December 03rd 2012

Christmas Tour in Austria

I am writing this in Blieburg, Austia as we get ready  to travel to our fifth show in Feldkirchen today.  We performed our fourth show of the 17th Annual Guinness Christmas Tour in Blieburg last night – fantastisch!  The first three in Bruck/Mur, Traisen, and Rudersdorf were over the top too.  I love singing here – enthusiastic audiences who listen to every word and feel every nuance, welcoming venues, plus gorgeous countryside and delicious food. We drove through the Alps two days ago and stopped at a Christmas fair in Mariazell – the town center was dotted with little wooden cabins where people sell their food and wares – beekeepers, wine makers, artisans, craft-folk, and the intoxicating smell of sweets and food pulling us into the stalls. Everyone was full of good cheer, the Christmas ornaments were sparkling in the displays, and Christmas trees were all lit and decorated with old-fashioned lights and colorful wrapped boxes with bows.  Brisk, fresh mountain air, light snow falling, and the Alps all covered in glistening snow – a magical scene.

I am grateful to my agent here, Dietmar Haslinger, for 12 years of friendship and tours of Austria.  He is extraordinary – a man who is supremely good at his job and has a deep and abiding love of his homeland.  He wants us to experience all of the beauty and charm Austria has to offer so he always takes the long way through the mountains and picturesque little villages.  Doing these journeys and sharing the stage with my band mates, Patsy O’Brien and Patrick Mangan, is, as always, so satisfying musically – and good fun.  Patsy has a quick wit – and, thankfully, uses it often!  Getting to know the members of Full Set (great musicians all!) has been really good fun too – loads of laughs during the drives and shows and everywhere in between.  Love our encores –the nine of us get up on stage together and lash out lots of high octane tunes and songs for the holidays.

All of this is a gift this Christmas time.  I feel blessed.  On to Feldkirchen!