Daniel is back on the road in August

A denim look for Daniel O Donnell in Kincasslagh on Thursday night. (Photos by Eoin & Ronan Mc Garvey)
A denim look for Daniel O Donnell in Kincasslagh on Thursday night. (Photos by Eoin & Ronan Mc Garvey)

DANIEL O’DONNELL is preparing to get back into harness at shows in August-December on home soil, mainland Britain and in the United States and Canada.

The genial 54-year-old Donegal man has enjoyed a refreshing 18-month break from shows and tour schedules and he and his band are ready to take the stage for a prolonged series of dates right up until just before Christmas.

Daniel kicks off with four shows in Killarney from August 10 and the UK segment starts in Bristol on September 8 and finishes in Norwich on September 22, taking in 11 shows in nine cities.

In late October, the O’Donnell bandwagon heads to the United States for shows at venues in Wisconsin, Minisota and Illinois and, from October 31 to November 19, he will be resident at the Welk Theatre, Branson, Missouri in the highly picturesque Ozark Mountain region.

The Branson theatre run, which Daniel has popularised for more than a decade, will extend to 16 shows with the singer again expected to be a box office attraction in this highly popular tourist region.

On December 4-5, Daniel is the headline draw at the St Catharine’s Festival of Lights in Niagara, site of the iconic Falls, in Ontario, Canada.

Daniel, who has had an album in the UK country charts every year for the past 30 years, has a big fan base in North America and this career interest extends to Australia, where he has toured on several occasions.

In April, Daniel released a 60-track three CD collection titled the ‘Ultimate Irish Album’ and we can expect another country album release ahead of the August-December tour dates.

When Daniel announced in 2014 that he planned to take a long break from shows and touring, he made it clear he was not retiring. Far from it, as demand from his legion of fans would most certainly not permit an extended absence.

Daniel wanted the lengthy break from his music to spend more time with his wife Majella who had been undergoing cancer treatment. He said that once he finished performing the dates scheduled until February, 2015, he would take a “sabbatical” until “at least the middle of 2016”.

“This is not retirement”, he insisted, conscious of the reaction of fans who travel long distances to hear him sing.

He added that while it was a “big decision” there were other things he and Majella wanted to do.

“We thank God that Majella’s treatment and surgery has been successful. Through all of this we have a lot of time to reflect and take stock of things and it makes us realise that life is short.”

* Grammy award winner Linda Davis has been invited by Kenny Rogers as support act for the Texan’s farewell tour of the UK next October/November.

Linda, also a Texan, has been on the Nashville scene for 30 years with a contemporary balladry style of vocals.

She will appear with Kenny Rogers at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on Tuesday November 8, and at the 3Arena in Dublin the night before.

The Rogers show - which rounds off Kenny’s tours on this side of the Atlantic - is also scheduled for Glasgow and London.

* Bluegrass maestro Del McCoury has just released a Bluegrass album tribute to American folk legend Woody Guthrie and it is getting big reviews in the States.

Guthrie, who died in 1967 aged 55, was globally known primarily for protest songs and ‘Okie’ culture including This Land Is Your Land, Pretty Boy Floyd and So Long It’s Been Good to Know You.