Comedy Music at GenCon, Atlanta Celtic Music

This week on the Celtfather, in preparation for GenCon, we’re looking at several Comedy Musicians in our Music Spotlight – check them out below!

Jonnie MacCracken’s Concerts continue to be fun, but we’re looking to grow our audience to keep me coming back – there have been several fans that have stepped up and are working to make a bigger audience a regular occurrence, so help them out by contacting Kat!

Comedy Music Spotlight


Sarah Donner is an indie folkpop songstress who has embraced her inner catlady. She works the stage with a powerful vocals, punchy guitar, and a candid stage presence. That Is A Pegasus (2014) is her fifth studio album released on her label CatLady Records. The new songs teeter back and forth between playful, rock, nerd core, and ballads, all tied together with bright melodies and driving, energetic instrumentals. Her music has been featured on Conan O’Brien’s blog, NPR, Showtime, and CBS News. She is a graduate of Westminster Choir College. After stretching her legs with musical theatre, she picked up a guitar, abandoned her classical roots, and started rocking out (with fantastic breath support). Sarah Donner’s cold New England heart was transplanted to New Jersey where she fosters kittens when not on tour. Fun Fact: She is certified to drive a fork lift.


The Damsels of Dorkington are here to usher in a new era of Dork Pride. They are three nerdalicious ladies and one dude in a dress who have come to bring you Nerdcore Improv: a blend of raucous comedy, music and geekery guaranteed to make you laugh, cry or vomit. Perhaps all three.An interesting personal fact is hard for us. I would say the most interesting thing I can come up with about ALL of us is that we’re a group of four members who all live in four different states.


Bill Sutton is a multi-decade folk and filk musician who usually performs with his wife, Brenda, as the Irish & Eclectic Music duo Bed & Breakfast. He is a gamer, an award-winning songwriter, a frequent guest and panelist at SF conventions, a very occasional veteran of Dr. Demento airplay, a beer connoisseur, and a dog lover. Cats – meh.

Bill has played music on every continent except Antarctica, where it is rumored the penguins have a restraining order against him.


Dan the Bard composes, records, and performs D&D themed music and other songs about popular nerd culture.  He performs on period instruments and the songs are set to Medieval, Renaissance, Folk, and original music.  He is the music director of the Bristol Renaissance Faire and has just started his 20th season there as Dan the Bard!  He has 8 CD’s, including his “Gamer Trilogy” Manticores and Owlbears, Bard Camp! and Epic Lute.  Dan also takes commissions!  Get your character immortalized in song!  Check out danthebard.com!

The Great Luke Ski” was declared by Doctor Demento to be his radio program’s “Most Requested Artist of the 21st Century” at DragonCon 2004. His song parodies, originals, stand-up and sketches about pop culture phenomena have made him a favorite performer at science-fiction and fandom conventions all across the Midwest and beyond.

His past hits among his fans include songs about Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Spider-Man, Star Trek, Pirates of the Caribbean, Battlestar Galactica, Batman, Firefly, Doctor Who, Disney buying Marvel, Monty Python, with more recent hits about Scooby Doo, 80’s media franchise mascots, and being a ‘fake adult’. He has won two awards at the Logan Whitehurst Memorial Awards For Excellence In Comedy Music (www.loganawards.com). He is the musical jester of sci-fi, the emissary of rap dementia, the pimp of the geek nation, and a prominent bacon enthusiast.

To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

 Mentioned This Week on The Celtfather #36

  • Celtic Music Highlight of the Week has been temporarily replaced with the Comedy Music Highlight! Check out the artists above!
  • Time to Vent on a festival – after several submissions and no acceptance, I’ll hold out on performing with them, but not by submitting to perform.
  • New Renaissance Festival Podcast interview with Bardmageddon
  • It’s the last day of the Celtic Music Challenge for the 10th Anniversary! If we hit 30 voicemails (only missing 3), I’ll put out a 3-hour Irish & Celtic Music Podcast this week.
  • Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub – last week’s show was great, but we don’t know if I’ll be back next year.
  • Atlanta Street Team for Advertising – We’d love to grow the audience at Johnnie MacCracken’s Pub Shows, so if you’d like to help with flyering, ask Kat!
  • How to Celebrate success?
  • GenCon Schedule
    • Firefly Concert – Sold Out
    • Cat Show – 49 Seats Left
    • SciFi Drinking Songs – 60 Seats Left
    • Come out and join in the fun!
  • Come out and join me at Pepper Place Farmer’s Market concert this weekend! 8am – 12pm!

Celtic Music Challenge, Mason Brown Spotlight

This week has emphasized the “Father” aspect of being the Celtfather! Among the many things going on in life, a lot of shows are coming up – pretty much one every weekend between now and DragonCon. GenCon is also ready to go, with the Firefly Concert being sold out, and the Cat Songs Concert only having 60 tickets left – come on out, I’d love to see you at any or all of my shows!

Mason Brown

Celtic Music Spotlight: Mason Brown
New Album: I am a Handsome Devil (2015)

Mason Brown is a singer-songwriter and guitarist operating in the space where historical traditions and creative expression intersect. Like the troubadours of old, his music evokes universal themes of love and heartbreak; suffering and joy. Singing in a warm, retracted baritone accompanied by intricate finger-style guitar and sonorous viols, he deftly animates original compositions and respectfully resurrects neglected songs and tunes. In a way that feels both ancient and fresh, Brown’s music valorizes the romantic and privileges dark beauty.
Personal Fact: Mason is an ethnomusicologist studying Tibetan music in Nepal.

To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

 Mentioned This Week on The Celtfather #35

Marc Gunn’s 2015 GenCon Schedule

Todd Manning My Table at GenCon

GenCon is less than three weeks away. I haven’t checked the ticket sales for my shows, but they usually sell out fairly quick. You can see my full GenCon schedule right here. I have three solo shows plus a showcase as part of Friday Night Live. You can buy tickets to my shows here.

Special Note: If the show is sold out, you can still attend. Just bring Generic Tickets to the event. You will enter after the regular tickets are sold, but usually there are plenty of spots available.

Thursday, 7/30/2015
Firefly Drinking Songs @ 8pm
Westin, Capitol III
Are you’re a Browncoat? Do you love Joss Whedon’s Firefly & Serenity? Sing-along with Gunn as he shares songs from the Verse, pub-style, like in that wee pub in Canton.

This show is currently sold out. If you want to attend, bring Generic Tickets and arrive early. There will be space available.

Friday, 7/31/2015
Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers @ 5pm
Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Blrm A
Love cats? Irish music? Drinking songs? Join Marc Gunn for a rollicking evening of hair-raising, feline fun as he shares music from his two hit CD series.

Friday Night Live @ 8-10pm
Westin, Grand Bllrm V
Enjoy a comedy & music concert featuring many of Gen Con’s best entertainers. It’s an evening of smashing laughter & fun, LIVE on one stage for your comedic convenience!

  • Mikey Mason
  • Bill Sutton
  • Dan the Bard
  • The Great Luke Ski
  • The Damsels of Dorkington
  • Sarah Donner
  • Marc Gunn

Saturday, 8/1/2015
Marc Gunn – Sci Fi Drinking Songs @ 8pm
Crowne Plaza, Grand Central Blrm A-C
Star Wars, Firefly, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek. This is an evening of raucous fun drinking songs from long, long ago, in a convention near you! It’s KILTED Celtic Comedy at its Best!

Will you do me a big favor? Share these show times with your GenCon friends. I want to pack out my concerts. Thanks a million! -Marc

Join Marc Gunn on July 18th at Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub

Johnnie-MacCracken's-Pub-July-2015

Join me on Saturday, July 18th at Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub in Marietta, Georgia. You can print this picture and share it. Please help spread the word.

You can also let me know you’re coming on my Facebook event page.

Saturday, July 18, 2015
Johnnie MacCracken’s Celtic Pub
15 Atlanta St SE
Marietta, GA 30060
Show starts around 9:15PM

Apple Music & 10 Years as a Musician

Being home with the kids has been limiting the number of tasks that I am able to get done, but there is still a lot going on! This week marks the 10-year Anniversary of me leaving my day-job to pursue podcasting and Celtic music full time – I don’t regret a minute of it! And July 28 will mark the 10-year Anniversary of the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. I’m still in the process of figuring out my iTunes feed, but have joined Apple Music, and am loving it! It’s less flexible than some other platforms, but is a good accompaniment to Spotify for the moment.

Album Spotlight of the Week

Chief O’Neill’s Mixed Flock – The New Blackthorn Stick. The first group to work on integrating clarinet and traditional Celtic music. The newest album was released in May 2015 – if you’d like to hear their music, they’re featured in the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast #210 (linked below).

To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

 Mentioned This Week on The Celtfather #34

  • Inara Claire Gunn – she is my proof that I’m bad at multitasking; if you hear baby coos during the podcast, don’t mind those!
  • Cholesterol and Health Update – I worked out once this week, but for right now, they might be minimal workouts, as Inara is taking up a lot of my time!
  • Wednesday is my 10-year Anniversary of quitting my day-job – best ten years ever!
  • July 28 marks the 10-year Anniversary of the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast! If you’d like to send along congratulations, call (678)-CeltPod and leave a voicemail, or send an email to celticpodcast@gmail.com
  • Still working on the iTunes feed, but now I’m in contact with iTunes, so that should be resolved soon.
  • The Sainted Song-Henge gifts are almost ready to be sent! Thanks for your patience!
  • The Song-Henge Newsletter went out last week, and the Celtic Music Newsletter will be going out next week – I’m still working on hitting the sweet-spot for best day to send them.
  • Apple Music Launched last week – basically Spotify for iPhone users – and I love it! There are still some issues, which is why I’ve kept Spotify so far.
    • Connect with me on Apple Music if you have an account – @MarcGunn
  • Album Spotlight of the Week: Chief O’Neill’s Mixed Flock – The New Blackthorn Stick ; the world’s first ever Irish traditional clarinet album. They’re featured in the Celtic & Irish Music Podcast #210 – check it out!
  • An old favourite album with a lot of memories – Claudio Baglioni – Oltre

7 things I should be doing

Interesting. Someone compared the Facebook political photos with text bashing our political enemies to the old political cartoons found in newspapers. Great comparison!  Those political cartoons served a valuable purpose--to criticize our enemies without

Last week marked the tenth anniversary of my very first podcast, which was with the Renaissance Festival Music Podcast, on June 26, 2005. This led to many other podcasts and eventually to my becoming a full-time musician and Podcaster, so thank you for your support!

The Donegal Celtic Invasion was a tremendous success – the Giant’s Causeway was beautiful, as was Donegal. Getting to know the region was fun, and everyone seemed to have an incredible time. There are some podcasts that will be released soon about that trip, but for now, a regular podcast update needed to happen.

Inara Claire is now 6 weeks old, and cuter than ever! Along with more time with the family, projects are underway. In order to keep a healthy balance, some podcasts and newsletters will receive more updates, and it’s likely that Celtfather Podcast will take a brief hiatus until August. Updates for other podcasts and newsletters will continue, so keep an eye out for more updates!

To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

 Mentioned This Week on The Celtfather #33

  • RenaissanceFestivalMusic.com is where my first Podcast took place!
  • Cat Lover’s Podcast and the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast are celebrating their 10 year anniversaries!
  • Celtic Invasion Vacation to Donegal – Success!
  • Inara Claire Gunn is almost 6 weeks old and cuter than ever!
  • Concert at Johnny MacCracken’s Celtic Pub in Marietta last week went well- the next concert will be on Saturday, July 18.
  • 6-Month Self-Review: Practicing Focus – Working on larger projects that are sustainable, promoting music, Social Media revamp, and concentrating on only 2 newsletters.
  • Podcasts are back in productions – Scottish Songs Podcast has now been outlined, and the next steps for Dragons vs. Pirates are being planned and worked on – stay tuned! There may even be some music videos coming your way soon!
  • Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers – I’m working on boosting sales, actively promoting CDs, and will be putting out a newsletter soon.
  • Concert Window – the date for the next concert is still to be decided – stay tuned!
  • Band Highlight of the Day – Connemara Stone Company – Celtic Folk Rock Band from Germany (est. 1995), who have been previously featured in the Celtic Music Podcast #142: Banish Misfortune.
  • Cholesterol – Though the diet is good, the levels remain high, so exercise is the next step – stay tuned for progress!

Celtic Invasion Vacation: Donegal Ireland

With podcasts coming along a little more slowly, here are some visual updates on the vacation for everyone! I look forward to posting the next podcast soon to share the fun of the trip!

Some dancing – Donegal Style – with Fidil!

Dancing Donegal-style with Fidil

A video posted by Marc Gunn (@marcgunn) on


Some Wine and Good Company


And finally, the Wishing Chair in Bundoran!


To subscribe, go to iTunes, or go to Celtfather.com where you can also join my mailing list. This show is sponsored by my Patrons at marcgunn.net. Your generous monthly donation feeds a human family of three and half plus three cats. Post feedback in the shownotes, use the hashtag #celtfather on social media, or email me marc@marcgunn.com

Follow the trip updates on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! I’ll be updating daily to have you virtually join my journey through Ireland! And follow the full Podcast Series on the Celtfather 

Notes About “The Prettiest Hobbit”

Put em! I'll take ye with both hands behind my back!
I wrote “The Prettiest Hobbit” a day or two after our second daughter Inara Claire Gunn was born. The song was written as a hobbit children’s song. The goal was to write a song in the same fun, child-like vein as “I’ll Tell Me Ma“. Since it’s hobbit based, I wanted the famed Party Tree of Hobbiton mentioned as well as the food that hobbits love so well.

Knowing that “The Prettiest Hobbit” was written right after Inara was born makes you think it was entirely inspired by her. But I can’t neglect her older sister. Kenzie loves to sing “I’ll Tell My Ma” with me. It’s a fun upbeat, delightful song that’s popular with a lot of kids, due to the bouncy nature and cheerful lyrics. That’s why I used elements of that in this song.

I wanted interactivity as well. So I added “jump up and down, let your teeth gleam”. Second time playing the song, Kenzie was jumping up and down and smiling with big, cute grin. Five times into it she started shouting “1-2-3″. The song was an instant hit with my four-year old daughter and can now sing it.

Where did the names come from?
The hobbit name generator.

Yes. I put Inara Gunn into the generator and got: Belladonna Sandybanks of Frogmorton

Inara’s middle name, Claire, was used to generate the second name in there, Daisy.

I wanted to use Kenzie’s name in it, but Tigerlily and Sweetpea just didn’t work as well for the flow of the song.

The name Mungo came from my middle, which is Andrew. Marc yield “Reginard”. Just not as fun for the purposes of this song.

All I’m thrilled with how well this song came out. I’ve already started singing it at shows and kids enjoy it. I hope to add it to my next album after Dragons vs. Pirates. And maybe some day, it’ll end up on a compilation of more hobbit songs like on Don’t Go Drinking With Hobbits.

How to Manage Social Media for Musicians

Ready for our regular evening of play.
I’ve said it before. I’m not very good at social media. Part of the problem is that it just overwhelms me. So I’m trying to put all of my social media outlets into semi-neat boxes online so that I can actually try and better manage them.

Here’s where I list and define them so far:

  • Instagram. I post most of my photos. I’m also trying to add a bit of a story behind photos (at least those that aren’t just family photos).
  • Twitter. It took me forever to figure out Twitter. But now I see it basically as a quick and easy communication tool. Short questions get short responses. But I’m more likely to respond since I don’t have thirty points to respond to like in email. It’s also nice to share posts either something Celtic or Geeky that interests me, or share mentions of me.
  • Facebook fan page. I don’t really update my Facebook fan page. Right now, it just consists of blog posts like this that are automatically posted. But I do share Celtic stuff with the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast fan page, or cat stuff for the Irish Drinking Songs for Cat Lovers fan page. And of course, a lot of family pictures are posted on my personal page.
  • Facebook groups. I try and read Facebook groups more than my personal timeline which is overrun with political crap that just pisses me off one way or another. I want my Celtic Geek group to actually be active, but most of the members are pretty passive people like I am.
  • Patreon. I decided this month that my twice a month newsletter would be posted on Patreon. It gives me an extra reason to promote my Patreon page. Plus, I feel blogs should be more focused.
  • My Blog. I’ve had a tough time determining how to use my blog. I finally decided that I should use it to post mostly news items. But as I said above, to limit the news items to one thought or idea per blog post. That’s tough for me!
  • YouTube. I still haven’t figured out how to best use YouTube. Right now, I post episodes of the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. I love the One Minute Memories of The Opportunistic Travelers Podcast, but that seems tough since I’m not traveling that much. And I just don’t make many music videos. I can’t figure out how best to do those by myself…
  • Pinterest. I have an account. I can’t figure out how best to use it efficiently. So I don’t.
  • Flickr. Any photo that I want to use for promotion later, I post to Flickr. I don’t do much interacting over there though.
  • The Celtfather podcast. Until I can finish these audio travel blogs, this show is sort of on a brief hiatus. I need to redefine what I want to do with it. I lose focus every now and then. And of course, recently, I ran out of time to create it.
  • Marc Gunn newsletter. The newsletter will be coming out twice a month and features all of my latest news, occasional free music, and of course special offers on my music and swag.

I think that’s basically all my social media outlets.  I think these are pretty good descriptions of how I use, or at least try to use, them.

I’d like your thoughts and feedback. Do you think I’m doing things right? Do you find it easy and fun to interact with me?  Post your comments below.