Tara of Celtic Woman Excited about new release “Ancient Land” and return to Red Rocks
By Rodger Hara
Formation of the red sandstone walls that flank the seats in the world-famous amphitheater known as Red Rocks took an estimated 200 million years. It took the world-famous singing group Celtic Woman less than 6 months to return to Denver and less than two years to return to Red Rocks.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado will be the final stop for Celtic Woman on their 90-day multi-city tour that began on the East Coast at the beginning of March and saw them celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Baltimore with a tour bus decorated with green balloons and the crew in bright green tee shirts.
The group, Máiréad Carlin and Tara McNeill from Northern Ireland, Éabha McMahon from Dublin and newest member Megan Walsh from Trim, was in Denver for a concert with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra before Christmas 2018 and had a craic-filled after-party at the Celtic on Market with Denver friends and host Noel Hickey, so their return to Colorado as part of the tour celebrating the release of their thirteenth album, Ancient Land, is not surprising.
The 18-track album is a mix of traditional Irish tunes and original contemporary songs dedicated to Dave Kavanagh, one of the founders of Celtic Woman, who passed away in April 2018. The album liner notes say, in part: “…our founder, our leader, our guiding light. Sé mo laoch mo ghile mear (literally, “He is my hero, my spirited brightness”).” Released in October 2018, the album has risen to number one on the Australian Aria Crossover Classical chart and number three on the Billboard World Music Album chart where it has appeared for over 22 weeks since its release.
Among the tracks on the album are tunes composed by members of the Celtic Woman cast and crew including “Garden of Eden” co-written by Éabha McMahon and Ciarán Byrne, six original tracks by Gavin Murphy, arranger, producer and pianist and another by vocal director Méav Ni Mhaolchatha, one of the original members of Celtic Woman.
Instrumentalist Tara McNeill, who plays violin and harp, said that performing at Red Rocks in July 2017 was a thrill that continues to give her chills when she thinks of it. Coming from a musical family in County Antrim, she said that growing up, her dream was to become a member of Celtic Woman someday and to realize that dream “…and perform on the same stage where U2 performed was beyond my wildest dream.” She fondly recalled performing a special version of “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” in 2017 in honor of the U2 “Under a Blood Red Sky” concert (a version of which can be found on You Tube).
When asked what Denver fans can expect to hear when they come to Red Rocks for their 7:30 PM show on Sunday May 26th, she said that fans will be treated to “… a very special night of musical magic under the stars with old and new songs for all the great fans of Celtic Woman in Denver.”
Advance tickets are available on Ticketmaster and AXS websites for the all ages show.