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Celtfather Music & Travel


Welcome to The Celtfather Podcast... I'll take good care of ye!

Explore the world of Celtic Geeks, the people who love all things Celtic and science fiction. That's a thing?! You betcha. Don your kilt and experience inspiration, exciting travels to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Italy, Brittany and more. Enjoy stories and lessons about Irish music and drinking songs in a way you never before imagined, with Star Wars, Star Trek, hobbits, Firefly, and even cats. Join me a couple times a month as we celebrate the Celtic Geek Revolution!

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Nov 4, 2018

"Slainte mhaith". That means "here's to your good health".

"Slainte" means "cheers" or "here's to your health".

"Mhaith" is good.

Greetings my name is Marc Gunn. I play Celtic Geek music. I'm originally from Texas, though now residing in Birmingham, Alabama. Despite that introduction, I don't speak Gaelic. But I love Celtic culture and music. And yes, I am a geek. My entire life revolves around music, science fiction and fantasy, traveling, and Celtic culture.

Welcome to Celtfather Music & Travel!

This is a podcast where I bring my passions together. I rarely follow the status quo. In fact, you could say I strive to be different. You can hear in in that I play an autoharp. And I celebrate the differences of all people. I fight for the underdogs. In fact, when I was a kid my dad would watch football. I would root for the team that was losing, even if that changed in the middle of the game. I just switched team. I try to help out the little guy. Hmm I wonder if that's part of the reason I love Firefly.

And that's what the next few episodes are all about.

We're gonna start with music: how I fell in love with it and how it completes me. Then we're gonna talk about some of the biggest influences in my life. As a hint, it started on the big screen. Then I'll share with you how I fell in love my Celtic culture. And finally, I'm gonna take you on a trip, both literally and figuratively, as we explore how I fell in love with traveling.

Before we dig deeper, I want to share with you a quick glimpse of what I have to offer you.

I learned at the beginning of my music career that if I want to make it in the music business, I had to be more than just a musician. I knew that no record label was gonna sign me as a Celtic artist, let alone a Celtic Geek musician.

If I want to be successful, then I need to know how to promote my music, and I need people like you to not just listen, but be an active part of our community.

More than likely, you've never thought of yourself as a Celtic Geek. Perhaps you love Celtic music. Perhaps you are a Geek. But the two together don't make much sense on the outside.

And yet, when I when I went to my first science fiction convention, I-Con in Stony Brook, New York, I was dumbfounded by the number of kilts and Celts at the convention. I realized there were a lot of Celtic Geeks out there. I was not alone. But no one had yet put two and two together.

So I created an album that I call Celtic Geek. It features 21 songs from my first 20 albums. You'll hear some traditional Irish and Scottish songs. You'll laugh along to some parodies of those same songs. You'll breathe peacefully with some instrumental tunes on the autoharp. You'll smile to original songs inspired by science fiction and fantasy. It's a fun album. It's 100% free to you when you subscribe to my mailing list.

Some musicians cling their music to their chests. The only way you can hear it is if you buy a CD.

That is not me.

I learned long ago that if I want to be successful with music, then I have to let go. I have to let you be a part of the music. Not just listen to it. But to be involved in it.

So I share my music freely. I offer free licenses for podcasters to play music on their shows. I encourage you to share my songs and CDs with your friends. I want you to send me your song lyrics. I've recorded a number of songs by fans. I want you to record your own version of my songs or to sing them around the campfire or the water cooler.

No, I'm not gonna sue you if you copy an album and give it to someone. I want you to.

It turns out, I was right to have this philosophy. Because now with streaming services, anyone can listen to my music for virtually free. You'll find me on Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Google Play, Pandora, pretty much everywhere online. And I want you to listen.

Yes. Please follow me on Spotify or whatever streaming service you're on. Those services are doing me a great favor. They are getting my music heard. Anonymity is my greatest challenge. But streaming music helps me overcome that. You can listen for free.

Sure, I won't begrudge you if you decide to go to CelticMusic.org to buy digital downloads or a CD. I would love it. But I don't expect it.

My hope is that you love my music so much that it inspires you... to listen, to share it, to try and watch a live show, to sing or play along, and well, to be a better, happier person. I want you to have a little bit more fun in your life.

I try to make it easy for you too. Right now, I have weekly live streaming concerts online. In fact, I have two shows at present. On Monday, you can hear me sing a couple songs and catch up on my latest news on my YouTube channel. On Wednesday, I have a series I call Coffee with The Celtfather. It's a longer show featuring some of your requested songs.

If that's not enough, once a month, I also host an evening live streaming concert on YouTube. Sometimes it is publicly available. Other times, it is an exclusive benefit for my Heroes in the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon.

These are great ways to get to know me and my music in a more personal setting. But there are other ways, including podcasting.

You see, I was one of the first podcasters in the world. I started Irish & Celtic Music Podcast in the summer of 2005. It originally came out about every 3-4 weeks, at least until I found Patreon in 2014. That changed everything, including the podcast. It became a weekly show featuring the best independent Celtic music online. It's won three podcasting awards and has become a hallmark of my music career.

I've publish a lot of different podcasts over the years. Go to MageNetwork.com. You'll find many of those that are still around. But my latest podcast is this one, Celtfather Music & Travel. I try to offer a bigger look at my music and travels through it.

I also have two different podcasts exclusively available through the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon, which give a behind-the-scenes look at my music as well as stories from the road.

Of course, I have a blog. You'll find me regularly posting on Facebook, and occasionally posting on InstaStories on Instagram. I'm attempting to write non-fiction books designed to help my fellow musicians and others.

If all that wasn't enough to keep me busy, I am also the father of two beautiful girls and husband to a wonderful wife. You'll see them included in several of the videos I share.

Maybe it's my Dungeons & Dragons upbringing, but I feel like an adventurer at heart. You'll see that in my travel videos on YouTube. I wanted a fun way to share my songs. So I started adding video on top of them from my Celtic Invasion Vacations.

Every year, I take a small group of people to Europe, and other places. But primarily we go to the Celtic nations: Ireland and Scotland. We've also been to Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, and Italy.

I don't know if you've ever done a European tour, but this is nothing like those. This a more personal and more flexible trip. Instead of doing 20 cities in 10 days, we stay in one place for seven days. We get to know the region and the people. It's a relaxing adventure that's more about the community than the place. That's why it's called Celtic Invasion... Vacations. You should feel rested at the end of your trip.

There's one more thing that I want to share about my music. That's my instrument. I play the autoharp. Most people have a vague idea of what the autoharp is. You probably remember it from second grade music class, if at all. But I am one of the handful of people who play the instrument, as my primary instrument, professionally.

Yes. It's very simple to start playing. Just press a button and strum. But you can do so much more with it with a little work. Just listen to my music. I think you'll hear that.

In fact, I think now is a good time to let you go and listen to my music. If you're not yet following me on Spotify or subscribed to my newsletter, go ahead and do that right now.

But I will also include a link to listen to my Celtic Geek album for free. Stream it from wherever you are right now.  Then let me know what you think. I love your thoughts and feedback.

Now that I've introduced myself to you. I'd like to hear from you. Who are you? Where do you live? What do you do? Do you play music or sing? If so, what instrument? How did you find my music? What other music to listen to?

Tell me about yourself and email me at marc@marcgunn.com

Thank you so much for joining me on this Celtic Geek journey. I hope my music brings you lots of fun and happiness. Slainte!

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If you enjoyed this podcast and want to hear more, subscribe at celtfather.com.