They have appeared on PBS and have toured the world many times over, but it’s still hard to describe everything you get when you go to see Celtic Thunder.
The set transports you to another world across the sea, the songs remind you of first love, valiant deeds and wild nights. And a stage full of talented musicians shares a little of their national pride with each note. The group of male lead singers and diverse instrumentalists play traditional and modern songs that embody Celtic culture from spirituals to drinking songs to modern pop songs and everything in between.
On the heels of a new DVD and CD release, "Voyage II," Celtic Thunder has hit the road again and plans stops in Boston and Concord, NH in just a few days. The new release, which was previewed to PBS members, is only available through online purchase.
George Donaldson, the elder statesman of the group, spoke about the upcoming show and life on the road from his tour bus as he tooled through Kitchener, Ontario, last week.
“Our show is something where Grandma can take her grandson, and everyone has a good time,” said Donaldson in his thick Scottish accent.
Being the only Scottish singer in the Irish cast, he finds himself reminding people that Scots are Celtic, too. “When people ask what part of Ireland I’m from, I tell them, the part called Scotland,” he laughs.
He says the 35 people, both cast and crew, are a fun family to travel with. Before each show, they share a group hug and then jump on stage.
“We treat every show like it’s our first, because for many people in the audience it is their first time,” said Donaldson.
After this tour, Donaldson revealed the company will be retiring many of the favorites sung in this and past shows. One particular song Donaldson is known for, "Old Man," has personal meaning.