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 Post subject: Maura's Blog
PostPosted: 29 Mar 2001, 23:00 
March, 2001

Welcome to my virtual home.

If we were at my real home , I might offer you some tea ,or something
a little stronger. We would chat a while, and then I'd probaby force
you to eat something! And we would laugh, we would definitely laugh.


I'd like this site to be a nice ,friendly ,fun place for my friends
to come and visit, and where we'll share ideas on music, cooking, life,
and just plain hang out.
Let me fill you in on what I have been up to lately. I'm still doing
the odd gig here and there, which really gives me a big thrill.

I love performing , it's like air to me. I need it! I have'nt been doing
so much over the last few years because I've been waiting to do a record,
and it finally looks like I'm going to get it out by the end of this
year. I'll be out on the road a whole lot more after that.

I've also been going over and back to Rome to be part of a scene in
a Martin Scorsese movie. It has been a learning experience, but one
that is'nt finished yet! I first went there in September of last year
and recorded a song(I play a street singer). I performed the song while
walking around with the stars and extras in an enormous street scene.

There wasn't a cloud in the sky.

We did this a lot, and then they shut down for the day. The next day'
and the day after that it was raining so we just waited around for the
rain to clear , which it never did.

There was a guitar, so we did some singing, and telling jokes, it was
fun, but the waiting around was very wearing.

We never got to finish the scene on that visit, so I went back again
in late October, and again in November .

I still have to go back and finish the scene which I think will now
be in the early Spring.

They'll give me a fresh new red head of hair, and send me home again,
but hopefully with the job done!!

The movie is called "Gangs of New York",and it stars Daniel Day Lewis
, Leonardo Di Caprio, Cameron Diaz, Liam Neeson , Henry Thomas, Brendan
Gleeson and loads of others, and it's supposed to come out in the Fall.
I don't think so!!

They're way behind schedule, so I'm betting that I'll have a record
out before the movie comes out!
I must say I have enjoyed the experience, and spending time in Rome
was no hardship!

I'll fill ye in on the rest of my wandering recording news soon. In
the meantime I hope ye enjoy the site and come back and visit again
soon.

Love,

Maura


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 11 Dec 2002, 23:00 
December, 2002

Hi everyone:

It's been a long time!

A lot of time has passed since I left that first message.

I've released a record, I've started to tour a little more, and it's getting to be back to it's looser more confident style.

I needed to grease the wheels a little bit. I toured so little in the last few years that I had no new shtick!

Now , I'm building some shtick around a new show, with a great band. The lineup tends to be elastic depending on the size of the venue, but the gang at the moment consists of Jonathan Trebing, Bruce Wallace, Don Johnson and John Mock.

We had a good time in Ireland this past summer, and they got to see some of the places they had been hearing about in the songs. It's been a while since I did shows in Ireland. I've got to get out more.

This time last year, I went to Dublin to sing at one of Paul Brady's Vicar St. shows. It was a retrospective of his music focusing on a live tape he had found from 1978 of a live gig he had done in Liberty Hall in Dublin. It featured the finest in Irish progressive traditional music at the time, and featured Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny, Liam O'Flynn, Noel Hill and maybe one or two others playing tunes and providing expert backing for Paul's wonderful renditions of traditional Irish songs.

There were--in Vicar St.--27 gigs!

They did the Liberty Hall show on, maybe 12 or so nights. The rest of the nights Paul played with his electric band and had guests come and perform his, and their own songs. I was on two nights. The first with Tim O'Brien and Arty McGlynn. The second with Maire Brennan and Mary Black.I really had a blast.

Whew, that was long winded.

I also recorded a song with Ciaran Tourish from Altan for his solo album. You remember Ciaran, he played fiddle on "Wandering Home". He also ,pretty much organized the whole thing. It's a beautiful song. I don't have any idea when it will be released. I don't think he has worked on it since then. Altan stay really busy.

Finally, as you may know, I have a miniscule featured extra scene in the Scorsese film "Gangs of New York". I just found out that the song I sing in the movie will be on the soundtrack.

The movie comes out on the 20th, and I'm finally excited about it, now that I know I actually made it onto film(for however little time).

So merry Christmas, all you who visit here. Thanks for looking in on me.I hope I see ye somewhere at some gig in the near future. I hope I'll have a new record for next year(with Jerry Douglas producing again), and I hope ye all have a Happy holiday season and get what's coming to ye in the New Year.


Love,
Maura.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2003, 22:00 
28 August, 2003

I'd like to thank Lance Lovelette for sending me this original watercolor, titled "The Fate of the Children of Lir"

The <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=children+of+lir&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8">Children of Lir</a> is one of my favorite Irish legends, and I find Lance's interpretation to be quite moving. Click the small image below to see a larger version.

<a href="images/lir.jpg"> <img src="images/lir_2.jpg" width="150" height="304" border="0"> </a> Copyright 2003 Lance Lovelette

Lance was amazingly kind to make this gift to me. It's hanging in the sitting room right now. . . .


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 22 Dec 2003, 23:00 
22 December, 2003

Hey Y'all, merry Christmas and a happy New year to each and every one of you.

I have been busy getting the new record in order. It is mixed and mastered and waiting on a cover. At the moment it is called "Don't I Know", but that could change at any time.
The working title was "9 really sad songs and 2 happy ones" , but no one was excited by that!! That should tell ye the nature of the recording though!
<a href="http://www.jerrydouglas.com/">Jerry Douglas</a> produced it , and I am really glad because he is a joy to work with , and he brought some great musicians along with him.

<a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=brian+sutton+guitar&btnG=Google+Search&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8">Brian Sutton</a>, <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=victor+krauss+bass&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8">Victor Krauss</a> and <a href="http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=shannon+forrest+drums&btnG=Google+Search">Shannon Forrest</a>, along with Jerry made up the core band. <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=jonathan+trebing+guitar&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8">Jonathan Trebing</a> who plays guitar with me played some really nice moody stuff on the electric guitar.
I also did a track with <a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=Russ+Barenberg+guitar&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8">Russ Barenberg</a>, <a href="http://www.edgarmeyer.com/">Edgar Meyer</a> and Jerry that is gorgeous, and just about the saddest song in the world.

I'm really proud of the songs though. I think it's the best collection I have ever put together.

It should be out in May. I wanted to be sure that the record company had it in good time to work it properly, and so that was the time that worked for everyone.

I have been doing some of the songs in my (very infrequent) shows, and they appear to be going down well.

Speaking of which, after the record comes out ,I really will be trying to do as many gigs as I can, so hang in there I should get to all of ye soon.
I am also in the process of getting a new manager,so you know they are going to be pushing my butt out the door. No more lazy me.!!

I hope ye all get as much from ye'r work as I do. In fact that is my wish for all of you for the New Year.

My love to you all,
Maura


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 25 Oct 2004, 10:07 
Hi Folks:

Here's an article that appeared recently in the Sunday Independent Magazine. We're very proud of Jesse. By the way, stem-cell research could help children with CP, too.

Maura

<b>HEALTH
CASE STUDY</b>
Cerebral palsy has not stopped singer Maura OConnells bright, sporty son from having an action-packed life, finds <b>Andrea Smith</b>

<img src="images/mo_jesse.jpg" alt="Maura and Jesse" width="480" height="360" border="0">

<b>NO STOPPING NOW</b>

Singer Maura OConnells eight-year-old son Jesse may have been born in Nashville, Tennessee, but he follows Irish sports teams with an avid interest. Jesse is an extremely bright, charming and bubbly child. He was born with cerebral palsy (CP), a condition that affects the part of the brain that controls physical movement and muscle co-ordination. While the condition primarily affects the left-hand side of his body, he has an action-packed lifestyle and uses a walker to improve his mobility You wouldnt believe how fast he gets around the place; laughs Maura. He goes horse-riding and absolutely loves it, and he is very interested in sports:

Maura, from Ennis, Co Clare, moved to Nashville in 1986 and met and married her American music-producer husband Mac. I moved to Nashville for work, but stayed for love; Maura laughs. She became pregnant at 37 years of age, and felt instinctively that something was wrong as her pregnancy progressed and the babys movements became less frequent. She voiced her fears to her doctor and was scanned and monitored overnight. The hospital decided to deliver Jesse the following morning, 34~ weeks into the pregnancy and he was born weighing 3 lbs 7 oz.

I was so thrilled to be a mother; reveals the Grammy-nominated singer. He was such a beautiful baby and I adored him. He had some difficulties with swallowing, initially, and he cried a lot during the first few months. I couldnt comfort him and it upset me hugely. I felt like a terrible mother and I blamed myself. I was exhausted and anxious all the time

While it became clear that baby Jesse had some physical problems, the hospital policy at the time was to withhold diagnosis until he was older and to monitor him for signs of ordinary development. This meant that the diagnosis of CP wasnt officially made until Jesse was 14 months old, at which stage Maura and Mac were able to seek the kind of help and treatment for their baby that would improve the quality of all of their lives. One simple thing they found was that physical therapy in the form of brushing Jesses body with a soft-bristled brush instantly relaxed and soothed him, one of many discoveries that dramatically helped.

CP is caused by damage to specific areas of the brain, and this can occur for several reasons. In Jesses case, it occurred during his development in the womb, but it can also be caused by a lack of oxygen during birth or from an accident or illness after birth. The condition is characterized by an inability to control motor function, particularly muscle movement and co-ordination, and this can affect childrens ability to walk, talk, eat or play. The extent of the condition ranges from very mild to very severe, depending on which areas of the brain have been affected, and each person with the condition will have their own set of symptoms and problems. Symptoms may include one or more of the following: muscle tightness, muscle spasm, involuntary movement, seizures, abnormal gait and perception and impaired sight, hearing and/or speech.

Maura feels that the hospitals wait and see policy was wrong because she, and many experts in the field, firmly believes that early intervention is the key to assisting children with CP in achieving their full potential. The shock of Jesses early birth, combined with the stress of not knowing what was wrong, was very difficult to cope with, she admits. I regret now that we didnt insist on getting our son diagnosed earlier, but we were told that we had to wait and we took the doctors word as law. If we had known, we could have started Jesses therapies earlier Maura advises parents in a similar situation to be more assertive with the medical profession in getting the help and advice necessary for their childs well-being. It is incumbent upon parents to be their childs main advocate; she declares.

Jesse benefited greatly from attending Professor Andras Petos conductive-education programme at the world-famous Peto Institute in Hungary. Conductive-education programmes have helped many people with motor dysfunctions. They are based on the principle that the damaged nervous system possesses the capacity to form new connections. The Peto Institute has developed an all-embracing and highly complex programme, the primary aim of which is the development of the entire personality which indirectly brings about an improvement in motor functions. (See www.petoinstitute.org for further information.)

Jesses condition causes severe muscle tightness on the left side of his body; he wears orthopedic devices to keep his ankles in place. He has had muscle-lengthening surgery to give him more movement, and he derives great benefit from various physical therapies. Mac takes charge of the daily stretching exercises that are a vital component of keeping Jesses body supple and preventing his muscles from atrophying.

Living in America, where healthcare is so expensive, is another problem because Jesses condition means he is not covered by health insurance. Maura, who recently released her new album, Dont I Know, to great critical acclaim, feels that this is a dreadful position for parents to find themselves in. While she and Mac are fortunate in being able to afford to pay privately for Jesses treatment, her heart goes out to other parents who cannot afford to do so.

A highly intelligent and articulate child, Jesse was able to enumerate the alphabet when he was only two years of age (eg F = 6), and he is already harboring ambitions to come to Ireland to study in Trinity College when he graduates from school. He is great fun to be with and is warm and vibrant, just like his mother from whom he also inherited his curly hair.

With the strength and determination he has so far demonstrated, combined with the love and support of his parents, there is no doubt that Jesse will continue to overcome the physical challenges that characterize his condition and lead a full and productive life.

For further information on CP, contact Enable Ireland at (01)269-5900, email info@enableireland.ie or visit www.enableireland.ie.

Maura OConnell will be appearing in the Gaiety Theatre as Brian Kennedys special guest from October21 - 23; for bookings, tel (01) 6771717. She will also perform at the Wexford Opera Festival in the Talbot Hotel on Sunday, October 24th; for bookings, tel (053)22144


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2005, 17:28 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005, 07:29
Posts: 201
Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
Maura, hello!

My husband is one of three brothers. The other two both have had cancer. It's actually lymphoma. (I guess Dewey's been spared because of all that good red wine therapy that goes on at our house. :wink: )

The younger of the two brothers was the first to get lymphoma and has had it, on and off, for about 15 years! He's a walking miracle. The last time it appeared was about 3 years ago when stem cell treatments were pretty new. He was treated in this way and we are delighted that the treatment worked.

Unfortunately, we are slow in developing (and allowing) ANY new treatments. We send you, Mack and Jesse all good wishes for continued love, courage and determination and all the most positive energy to people who can fast forward on stem cell research and applications.

We've followed you and your music for many years and appreciate your lungs, your singing style and your willingness to tour. We catch you at The Handlebar in Greenville, SC. Keeping an eye out for the next time you are anywhere near!

Despina & Dewey Yeargin

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 08 Jul 2005, 20:10 
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Joined: 08 May 2003, 18:34
Posts: 521
Location: New York
Despina...welcome to the boards!

I am sorry to hear about your brother in laws but I am glad that your husband is healthy. Red wine therapy...sounds pretty good to me! :lol:

Anyhow, I am glad you posted and again, welcome.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 10 Jul 2005, 11:09 
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005, 07:29
Posts: 201
Location: Greenwood, South Carolina
Thank you! :)

_________________
"...be a ringing glass that shatters as it rings."
Sonnets to Orpheus
Rainer Maria Rilke


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2008, 10:37 
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Joined: 24 Apr 2008, 10:33
Posts: 1
Location: scotland
Maura
when are you going to come to Glasgow, or to sing in my church during mass. If you do I will levitate on the altar
Fr Patrick

_________________
I am very in intrested in cool Irish Music, Maura O,connell, Chrisy Moore, Mary black, Delores Kean, Luca Bloom, Nanci Griffith this genre is what matters


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