Ronan Tynan sounds winded and exhausted as he settles in by his speakerphone for our interview. He’s just come back from a cruise around the Caribbean with his fans, and he is ready for a vacation all over again. “I had two shows and the crowd really enjoyed it,” he reports. It’s a small wonder. Between motivational speakers, belting out the National Anthem at ball games and a busy touring and recording schedule, this energetic tenor never seems to stand in one place for very long. Tynan recently released an all Irish album recorded with a 60 piece symphony from the RTE orchestra. He says he recorded the album at the request of his fans, a devoted crew that he is fiercely mindful of. He reads the emails from his web site, which dictates his next career move. The audience wanted a live album and that is exactly what he has produced. Ronan and Billy Live is available on his web site for your listening pleasure. The Billy is American William Lewis, who has accompanied Ronan at performances around the world “You either blossom or it’s desperate,” Ronan Tynan says of Ronan and Billy Live. “They wanted a live CD and now they have it, warts and all. Perfection is great but it’s not everything. “People bring the best of me, which is why including an audience in the recording is so appealing. While there is always a danger in a live concert album not turning out the way you like, I believe the biggest risk is not taking it. I mean, what the hell? At this stage, the audience has come to understand me as an individual, and they know I am not perfect.” Armed with little more than a piano, Tynan’s effortless majestic tenor raises Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” to spine tingling heights. He knows you think that he is jumping on the popularity of that song, which is featured in places as diverse as a kd lang album and an American Idol set list. “I sung ‘Sisters of Mercy’ for years,” he counters, almost defensively. “I have been a huge fan of Leonard Cohen’s. So, I mean, I am not doing it because the song just came into the public framework. I have ‘Song of Bernadette’ ready to go on the contemporary album.” Tynan’s piano-based live CD is one of a long list of special projects that he is thinking of. He seems giddy at the prospect of unleashing that gorgeous voice on any musical genre that suits him. “You see, I am a singer,” he says precisely. “I wanted people to see a degree of versatility. I am a singer first and foremost. Put me in a category of Irish or tenor, that is fine. But no one is going to put me in a box. I am grateful that people to allow me the dexterity to try new things like rock.” Speaking of rock, he has a nice one on his finger from the New York Yankees that has touched off some controversy. It seems as though Joe Torre was none too pleased that the tenor got a championship ring, if you believe what you read in the manager’s controversial new book about his year’s with the Yankees. “I bought the book and read it and the clown wrote about me,” he says before apologizing immediately. “I mean, I like Joe and all, but I guess he took issue that the scouts didn’t get a ring and I did. It was all so petty. “I was surprised that was brought up as an issue. George Steinbrenner is passionate about the sport and the Yankees and loved to win. If you were part of it, he included you if he thought you were part of the win. The Yankees are good people, and it is painful to see people throw stones at people you think a lot of.” I think a lot of Ronan Tynan, and so will you after you pick up Ronan and Billy Live. To get your copy, log onto RonanTynan.net.
The Irish pub that became home base for 9/11 ground zero rescuers