Since the group’s formation, Celtic Thunder has released four albums: Celtic Thunder, Act Two, Take Me Home, and It’s Entertainment!, as well as three live performances on DVD, entitled Celtic Thunder: The Show, Take Me Home, and It’s Entertainment! In December 2009 Billboard magazine named Celtic Thunder the Top World Album Artist. Their first three albums also placed in the Top 10 for World Albums.
Celtic Thunder is known for its eclectic style with songs ranging from a soloist to an ensemble focus. The group is backed by the Celtic Thunder Band on their concert tours, and their live shows are known for the use of dramatic effects via lighting and choreography as well as a stage set resembling an ancient stone pathway suggestive of those referenced in Celtic lore.
The members of Celtic Thunder are (in alphabetical order of family name):
Neil Byrne: Music has always been a major part of Neil’s life. Born into a musical family, Neil’s father has worked as a professional musician his entire life and his mother is a huge fan of all music. By the age of 5, Neil was gripped by rhythm, which instinctively lead him to drum on anything in front of him. He began learning the guitar when he was 7, hugely helped and encouraged by his father. Later in life a mutual friend approached Neil and asked him to play at a function for one of Ireland’s most renowned songwriters and producers, Phil Coulter. When Sharon Browne and Phil began working on production for Celtic Thunder he was invited to record backing vocals for the debut DVD, and subsequently play lead guitar player for the live show. Neil would have to say the most memorable and prestigious performance of his career to date was in Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Since then he has toured America and Canada extensively with Celtic Thunder and most recently has joined the cast as the 6th leading vocalist with Celtic Thunder.
Paul Michael Byrom (born April 11, 1979) is from Dublin, Ireland. In addition to Celtic Thunder, he has also performed at major sporting events in Ireland and abroad, including singing at the All Ireland Finals in Dublin’s Croke Park and at Heinz Field for a Pittsburgh Steelers game in the USA. He has also performed for Ireland’s President, Mary McAleese, and for Emperor Akihito of Japan. Paul has released two albums: Velvet and I’ll Be Home For Christmas.
George Donaldson (born February 1, 1968) is the oldest member of the group and is a well-known balladeer, guitarist and flutist from Glasgow, Scotland. At Scotland’s Celtic Park, Donaldson played to 65,000 fans at the opening match of the 2000-2001 season.
Keith R. Harkin, (born June 10, 1986), like Damian, is from Derry, Northern Ireland. He plays the guitar and has written one of the songs for Celtic Thunder: “Lauren and I”. In 2008, a new solo album by Keith was rumoured to be in the working stages but has not yet been released as of mid 2009. Keith enjoys surfing and has written a song called Chasing Dreams that articulates his love for it. Keith has now recorded more original songs apart from Celtic Thunder, some titles include: Vanity, Don’t Lose the Feeling, and What I Like.
Ryan John Kelly (born November 6, 1978) is from The Moy, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. He holds two degrees from the Queen’s University Belfast, having earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and also a Graduate Diploma in Advanced Accounting, qualifying Ryan to be a chartered accountant.
Damian Joseph McGinty, Jr. (born September 9, 1992) is the youngest member of the group and is from Derry, Northern Ireland. He recorded the first Celtic Thunder album when he was only fourteen years old. It is rumoured that Mc Ginty will begin work on a solo album in the next 6 months.
Beginning in March 2008, the group has been featured throughout the US on the PBS television network more than 1200 times, and during May and June 2008, members of the group were interviewed on dozens of local PBS stations during performances of their show
Celtic Thunder is also the name of a traditional Irish band formed in 1977. The band recorded three albums―1981’s Celtic Thunder; The Light of Other Days (1988), and Hard New York Days in 1996.