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Celtic Thunder

“In no better place than Boston, my sort of home from homes,” said Celtic Thunder singer Ryan Kelley, “as a lifelong Celtics fan, it’s always nice to get back there.” That’s right, the Irish crooner who leads ballads and Irish folk songs alike, is a die-hard green-teamer. “I’ve always been a big basketball fan back from playing at school. I can remember as far back as 1986-87, the first year I got into the NBA and the Boston Celtics. You know, Mike Burns, Robert Parrish, they ran the thing, you know? I’ve suffered the ups and downs. Still wear the green with pride.”


Kelley and Celtic Thunder came through town just prior to the opening day of the Celtics to show Boston what their new tour Mythology is all about. The consensus is a collection of less-heard Irish folk songs but ones that speak to the guys themselves. “I truly believe this is our strongest show we’ve ever had on the road,” explains Kelley, “as a singer who was involved with the music selection along with our musical director David Monroe. When you are a part of the selection process… it brings you closer when you’re actually singing the songs.”


The handsome young men from across the pond were dressed smartly and hit every mark and note right on cue. Not a small accomplishment seeing as how they are always doing something. If they aren’t touring, they’re recording and practicing, or perhaps working on some solo stuff (such as Kelley’s new release set to come out any day now) or even cruising the Caribbean like they’ll be setting sail on later today! If you happen to be one of the lucky few on the ship, make sure to wish Ryan a happy birthday as well.


He may need it. He’s had a tough year and a half. “I was talking about filming the Mythology and I had left the brain injury unity probably three or four weeks prior to the show,” Kelley told me, “. I think that’s another reason I have an even bigger connection to this show than ever before. It was a pretty momentous occasion. My family was in the crowd and I couldn’t look at them because I knew they’d be crying and then I’d be crying.” As a man on the go though, he assured me he’s feeling much better and is thrilled to be back out there on stage performing.


But how could anything compare to a stint at the Garden? “Talking about the highlights of the Celtic Thunder career, we’ve sung in the White House and the Pentagon as well, it’s been amazing… but we actually sang the US National Anthem at the Boston Garden in 2009,” said Kelley, “I always dreamt of standing on Boston Garden and on the court and shooting three pointers but that was as close as I got. One of those moments I’ll take to the grave with me for sure.”


Article and Photos By: Teresa Reilly

October 1 2013

Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA