Daniel’s back, pulling in the crowds

Daniel O'Donnell   PIC:Donna McBride
Daniel O'Donnell PIC:Donna McBride

DANIEL O’DONNELL is back on the concert scene, pulling in the crowds on the Irish, UK and US circuits as never before.

Two Dublin Convention Centre Christmas shows on December 10 and 11 sold out in just 20 minutes, with the highly popular Donegal man’s legion of fans hastily snapping up the 47.50Euro tickets. A third date on December 9 – added due to the high demand – also sold out.

Interest in Daniel’s shows is at an all-time high after the singer spent 18 months private time and travelling abroad with his wife Majella, 56, who had been battling cancer.

True to his caring approach, Daniel said Majella’s illness made them both realise that “life is short” and one needs to make the most of it.

This week, Daniel, now 54, completed a three-week UK singing tour, appearing at major venues in Liverpool, Birmingham, Glasgow, Gateshead, Bournemouth, Bristol, Nottingham and Norwich.

In November, he and his band, and support singer Mary Duff, are off to North America for a series of shows in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, and Ontario, Canada.

And next March, Daniel and his entourage will appear in major cities in Australia and New Zealand, countries where he has a considerable fan base after making several very successful trips Down Under.

* GARTH BROOKS is again teaming with a major retailer to promote his music and plans a mid-November release of Garth Brooks: The Ultimate Collection, a 10-disc boxed set, promoted exclusively by the Target chain.

The collection will include an exclusive version of Garth’s new album, featuring “Target bonus tracks,” in advance of the album’s release in the US and abroad.

The set also includes nine discs of curated music in thematic playlists and an array of previously unreleased songs.

Garth previously aligned with Walmart to sell his recordings.

Brooks, who parted company with RCA earlier this year, resumes his world tour with wife and support singer Trisha Yearwood on Friday with a three-night stand in Anaheim, California.

He has also been nominated for entertainer of the year at the upcoming Nashville Country Music Association awards.

* Fifty years is quite a lifespan in any singer’s career, but, incredibly, it is half a century since LORETTA LYNN last released a Christmas country album

On October 7, the famed ‘Coalminer’s Daughter’ will release on the Legacy label White Christmas Blue, her first seasonal album since the 1966 Country Christmas.

The new album’s title track was written by Country Music Hall of Fame member Shawn Camp, who also contributes acoustic guitar and backing vocals on the collection.

The album features new versions of two of Loretta’s other compositions — Country Christmas and To Heck With Ole Santa Claus, which appeared on her 1966 album. It also contains a selection of traditional carols and seasonal pop standards, along with a recitation of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

White Christmas Blue was produced by Patsy Lynn Russell and John Carter Cash at the Cash Cabin studio in Hendersonville outside Nashville, close to where the late Johnny Cash and his late wife June Carter lived.

Earlier this month, Loretta, now 84, cancelled a series of concerts after sustaining injuries in a fall at her mid-Tennessee ranch. According to her website, she is due to resume her concert schedule this weekend in Texas.