Celtic Thunder – a new approach to Irish music
Celtic Thunder are a male singing group who have helped to revitalise Irish music for audiences across the world, either individually are as an ensemble.
They are known for their dramatic live shows and wide ranging choice of songs – from folk standards to pop classics.
All but one of the group hail from Ireland – all from different parts of the country from Derry to Wexford. George Donaldson is from Glasgow, Scotland. They have a varying age range, Donaldson, the eldest, was born in 1969 while the youngest, Daniel Furlong, was born in 1998.
Dramatic live performances
The group’s stage sets are designed to invoke images of ancient Ireland with stone walls and stairways. Musicians playing acoustic instruments add to the aura of timelessness in their shows.
They are joined on stage by the Celtic Thunder band and their shows have delivered a mixture of carefully planned choreography, dramatic lighting and superb vocal performances.
Celtic Thunder are managed by Sharon Browne, who is also manager of all female Irish vocal group, Celtic Woman.
Starting out at the Helix, Dublin
Celtic Thunder played their first concert in 2007, at the Helix, Dublin, where they were joined by the Celtic Concert Orchestra.
In March 2008, they released their first album, Celtic Thunder. The album came with a DVD of their concert in Dublin. The DVD was simply titled, The Show.
That year, they toured 50 cities in the US, selling 125,000 tickets which saw them take 20th place in the Star Tour Poll. They still had time to release their second album which was titled, Act Two, and featured several other songs from The Show. It was released in September 2008.
Performing for the Obamas
In March 2009, they opened the New York City St Patrick’s Day Parade. They also performed for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House later that day.
In the early part of 2009 they toured Canada and then returned south of the border to the States where they completed another long tour.
That summer, they released a third album, Take Me Home. It also came with a DVD of the band in concert. This time the concert was at Casino Rama, Orillia and was filmed during their Canadian tour.
By the end of 2009, they were named as the top World Album Artist by Billboard magazine. Their first three albums all featured in the top 10 in the Billboard World Music Charts.