Ceili Bob Performs for Papal Gathering of 100k, Views Shroud of Turin and Meets Pope Francis!

June 30th, 2015

For Immediate Release:

Headline: Ceili Rain singer’s “fervent prayer” answered with performance at Papal event and handshake with Pope Francis

Syracuse, NY, June 30, 2015

Bob Halligan Jr., the founder and lead singer for the International Catholic Celtic rock group, Ceili Rain, was invited to Turin Italy to perform his original music for a Papal gathering of over 100,000 attendees. Pope Francis was in Turin to view and venerate the Shroud of Turin, celebrate a Papal Mass and to meet with and address the gathered faithful. Mr. Halligan was the only American music artist invited to perform for the events surrounding the Pope’s visit.

Halligan, an award winning music veteran and Syracuse, New York resident considers himself to be “a radically serious Catholic and a huge fan of this Pope” and thus views this whole experience as “one of the greatest blessings of my life.”

As with all large Papal gatherings, there are many activities and events scheduled in advance of and during the Pope’s arrival. The singer received an invitation from the organizers to perform a Ceili Rain song for 10,000 people gathered in Turin’s Area Vitali for Eucharistic Adoration June 20, and for some 100,000 gathered in Piazza Vittorio the following day for the Pope’s arrival. The experience of performing at such notable events was enough on its own, but the blessings progressed to a whole new level when the singer was invited to a personal viewing of the Shroud of Turin, and following his performance for the Pope’s arrival was directed to Pope Francis’ receiving line and was able to greet and shake the Holy Father’s hand. “I told him that USA loves him so much. He said he was coming to the US, and then he said ‘Remember me, please’ which I took to mean ‘Pray for me.’ ”

Ceili Rain has been a professional touring and recording group since 1995 and is currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The band has released eight all-original recordings, and has been recognized with fourteen Unity Awards by the United Catholic Music and Video Association.

The name Ceili Rain means “a downpour of heavenly partiness.” The word Ceili is Gaelic for an all-ages, wedding reception-type party, and the Latin “Coeli” means “of heaven.”

Ceili Rain has been providing its own brand of all-original, energetic, uplifting and joyful Irish flavored music to Catholic dioceses, parishes, adult events, youth gatherings, celebrations, liturgies, adorations and fundraisers both nationally and internationally as well as secular venues and music festivals. “We have been blessed to have our “universal” brand of music and messages embraced by people of all faiths and even no faith,” says Halligan. “There is no doubt that our music speaks volumes to our Catholic Church following, but it is completely inclusive of anyone who has a yearning for God, love, joy, togetherness and/or peace.”

Ceili Rain is available for events of all types in and out of the US. CD’s and related merchandise can be purchased from their website. All songs and albums are also available on iTunes and all digital outlets worldwide.

For more information, press kits, bookings and interview opportunities contact Ceili Rain through their website, facebook or twitter account.


Cut and paste the following link into your browser to see video of the exact moment of Bob Halligan Jr. meeting Pope Francis.

Bob Halligan Jr. clearly overwhelmed as he exchanges handshake and words with Pope Francis

We’re Back!!!!

June 30th, 2015

Gosh it has been forever, 3 years, yikes, since we last posted a blog here at the CR site. But, never too late to stat again…right. Watch for updates about all the cool things going on with the band. AND…if you are a social media fan…REMEMBER you can LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW US on Twitter.

March 15th, 2012

It is always exciting when a band gets mentioned in a magazine, or on a website, or even on TV. But, we happen to think that these days a mention in someone’s blog means more than words can really say. We love reading fan blogs because we know the words and thoughts really came from the heart of the writer. There’s no paycheck attached. It’s just words on an electronic screen. Some blogs can be as expressive as a well written song; others are just “ramblings” or “musings”. And some just sit in cyberspace waiting to be discovered. But nonetheless, reading the words written by a fan can sometimes really tug on our heartstrings and give us more encouragement than you’ll ever know.

This is the case recently when we came across a blog written by “Hadar”. We know Hadar because he and his wife have supported two (yep…two) of our CD recordings with their generous financial offerings. We don’t see them very often…actually it’s more like…never. But just recently, they caught a show we did in Rhinebeck, NY and not long therafter…blogged about it.

So…we want to share “Hadar’s” blog inside our blog and say thanks Hadar for all the love. We are forever grateful that you’ve helped us make “Lemonade” and

Read Hadar’s blog about CEILI RAIN here.

We have our own channel!

March 13th, 2012

Technology changes so quickly these days sometimes it is hard to keep up with it. Some is good. Some is great and some of it makes us want to crawl under a big ol rock. Over the lat 15+ years however, video has taken on a whole new meaning. A visual expression does a world of good in trying to portray a message in a song, display your stengths as a musician, capture the reaction of an audience, and even can show us how others are inspired by the music we create (see an earlier blog featuring a Ceili Rain tune in sign language!).

Over the years many folks have added many things “Ceili Rain” to the popular site called YOUTUBE. At first we might have grumbled a bit about “using unauthorized content” but alas we have realized that everyone just really wants to be part of the party! And that is OK! So to make it official, we too have set up a new Youtube Ceili Rain Channel. We’ve uploaded all sorts of “lost footage” from over the years, video slideshows that help you see when you are listening, concert performances, and more. Yep…you’ll see lots of different players, and even more so…lots of different hairstyles! You can choose to SUBSCRIBE so that you are the first to know when something is posted, connect with us on Twitter (@ceilirainband) to alert you of a new post, or just check in from time to time.
We promise, it will always be a “downpour of heavenly partiness”. So check it out today!

Ceili Rain YOUTUBE Channel

Meet our new friends!

January 12th, 2012

When you’ve been around as long as we have, folks have a tendency to forget about ya, and some even cast you aside. So, we gotta admit it’s kinda exciting when someone contacts you and says “Hey…we’d love to introduce you to our circle of pals!”. Yep…some folks are still showing the love.

In this new year we are excited to introduce you to our new partnership with The Celtic Crier. They have one mission…to keep the celtic spirit alive! How can you not embrace that? Through their website these folks do a super job of pulling together a variety of things, including musicians relative to their mission. On their site you’ll find musicians, videos, reviews, events, festivals, fundraisers, a marketplace, and even recipes! We are so grateful they created a page just for us too!

So go on now…check them out and show them some love. It keeps us all going!


A Merry Wish for You!

December 21st, 2011

And so it is…the end of another year. With Christmas just days away, we couldn’t think of a better time to say “THANKEE” for all the love you continue to show us. We know, for many, it has been a challenging time in the world we live in. We appreciate (even through your trials and struggles) that you still find the time to host us for an event, come out and celebrate the music with us, introduce someone to our music that might have never heard about it, prayed for us as we travel on the road, sign up to “LIKE” us on Facebook, listen to our music on places like Pandora and Spotify, watch our videos on YouTube, and so much more. Every year seems to bring something new and we do our best to keep up with it all, but none of it is possible without YOU! Happy Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza and Happy New Year. We’ll catch up with you in 2012!

Ceili Rain rocks NCYC…again!!

November 21st, 2011

It’s hard to believe that CEILI RAIN has performed at every NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) since 1999 (in St. Louis)…and now we add 2011 to the list as well! This time the biannual event was held in Indianapolis, IN Nov 17-19 with a “Called To Glory” theme. This year CEILI RAIN performed at a Mega Session with over 7,500 in attendance (thanks to the folks who hung our posters above the urinals). Afterwards we assisted speaker Steve Angrisano with the musical portion of his presentation. Was blissful! The exhibits were active and folks got a chance to pick up a limited edition MANUKA HONEY/NCYC Indianapolis pin, and/or a really cool glow-in-the-dark CEILI RAIN pin. We appreciate the efforts of our pal, Paula S. who helped with the booth, and Dan M. who assisted on whistles. We are grateful to all who stopped by to say “hello” and look forward to seeing you again in 2013…once again being hosted by Indianapolis!

MANUKA Honey gets a SAMMY nom!

October 27th, 2011

Nominations for the 2011 SAMMY Awards (SYRACUSE AREA MUSIC AWARDS) were announced this week and we are super excited to report that our current project-MANUKA HONEY was nominated for Best Album Recording (Other Styles). Yeah we all know its hard to “categorize” the music of Ceili Rain so we are not surprised to be placed in this category. Nonetheless, we are super thrilled that the committee recognized strong writing, outstanding musicianship, and the professional talent in recording, mixing and mastering. Of course this CD never would have come to fruition without the spiritual and financial support of our backers! We share this nomination with YOU!

The SAMMY Awards will be presented in Syracuse on 11-11-11.


New LIVE video for 666 Degrees!

September 23rd, 2011

For fans who have seen us LIVE in concert…you know how animated our song, “666 Degrees” can be. Whether we play it as a full 6 (or even 7) piece band, or just as a 4 piece…you know everyone will be jumping, singing, clapping and joining in the fun. Check out this fun video that our friends at SpiritJuice Studios took at Catholic Underground Chicago. Go ahead…sing-a-long!

…and if you haven’t seen us LIVE yet…don’t cha think it’s time?

Photos help spread the love!

August 3rd, 2011

We love it when fans email us photos they take at a gig. Believe it or not, sometimes these photos lead to other gig opportunities because someone says “I saw the photo of you at such and such…” It’s no secret we live in a modern media world where we have instant access to photos, video, thoughts, comments on issues through sources such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc. We do our best to keep up with it all but it all gets that much easier when YOU, our fans, help spread the word along through your active social networks. We’ll keep bringing the musical merriment, if you’ll keep spreading the word. Pretty sure we mentioned this before…but “Love Isn’t Through With Me Yet”.

If you’ve got some great photos or video of Ceili Rain to share with us, send them to crgigs@aol.com

*Photos above are from the Arch Jubilee Concert Series in North Conway, NH. Played this event at the Cramore Mountain Ski Resort in July 2011. Proving, once again…we’ll pretty much go anywhere!

Ceili Rain partners with LIFETIME ADOPTION!

July 29th, 2011

BHjr just knew that the song A-D-O-P-TION from the new MANUKA HONEY CD project would make a significant impact on Adoption Awareness. The song is being embraced by Adoption advocates, Pro-Life advocates, Adoption Ministries, Organizations and more. But one partnership gaining significant momentum is with LIFETIME ADOPTION.

Lifetime Adoption was founded in 1986 as an Adoption Support and Referral Group. The mission was and still is to help families and birthmothers come together. This organization has grown tremendously over the last 25 years and we are thrilled to be part in partnership with them. Lifetime Adoption was founded by Adoption expert MARDIE CALDWELL

Mardie has made appearances on CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC/The Today Show, Larry King Live, The 700 Club and much more. This is what Mardie Caldwell says about the CEILI RAIN song A-D-O-P-TION:

“Breathtaking song with a deeper meaning, “How fragile life is”! We all depend on the choices made by the women that conceive us. I believe this beautiful song, A-D-OP-TION by Songwriter, Bob Halligan Jr., will touch the hearts of many for years to come, including the unborn. Well done, Bob. Beautiful performance Ceili Rain. Bravo!”
~Mardie Caldwell COAP
Adoption Expert, Author

Mardie recently published a book called “CALLED TO ADOPTION: A Christian’s Guide To Answering the Call.” You can download a preview of the book here and we are so grateful she added a clip of the song as well!

We are currently coordinating some events for November (Adoption Awareness Month) featuring Mardie Caldwell as the guest speaker, and musical enrichment provided by Ceili Rain. Watch our calendar for details of an event near you. If you would like to HOST an event with us contact us at crgigs@aol.com

Sweetest I’ve Seen Video

June 27th, 2011

We told you it was coming. And so it is here…Many thankees to the folks at SpiritJuice Studios (especially our pal Rob Kaczmark) for putting together this fresh new video for SWEETEST I’VE SEEN from the brand new CD-Manuka Honey. Yeah, we were bummed a couple of the fellas couldn’t be with us that night, but the video still gives you a pretty cool sense of the song and how it would be played if we came to YOUR venue! (Hint, Hint) The black & white thing was kinda cool this time around as well. Wish ya coulda seen/heard this great audience we had too at Univ of Illinois-Chicago. They loved it and we hope you do too!

Go “Behind The Scenes”

May 17th, 2011

Behind The Scenes:Sweetest I\'ve Seen

It was an exciting night back in March (2011) when we were invited to perform at University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) at Catholic Underground. Following a beautiful ADORATION time everyone flowed over to the Student Center to join us in our downpour of heavenly partiness. Although we only had a team of four on the floor for this show, it didn’t seem to bother a lively/jovial audience (one of their biggest ever according to some sources). Our good mate-Rob Kaczmark from SpiritJuice Studios pitched the idea for us to make a LIVE video featuring one of the new tunes from Manuka Honey. We thought YEAH…and so it was…The video will be ready in June, but thought we would share a little “Behind The Scenes” for ya-which tells the story of how the song came to be. Just click on the link above!

Ceili Rain fights for ADOPTION Awareness!

April 26th, 2011

Exciting things are going on with the release of MANUKA HONEY. One song in particular is starting to get some attention from licensing, radio and other partnerships. A beautiful ballad called A-D-OP-TION based in part on the autobiographical experience of songwriter, Bob Halligan Jr, along with the issue as it relates today, is getting recognition from the Adoption Network, several Pro-Life organizations, and some key radio personalities. The song was recently set to a slide show video to help convey the message in the lyrics, Choose Life, Choose Love.

If you know an organization who might be interested in partnering with us in regards to ADOPTION, contact us today. You can also purchase the song at iTunes!

Ceili Rain releases MANUKA HONEY

March 9th, 2011

You might have just noticed the new CD pictured on our website titled MANUKA HONEY. Yep…it’s official…the release of our 7th studio project! Funded once again through the sponsorship of friends and fans, (how could we have done it without you?), we think this one is gonna knock your socks off! Produced by BHjr and Roman Klun (who has worked with Sarah McLachlin, Joan Osbourne, Gino Vannelli, Lighthouse and others), we think MANUKA HONEY has just the right stuff to flavor your day.

From BHJr: They say Manuka Honey is a healing agent. I figure…music is too. I hope you hear that this project is filled with songs about radical and healing love. There are more love songs, and songs to make you love. There are more hot button issues, and buttons that shouldn’t be issues at all. It is relationships in our lives that inspire us, make us wonder, make us smile, make us cry, make us humble, make us grow. But no doubt, one thing I’ve come to realize…Love Isn’t Through With Me Yet.

Song Titles: Sweetest I’ve Seen, Never Once Thought Twice, Married and Buried, The Cup, Can’t Love Without It, This Is The Moment, Make A Road, Babysitter, You’re Better Than This, A-D-O-P-TION, Never Crossed My Heart, How The Light Gets In, Love Isn’t Thru With Me Yet, Make A Road (Instrumental)

Now back out of this blog and go order yer copy today! Share the love!

Somethin’ about Columbus, IN

February 22nd, 2011

Every working musician knows that booking shows (or gigs as they say in the music biz) is one of the most challenging aspects of the job. Sure…one big ol hit on the radio can open a whole new opportunity for ya. Sure…winning an on-air reality TV show can put you on stages you never imagined. Sure…you can be “related” to someone who blazed a trail before ya. But in our case, the passion for the music, the commitment to the faith, and the shear joy of bringin it keeps us plugging on. Every now and then, however you find a true “gem”…no I think we should call it a “diamond” because it is more brilliant than any others. This we say is true of our friends at St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Columbus, IN.

Acording to their website…The Catholic faith has been present in Bartholomew County since the 1820. Mrs. Basil Mahoney Owens was the first Catholic pioneer. Mass and prayer services were celebrated in pioneer homes until 1841, when the first Catholic church was constructed. Today, the Catholic faith continues to be a vibrant part of Bartholomew County .

This year Ceili Rain performed their 12th…yep…12th concert at St Bart’s. Every year we do our best to put on a terrific performance. We play the requests, we sign the shirts, we dance the dance. But, our love for these folks is so much deeper now. We’ve developed real friendships. We’ve seen the babies born and the babies graduate. We’ve mourned the passing of faithful attendees. They have been with us as we’ve introduced half our CD catalog. They have welcomed with open arms Ceili Rain band members who have come into the fold. They believe in our mission and we do everything we can to help support their mission. But the thing we love best about these folks is they have no fear of the unknown. They trust every decision they make to the Father and time and time again HE is the one who really delivers. Things would be so much easier if more folks would follow the footsteps of St Bart’s. So today we say Thanks…just thanks…from the bottom of our hearts!

To learn more about this great Parish community visit www.saintbartholomew.org

PS:And thanks to our pal Cheri Herron for the pix www.fotosbycheri.net

It’s not just another January!

January 31st, 2011

Remember Your Dreams, Pay Your Child Support

If you follow The Weather Channel you’ve probably seen that Syracuse (often referred to as the ‘Cuse-home to Ceili Rain headquarters) has had over 100 inches of snow so far this winter season. Now that much snow sure makes it hard to get on the road and do what we love to do…bring musical merriment to your community. Of course we are sitting patiently for our friends in places like FL, AZ, Southern CA and oh…did we mention HAWAII…to call us, but while waiting, we find ourselves with a lot of time on our hands. Nonetheless, the Ceili boyz often pass that time with other projects. Bob (of course) is working with “Roman” on mixing MANUKA HONEY for the upcoming release. Bill is working behind the scenes on assorted admin stuff. Raymond keeps up his tech skills by working a variety of jobs down in Nashville. Joe and Burt are busy teaching new students their signature licks on the pipes, whistles, fiddle and more. And then there’s Kevin…

Kevin, of course, is the young lad in the group. He plays a mighty fine bass and has lots of creative energy. Just recently Kevin released a solo DIGITAL EP titled “Remember Your Dreams, Pay Your Child Support”. (Yeah we’re still trying to figure that title out too, but there’s some REALLY good stuff on this project.) The EP includes 6 tunes showcasing Kevin’s energy, musical versatility, and direct, honest songwriting. Feedback has been really encouraging for Kevin too. Our good friend Rick Cua remarked that Kevin’s music “speaks to the human condition of youth.” NICE! You can get Kevin’s new Digital EP through his website or on iTunes. Check out the links below and order it today!

Kevins Website

Kevin’s EP on ITunes

Ceili Rain sings for the Hearing Impaired!

December 14th, 2010

You know, over the course of many years we’ve seen Ceili Rain fans do some pretty cool stuff with our music. Some have covered our songs, some have created slideshow videos with our songs, some have filmed their kids singing and dancing to our songs…but this Christmas season we got a really cool gift from a Ceili fan named Sydnee Re Kuster. Sydnee created a SIGN LANGUAGE interpretation of the song ME THEN YOU THEN YOU THEN ME. What a fantastic gift for us to share with the hearing impaired! Brings us another step closer to sharing “the joy” and this “downpour of heavenly partiness” with everyone! Thankee Syd! Merry Christmas to ya!

Check it out below or see it full screen here: http://youtu.be/zQ3hRvzpVYM

Meet our gal ZORA!

November 11th, 2010

We love, love, love that we have friends and fans not only here in the good ol U.S.A., but that folks enjoy our music and message in other parts of the world as well. This month, we want to introduce you to fan “extraordinaire”, ZORA! Zora comes to us from Slovakia! This bubbly gal is gifted with many talents and has been so kind to offer her support, prayer, skills and even fund raising resources to help us carry on in our vision.

In 2009, when we were putting together the packaging for “LEMONADE“, Zora came forward and offered her services in graphic design. How would we do this when we were many miles apart? Was it an issue that we never even MET her? We did what we always do and put our trust in good ol God! Through the power of the internet, Zora worked with our marketing team and exchanged ideas and designs. Together we think they came up with a pretty cool packaging concept (that has gotten some great feedback as well).

In August, I MADE LEMONADE was recognized with a UNITY AWARD presented by the UCMVA for Outstanding Packaging Design. Bob, Bill and Joe went up to accept the award on Zora’s behalf and not long thereafter, we shipped the trophy to Slovakia for Zora to share with her friends and family. To you Zora…we say THANKS…just thanks…for a job well done.

Ceili Rain meets TWITTER

October 5th, 2010

So…after all this time we finally met “The Twitter”. No doubt we are much better at creating joyful music than we are at understanding the newest technology. But, when you have band members (ahem..Kevin) who tell us again and again this is the place to be (seen and heard) we gotta go for it. So we watched it for a bit. Then we followed it for a bit. Now we’ve jumped in. For a bit? Well we’ll see how it goes. We were not able to secure our name. Someone else has it, but then again we’re not completely surprised…we actually know lots of fans who have our name as their real name. Mums & Dads named em when they were wee folks and now they themselves are Twitter folks. But its all good. We picked another variation and now you can “follow” us (that’s the buzz word) @ceilirainband. In time we’lll figure the whole thing out, but seems like great timing with MANUKA HONEY coming just round the corner.

Speaking of MANUKA HONEY, we’re still shy on the funds we need to “wrap it up”. Anything and everything helps. Be part of our community. Share the news with your fellow “tweeters”. Love one another. (ooh…that sounds like a good “tweet”. So jump in with us at www.twitter.com/ceilirainband. We’d love to share a place on the nest with ya!