursday so far this summer!! Thanks to every one that was there from far and near for a great night.

 “Well I hope ye enjoyed that one folks”  

Until the next time that’s it from me, thanks for taking the time to read my blog… It was a week of madness.

Do chara Ross Hennessy 

 

 

 

 

Ross Mac Aonghusa

No one as Irish as Barrack Obama

“No one as Irish as Barrack Obama”
We kicked off July with an action packed weekend and up first was “Hayes’ be Jaysus”. Yes Ollie Hayes bar in Moneygall, Co Offaly the most famous bar in the world after the recent visit of a man by the name of Barrack Obama. With major celebrations being held for Independence Day, we were given the opportunity to perform to a large crowd which included Henry Healy, President Obama’s cousin who was in great form. Is feider Linn,” Yes we can” and yes we did, Hayes’ bar was rocking with Na Fianna long into the early hours of the morning and a great night was had by all thanks to Ollie, his family and friends. I would like to thank everyone in Moneygall for such a warm welcome and hope to see ye all again soon.

Na Fianna in Ollie Hayes with Susan Doughan and Niamh Cahill

“Hail Hail the Celts are here”
The City West Hotel in Dublin was the venue for the Irish Celtic supporters club dinner dance 2011. What a venue and a fantastic crowd. This was our second year in a row to perform at this great event putting our own stamp and style on some of the Celtic classics, we had the Celts on their feet from the off. They surely know how to party but the highlight of the night for me was performing the ballad of Joe McDonnell, with Damian singing a passionate version to the full respect of everyone in the room. I would like to thank Tom Maher, Mick Hurley, Neville Carolan and everyone on the committee for the Celtic supporters club who really looked after us, with photos of us with a few Celtic greats holding the cup and of course a few pints!! Lol…..I would also like to thank Andrew Milne from www.morethan90minutes.com for his support.

These past couple of weeks we have also been playing in Wexford not once but twice. First stop was Tintern Community Complex. It was a privilege to be the first band to perform in the new complex. Thanks for the free burgers guys as well, Mick Jones our sound engineer for the night is still licking his lips!! Lol…Next in Wexford was the Taghmon Music Festival. It was great to share the stage with such acts as Blue Moose and Black Knight. Even though we were on early in the evening we had a large audience that were well able to sing along and dance.

Vegas Baby
With preparations well under way for our upcoming American tour we received great news this week with more dates added for the month of October “VEGAS BABY”. We’ll be live in Rí Rá Irish Bar at the Mandalay Bay Hotel Las Vegas for six nights and this has brought a great buzz around the band. I hope the lads don’t get too carried away when we’re over there and that we still have the shirts on our backs when we leave lol…Lee is currently glued to the television watching 21; he reckons he can learn to count the cards haha… As Del Boy Trotter once said to Rodney “this time next year we’ll be millionaires” lol!!!

Some other good news so far this month, Lee has finally got his car back on the road even though the Government offered him the scrapage deal…however he turned it down and now has his Ford Focus back to its former glory and will be entering it into the Durrow Vintage show this year …lol

I would like to thank all the people that do a lot of work behind the scenes for Na Fianna you all know who you are. Big thank you to Sionainn Crevoiserat who has just recently set up our Official US Fan Page on Facebook which you can find here, and lastly a big thank you to Sissy Porter and all the Texas crew for doing a great job spreading the Na Fianna buzz

Talk to ye all soon

Ross Hennessy