Here's hoping all of you had a great Christmas and that the new year is starting off great guns for you and will continue to be such. A little update on the Andy M. Stewart situation. Harry O'Donoghue, Dennis O'Rourke, Carroll Brown maybe even Johnny Kennedy and who knows who else and me will be putting on a benefit show for Andy on 23 January at Kevin Barry's. I guess it will kick off at 8 or 8:30. There'll probably be some sort of charge and we'll be passing the hat in some sort of way. You can see that we have this all sussed out in fine Irish fashion. I think Harry www.columbineblue.com/harry.htm or Carroll www.carrollbrownmusic.com might have some more of the skinny on the doings. Just below is the latest information on Andy from Danny Doyle He was operated on Dec 19th and got out of hospital on Christmas Day after the surgery on his back. There was a slight mishap during the operation, one of his lungs being inadvertently punctured requiring the longer hospital stay. Needless to say he was most apprehensive that he would be able to walk without pain. He says he is fine and is perambulating around the house with no bother at all. He was his usual laughing self during the phone conversation. He will be recuperating for at least three months, maybe longer, so it will be some time before he is out and about earning a living. Along with the loss of his US tour in Oct-Nov this will mean he will have been out of work for a least six months. If you aren't real familiar with Andy and his work, you can find out just who this is that we're all carrying on about at www.andymstewart.com Below are some of his press clippings. Barton Evening News "Stewart has the knack of writing direct, effective and memorable songs as well as singing them with taste and style." July, 1990, Vancouver Photo: G.M. Rosson, San Jose, CA The Scotsman Magazine "â€¦his (Andy M. Stewart's) songs and his singing have deep Celtic roots and touch sensitive emotional chords." Hot Press Dublin (about the album, Dublin Lady) "â€¦standouts include "Freedom is like Gold", a fierce attack, both musical and lyrical, on the power that money can buy, and "Take Her in Your Arms," a very funny love song based on an old Bothy Band reel. The finest moment, though, comes on "Heart of the Home," which is both beautifully simple and simply beautiful." The Living Tradition, Hector Christie (About Man in the Moon album) "Seriously this is an absolute stonker of an album that kicks off well with "The Echo Mocks the Corncrake" and progressively gets better and better as it winds its way through the tracksâ€¦. Outstanding plus." The Columbus Dispatch "As a member of Silly Wizard, he (Andy) wrote stunning originals such as "The Queen of Argyll", "The Valley of Strathmore", and "The Ramblin' Rover." His is as much at ease with a heart-rending ballad such as "My Heart Belongs to She" or "If I Never Spend a Morning Without You" as he is with lighter fare such as "Take Her in Your Arms." The Scotsman, Alastair Clark (About Man in the Moon) Andy's songs, "gentle, poignant, poetic, as if much time had been spent on mountain-tops eyeing the deserted glens beneath himâ€¦. But no one listening to "MacGregor's Gathering," based on lines by Scott, could doubt there's fire in the belly, too." The Boston Globe "Andy M. Stewart is among the finest interpreters of Scottish Folk songs and a wonderful songwriter." Just so you know a little more, Andy's songs have been recorded by a wide range of performers. They are singable, playable and entertaining. In addition, Andy on his own has done much to dispel Scottish sterotype. He is extremely generous with his praise, his music, and his considerable talents. So I hope that you can consider making it by Kevin Barry's on Monday 23 January. If you'd care to drop a note or donation to Andy himself: Drop a lline to my address and I'll see that he gets it.