Jenny Anne Mannan

American Songstress

On The Road

Maybe I'm referencing Jack Kerouac.

In a way, I think I am. But mostly I'm talking about the trip Violet and I took last week with Michael Londra and Celtic Fire.

Now, the tricky thing about playing Irish music and having a daughter who was born on St. Patrick's Day is that I am often busy on her birthday. So this year I asked if I could bring her on the road with me, and I am so glad I did. It's easy to develop a jaded view of travelling and to dwell on things like the irregular mealtimes, long hours on the road, late nights, early calls, separation from home and family, exhaustion - all of which are a guaranteed part of the touring experience. But bringing a wide-eyed 6 year old took care of all of that. We ate catered meals with chocolate cake for dessert, had as much juice and as many cookies as we wanted, stayed in a hotel that had a couch AND a tiny fridge, watched movies in the van and played go fish with the dancers, and rode on an airplane while it was still dark outside.

Night #1: Spokane, Wa. I didn't take pictures. So lame. The theater was beautiful, the audience even more beautiful. There is truly nothing so magical as a hometown crowd.

Night #2: Wenatchee, WA

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On my left, musical director (and general manager and caretaker of all complaints specific and general in nature), Mellad Abeid. Just behind him, brilliant drummer and percussionist, Steve Holloway.

Piper and whistler extraordinaire, David Schultz. Just behind him is the string section who joined us for the Wenatchee show. Just beyond them, though I wasn't able to capture his image on film (he's kind of elusive that way), pianist Peter Storms.

Directly behind me, the light of my life and the most eager audience member in the history of mankind, Violet Mannan.

Night #3, Canyonville, Or.

My view from the back of the van.

Look! The Gorge!

Blurry? No, that's exactly how I saw it!

Best traveller of the bunch. Every time I asked her how it was going, she'd smile and say, "It's GREAT!"

Night #4, Bremerton, Wa.

March 17, St. Patrick's Day, Violet's 6th birthday.

She was cheered and toasted and well-wished by dancers, crew members and musicians alike. Here she is with one of the dancers, the lovely Katie.

Before the show, she put on her 'dancing outfit' and practiced her steps behind the curtain.

Pre-show with 2 of the dancers, Katie and Rachael.

The trip was indeed a whirlwind; we covered 1361 miles by car in 4 days, did 4 shows, celebrated a birthday, and made wonderful memories with old and new friends.

Copyright 2016, Jenny Anne Mannan. All rights reserved.