Today, under the second window of my creative Advent calendar, is my cover of John Mayer’s jazz waltz Christmas love song, St Patrick’s Day. The guitar chords are very, very much up my street, and our voices have a similar range.
If you’re interested in learning how to play the song, I’d recommend getting the published sheet music. It’ll save you a lot of trouble. Believe me, there is a lot of incorrect stuff on the internet when it comes to music…! My go-to site for lyrics and chords is Sheet Music Direct. Paying a euro for their clear formatting and accuracy is absolutely worth it, compared to trawling around hoping the person who posted such-and-such a tab actually knows what they’re talking about
First up is something special that I’ve been meaning to get done for aaaages. It’s a piano arrangement of the Christmas classic, Winter Wonderland, written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (lyrics by Richard B. Smith). I wrote this at the request of one of my piano students at the time, Chloe. A big, big thank you to my friend Mark Summers and his father, Ian, for their advice on the musical typesetting.
So, please have a listen 🙂 The mp3 is downloadable, so feel free to add it to your Christmas playlists! Just click the little ‘down arrow’ at the top right of the SoundCloud player below.
One night I did, as near as dammit, a perfect show. I got every laugh, never missed a beat, my timing was exquisite; I was relaxed, disciplined and hilarious. There had been nights when I’d got most of the sketches dead right, but never before had I done the whole show impeccably. I was superb. (Please remember we did about 180 performances and this happened just once.) The result: exhilaration. And then, the next day, depression. Because I realised I’d never do it so well again. Every night from now on I would go on stage and do it less well than I was capable of — it was going to be downhill all the way. And for a week or so after that, doing the show became a struggle: I was having to push myself through an emotional sound barrier, going on stage to do an imperfect performance that was going to dissatsify me. It was a ridiculous expression of perfectionism but it made me belatedly realise that that’s why I always called myself a writer-performer: I wanted to write something, perform it perfectly just once and then move on. Of course, I eventually found the right professional attitude: to keep it as fresh as possible every night, and take pride in your discipline, but now it always felt like work.
This is a great piece of film that captures the visuals and sound of our last show. It was a weird day, knowing that it was the final show, but it was one of our very best. I’m really glad it was recorded 🙂
You can see my mascot polar bear, that I’d picked up in an amazing hardware store in Glendive, Montana, a week previously.
Here’s a screenshot of my ursine mascot, sitting majestically on top of my beloved Nord Stage. The shot does rather fly past if you don’t know what you’re looking for!
Band member – Off The Wall. We are a five-piece function / wedding band based in Dublin. Have a listen to the demos on our website and bear us in mind book us for your next event!
Touring band member – James Vincent McMorrow. I toured with James in 2014/2015 after the release of his second album, ‘Post Tropical’. Playing keyboards and singing backing vocals, with occasional clarinet (I played clarinet on the album) and lap steel. I used my Nord Stage keyboard, running Mainstage on a MacBook with various soft synths, and a Dave Smith Instruments PolyEvolver.
Band member (occasionally) – Nice Guy Eddie (wedding band based in Northern Ireland) – keyboard and vocals.
Resident musician – Millstone restaurant (Dame Street, Dublin). I played solo gigs three nights a week in 2012/2013, singing and playing guitar. The pay was awful, but I learned a lot of songs!
Singer (tenor) with New Dublin Voices from 2005-2011. I returned briefly to sing in their tenth anniversary concert. I received some of the best practical musical training of my life in this brilliant chamber choir. I helped set up the internal governance of choir, managed website and social media, and planned a summer concert series in Dublin in 2010.
Piano accompanist. I accompany exam candidates for RIAM (Royal Irish Academy of Music) and ABRSM (Associated Boards of the Royal Schools of Music), as well as end-of-year recitals and festivals.
I have played keyboards for school productions of Little Shop Of Horrors (at Wesley College), Les Miserables (St Peter’s College, Dunboyne, in 2012 and that same year for Meath Youth Musical Society’s production at Solstice theatre, Navan), and Miss Saigon (St Peter’s College, Dunboyne, 2013).