George Donaldson Of Celtic Thunder Advance Interview - His Talent Is No Myth

Celtic Thunder returns to Chicago October 18th at The Chicago Theater with their latest incarnation: Mythology!

I had the privilege of speaking with the elder statesman of the group and their most seasoned lead vocalist, George Donaldson. During our discussion, he openly revealed why the buzz surrounding Mythology has reinforced Celtic Thunder’s fan base, while drawing new fans in record numbers.


According to George, Mythology is Celtic Thunder’s best show to date. While the cast of musicians and singers has always been stalwart, George attributes much of their success this time around to the group’s maturity and approach. When I asked George to elaborate, he stated: “We’re really a family when we’re on the road, supporting one another.” In other words, the camaraderie that audiences see and experience is not simply for show, but a genuine love that’s expressed through their performances and carries over to their lives off the stage.


Donaldson was quick to point out that even during a 62 city tour, the lads and instrumentalists are thrilled to not only be living out their dreams touring the globe, (US, Canada & Europe), but to appreciate each and every show they get to perform to their adoring fan base.


One element that makes Celtic Thunder universally appealing is in their ability to reach out to all ages as well as all generations. “We’re truly a family show, committed to entertaining everyone,” George stated.  If their audiences are any indication, the commitment is reciprocated.


George, who began his career as a bus builder by trade, knew he was onto something when he had a rare opportunity to perform for his Dad during the Glasgow Celtics opening match of the 2000 season at Celtic Park in Glasgow, George’s hometown, before 65,000 fans. Musically influenced by late and great artists like Harry Chapin and Jim Croce, George was both thrilled and proud to join Celtic Thunder in 2007 after auditioning for producer Sharon Browne. He has both toured and appeared in all nine Celtic Thunder Public Television specials.


Donaldson’s enthusiasm and passion for his craft are evident in both his message and his tone. George’s stage presence and powerful voice have provided a steady influence that has spread to the younger lads in the group. Their good-natured rapport is obvious to any audience that has been fortunate enough to take in a Celtic Thunder performance.


Celtic Thunder, led by George, Emmet Cahill, Ryan Kelly, Keith Harkin, Colm Keegan & Neil Byrne are the ultimate Supergroup, alternating lead vocals with group numbers that connect with audiences worldwide. Their humble demeanor coupled with their genuine camaraderie and love for the music comes through loud and clear.


World-class returnee’s like Cellist Laura Durrant also add depth, beauty, and joy to the ensemble.  This combined with top flight, studio/session quality players who enhance each and every performance, make Celtic Thunder and Mythology a can’t-miss show. Mythology promises to take Chicago audiences on an unforgettable journey they will never forget, a truly satisfying show that will amaze and inspire folks of every ilk and all ages.



In fact, I challenge any music lover to see Celtic Thunder once and not be instantly hooked on their versatile display that promises something for everyone. I’ll even take it one step further; I challenge anyone seeing Celtic Thunder for the first time to proclaim that they weren’t moved to tears at least once during the performances.


Be sure to stay tuned for my upcoming review of Mythology’s October 18th show. For more information, go to Celtic Thunder's website

Photos:Courtesy of Celtic Thunder

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