Delaney Brothers Bluegrass

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And a New Year is about to begin...

It's hard to believe that 2014 is drawing to a close. It has been quite the year, not only for the band, but in our personal lives as well. Losing Brother Ray was a blow, but we know he's still watching over the band as we continue to feel his presence and his influence.

For the most part, we had a very light concert schedule this past year as the band dealt with their loss, and regrouped to position themselves to take on new challenges in 2015. They actually got a jump start on things with their expanded holiday season shows, which were a hit everywhere they played. Not only did they imprint their signature sound on several holiday favorites, both new and old, but they even drew in other members of the Delaney Clan to join the festivities. Sister Mary Ann teamed up with her brother John for a beautiful duet of "Mary Did You Know" at the Homer Center for the Arts on November 30th. We had hoped she would make it out for the other shows, but New Jersey is quite the commute.

The other "special guest" that took the stage with the band was John's granddaughter - Jonathan's daughter - Katrina. In a rousing rendition of "Deck the Halls," she added a beautiful flute solo that brings a smile to my face just remembering it. She's really quite the musician, carrying on the Delaney tradition. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from her in the future. :)

Looking ahead to the coming year, we are continuing to search out new venues in which to share our love of music. We have several shows booked already, and a handful more that we're waiting to hear back on. The band is desiring to get out more and mingle with their fans, and hopefully make some new friends as well.

We're also working to keep in touch with folks more through our Facebook page (you can click the image at the top of our blog to be redirected there) and our website, as well as this blog. Please feel free to comment here or on Facebook and let us know if there's somewhere you'd like to see us play, or just to say hi. We're also trying to expand our reach, so please feel free to share our Facebook page/posts with your friends and family.

I'd like to close with an Irish blessing for all our dear friends, wherever you may be:

May your joys be as deep as the oceans,
Your troubles as light as its foam,
And may you find sweet peace of mind
Wherever you may roam.

Have a blessed 2015!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Welcome to Holiday Season 2014!

We're really excited for this year's holiday season with the festive concerts we have planned! Our first show was Sunday (Nov. 30) at the Center for the Arts in Homer, NY. A good crowd came out to share the afternoon with us, and we had a great time. Sister Maryanne Delaney even came all the way from New Jersey to surprise the crowd by singing a beautiful duet with her brother John on the moving song, "Mary Did You Know." We're hoping the weather will hold and she'll be able to come back for the shows on December 13 and 14.

Be sure to check our website ( for information on our other upcoming shows. We hope to see a lot of our friends out to join in the fun!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Giving Thanks

It seems to me every year the stores start getting ready for the Christmas rush earlier and earlier. First the sales got earlier... 6 am, then 5 am, then 4... and suddenly Black Friday got a kickoff on Thanksgiving Day. We've heard the "Christmas in July" slogan for a lot of years, but I think retailers are secretly hoping it will catch on. I mean, is it just me, or are the stores having really big sales before Black Friday this year, trying to jump start everyone into beginning the spending frenzy? Our armed forces couldn't even get their annual day of recognition without a flurry of Veteran's Day sales turning it into a goldmine for retailers.

All this to say I'm as guilty as anyone of getting caught up in the focus of the Christmas holidays and not giving Thanksgiving its proper due. (Although with all the snow and frigid temperatures we've had lately, it's not surprising!) Certainly I'll be celebrating with my family this Thursday, but I've been so focused on promoting the upcoming Christmas shows the band has scheduled that I sorta swung right into the Christmas hubbub and never took the time to celebrate this season with you all. So I'm hoping to rectify that in some small way by sharing the following perspective I've recently acquired. Very recently. Like... 15 minutes ago recently.

Giving Thanks. That's supposed to be the focus of Thanksgiving, right? I mean, the whole stuff-yourself-on-turkey-til-you-can't-move phenomenon is our way of celebrating the bounty we have to be thankful for. Or maybe donating time or money to organizations that feed the poor and homeless expresses our thanks for the abundance we have.

But do we take the time to really be thankful for everything in our lives? No, that wasn't a typo. I did say everything.

Sometimes (ok, a lot of times!) I get tied up in knots over the unpleasant things in life and forget how many blessings I truly have. This last year was especially challenging with the passing of Brother Ray - a man I loved and respected very much. So as I sat here in the early morning contemplating my schedule of this week's Thanksgiving Day preparations, I got that familiar ache in my heart when I looked back over the past year and realized what we've all lost. But wait, my story here has a happy ending!

In that moment of sadness, I suddenly realized that I can "give thanks in all things"! What needed to change was not my circumstances, but my perspective. Instead of trying to give thanks for what I lost when Ray left us, I can give thanks for what I gained. It suddenly occurred to me that I wouldn't trade a moment of the joy of knowing Ray (and John, Vicky, and the rest of the Delaney clan) in order to avoid the sadness the empty spot his leaving has caused. So instead, I will give thanks with a grateful heart that I was blessed to be one of the people whose life was forever altered by knowing this truly remarkable man. My desire is that I will be able to apply this lesson I've learned to other events in my life, and learn to live my life in an attitude of gratitude.

I hope that I haven't bored you with my rambling, and that you too will find many things to be grateful for this holiday season. Blessings on you all!

Fran Piccininni
aka "Nick's Mom"

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Christmas Shows!

As I mentioned in the previous post, we've been working on expanding our Christmas season shows. In the past we have had one or two performances during the holidays. While the band enjoys these tremendously, it's a lot of work putting togther all these new arrangements of Christmas music. So this year we decided to increase the number of shows they'd play in order to spread the cheer a little farther, and make the best of their hard work and talent.

I'm pleased to announce, we met our goal of 4 scheduled concerts this year! You can check the calendar to find out where they will be playing. It's a great concert - they mix some different arrangements of standard Christmas songs, as well as some lesser known pieces I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Hope to see some of you out and about! :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Moving Forward with Wonderful Memories

You might notice this blog wasn't updated for quite a while. 2013-2014 was a tough time for Delaney Brothers Bluegrass. After a nearly year long struggle with cancer, Brother Ray left his earthly trials behind. Sometimes I imagine him sitting on the porch of his mansion, picking away with Mr. Bill Monroe...

Ray's greatest desire was for the band to remain strong and carry on the legacy he and John began way back in 1981 when Delaney Brothers Bluegrass was formed. Ray was the consummate professional, and always took his role in the bluegrass community seriously. Ever the gentleman, he always had a kind word for those he met, and always sought to encourage others, even through his illness. He will be missed not just because of his beautiful voice or talent on the guitar, but because he touched the lives of everyone he met. He left us all an example that still leaves me in awe.

So... moving forward. The last year and a half the band has had a very light schedule, but the band is once more on the move booking concerts and eager to spread a little of that bluegrass sunshine Ray left behind. We'll be kicking off the new season this December - wait, what? The bluegrass season doesn't start until Spring, right?

Wrong! The guys are really excited to be performing a few Christmas shows this December! It all started a few years ago when they were asked to play a Christmas show at the Borodino Grange Hall in Spafford, NY. It was a great success, and became an annual tradition. Each year the band has added more Christmas songs to their repertoire, and this year they are taking the show on the road, so to speak. Currently there are three shows scheduled (the first is actually November 30th at Homer Center for the Arts), and another one in the works. We tried to spread them out geographically so more people can hear the joyful sounds of the season bluegrass-style!

The band is always looking for new places to share their love of music, and meet new friends that share that same love. If you know of any venues that would be interested in the band, let us know. Or pass along our website to the promoters - All our contact information and lots of good stuff is on there. The band plays for all kinds of events, from festivals to churches, and even private parties and weddings! Any excuse to pick and sing, don'tcha know... :)

Hope you all enjoy the beauty of fall, and we hope to see you all soon!