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news: winter/spring 2007

Hi, all,

A great opportunity has just come my way to take 13-14 friends/fans over to Ireland next September/October for 9 days and nights. My fellow singer-songwriter Johnsmith has led five of these tours in 05 and 06. All have been hugely successful and loads of fun for all involved.

Irish tour guide Tom Pigott and I will lead a group along the west coast of Ireland for 9-10 days, flying into Shannon Ireland airport.

By day we will visit old castles, stone circles, fishing villages, all driving along breathtaking coastal scenery. By night we will share music in pubs by yours truly, Tom, any others from our group who play or sing, and of course local Irish singers and players. We will also be treated to some time with Irish writers and poets.

The basic route is 3 days in Dingle, County Kerry, exploring the Sleas Head drive, O'Connor's pass, and a free day for hiking, biking, shopping, golfing, etc. Great music in this area. Then 2 days in County Clare, Doolin, Cliffs of Moher area and the Burren. A brief day trip in to the bustling 'Shop' street in Galway. Then up to the Connemara area, Clifden, County Galway for 3 days. One day we will take a boat ride over to Inishbofin island where time has stood still. Gorgeous walking along one lane roads around the island. Our last night will be back near the Shannon/Limerick area. We will have a fun festive last evening together. We travel in two nine-seat Eurovans. We ask folks to rotate sitting in the front, middle and back.

Cost is $1750 per person double occupancy. That includes all ground transportation, all lodging ( we stay in small hotels or large B & B's) +200 per person for single occupancy, and 3 banquet style meals. You pay for your flight, lunches, and 6 evening meals plus your drinks etc. All lodging includes a full Irish breakfast. Anyone interested needs to let me know soon if you and a friend or two are interested. If there are more than 13-14 interested I will draw names from a hat. After being notified you will need to send a 50% deposit of $725 by the end of February. The balance will be due by the end of April.

The dates are September 25--October 4th. This is a lovely time in Ireland as the bulk of the tourists are gone and traffic is lighter and the pubs and restaurants are less crowded, so we can really do things at our own pace. You will fly out of the US the evening before and land in Shannon Ireland early the next morning where Tom and I will collect you and start the tour.

You do need an updated current US passport. No shots needed. Email me if you'd like to know more! I have met Tom and he is as friendly an Irishman as they come, and that's saying a lot. We will be in good hands. Hope you can join me.

I LOVE EUROPE IN THE SPRINGTIME (and last October wasn't bad either!)

Kate's decided to step up her touring schedule in Europe to at least twice a year, and she'll be back in April (after Texas gigs--should be a whiplash transition!). She'll get there by around April 18th or 19th, and return May 6th or so. This time she will stay to the north, for the most part, but if the opportunity is irrestible, she can be coaxed southward. She'll be doing gigs in Holland and Northern and Central Germany. Please keep your eye on Kate's schedule for specific dates as they are added.

And if you know of anybody--a relative or friend over there--who you think might want to have a party with Kate's music with 20 or 30 or more of their friends, please contact her at katemcd@aol.com. She might be able to work out an agreeable date. House concerts are great fun for audiences and performer.


The very fine and important documentary film Crossing Arizona has received terrific reviews and is now starting to cross borders. As you might remember, Kate's song "Lines" from her CD NEXT, is the primary music score for the film, which is a huge honor for her. It has shown at the Munich Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the International Film Festival of Mexico, Los Angeles Latino Film Festival, just to name a few, and has won numerous awards throughout their exposure. It appeared last month on the Sundance Channel, and American Public Television has secured international TV rights for the film. It's into theatrical production now, which means keep your eye on your favorite art-house theatre marquis, and there's even word that distribution has taken it as far as Japan.

I'm sure there's much more to come for Crossing Arizona, as Joseph Matthew and Daniel DeVivo have put their heart and soul into this film, and it aims to instruct, not to skew, the issues of Mexican illegal immigrants and their clash with U.S. immigration policy. Go to http://www.crossingaz.com/ for more information on this very important film.


She knows that this may mean nothing to you, but it DOES mean that you'll be seeing more of Kate in the Northeast in the future. NERFA is the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference, and it was held in mid-November in the Catskills, NY. The chance to do a formal showcase there is about 1 in 1000, against artists from all over the country, so this was another huge honor for Kate. The reception for Kate was trememdous, and we're told she wore a very compelling dress--not the usual folkie fare (but, of course, that's why you love her!)


Have you ever thrown a party, then panicked at the thought of having to make intelligent conversation with the guests? Well, Kate can solve your shyness issue, and she's not offering wine or whiskey, nor psychotherapy. If you think you might want to have a party with a live Kate McDonnell performance with 20 or 30 or more of your friends, it's easy to do. That way she can add a very new and substantial twist to any ol' party.

The way it works is that your guests would pay a nominal amount, and that would be Kate's fee. You ask your guests to bring dessert, snack, or drink, and Kate knows what to do from there. House concerts are great fun for audiences and performer. You WILL need to say at least hello and goodbye to your guests, but that's all. Contact Kate at katemcd@aol.com if you think this would be a fun way to spend an evening with your friends!

That's all for now. Keep peace in your heart and remember to spoil each other always (a quote from the late Dewey Burns, my friend). Life is short, so eat the fudge first.

Love, Kate


The best contemporary folkie you haven't heard of yet. With none of the cliches that keep a lot of contemporary folk tasting like "A Mighty Wind" ... such a strong set that you won't be embarrassed to admit to casual acquaintances that you like folk music.--Chris Spector, Midwest Recording Recap

Sharp as a tack when it comes to songwriting. Kate can sing 'em, too. It's always a pleasure to hear her sing...obviously, she does know where the mangoes are!--Michael Jaworek, The Birchmere

McDonnell's songs (possess) a tuneful groove and a thoughtful depth. It doesn't hurt that she's a good singer who has taken her lyrics to heart.... It's also helpful that McDonnell receives backup from a solid band, fully capable of mixing up the arrangements to suit the needs of each song. Good to the last track, folkies young and old will enjoy Where the Mangoes Are.-- Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All MusicGuide

Kate joins the illustrious roster of Appleseed for this, her fourth album. Coming a full two years on from her well-received and decidedly strong third offering Don't Get Me Started, Where The Mangoes Are is another strong record, marking a further significant advance in Kate's music. As before, Kate's own guitar playing is crisp and clear-toned yet unobtrusive. Her singing is again characterised by that rarer-than-you'd-think combination of rhythmic individuality in phrasing and strength in flexibility (her playful vocalising on the strange, seductive Lemon Marmalade, which includes the CD's title phrase, is specially mesmerising). So what this all adds up to is another memorable album from Kate, which with the added benefit of Appleseed's wide distribution should ensure Kate gains plenty more admirers.--NetRhythms.co.uk

Co-writing, in my opinion, consistently leads to dilution and compromise, but McDonnell and Lindley should be congratulated for their focused storylines and cleverly chosen words, wed to Kate's penchant for penning catchy melodies. Arthur Wood, FolkWax, UK


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