One Night Stand for Don McCloskey, the Lyrical Miracle
by Cate Murway
Save the date for historic Bristol on the Delaware’s native son! Saturday, August 27, 2016 8:00PM.
See Don McCloskey, songwriter, musician, producer/composer and overall entertainer armed with heavy doses of self-expression and incredible music, literally embracing his past, reveling in his present success that is on a swift upward trajectory, and graciously asking about everyone’s future.
Listen to his profoundly moving, unerringly confident collection of material, the very essence of the sound of a talented artist seizing his moment in the spotlight with both hands and his heart.
Don is the perfect example of the importance of taking risks and not being afraid to aim high.
An enthusiastic word of mouth always guarantees packed performances.
For tickets call the BRT Box Office at 215.785.0100 or visit brtstage.org.
“I can tell you that the effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”
James Eugene "Jim" Carrey
Whether he is performing solo or with a backing band, “I love doing the shows for a mixture of friends and family. It’s a lot of fun and has become a ritual, a tradition” and Donald Andrew McCloskey is once again performing in his hometown.
“I was born, son of a McCloskey, son of a Moore”. He was named for his paternal grandfather, Donald and his maternal grandfather, Andrew [Moore].
He is the second child, the only son of the four siblings born to Donald Marion, Director, State Government Affairs, Public Service Enterprise Group and Donna [Moore] McCloskey, the very eclectically talented Site administrator for the Margaret R. Grundy Museum.
Don and his three sisters Sarah, Maire and Nora Elizabeth all appreciated the close knit small town environment of Bristol, “son of the heat that would rise from the streets and playgrounds of Bristol in the summertime”, most assuredly has left lasting impressions and inspirations.
His mom shared, “He has entertained our entire family with stories and songs from the time that he could walk and talk. To quote a phrase from one of his songs, I believe that he is 'a lyrical miracle’.”
Nora enthusiastically shared, “My favorite song is "Baby Girl" which was the song my brother wrote for my dad and I to dance to at my wedding. It's incredibly special for so many reasons. My brother is extremely talented and I am his biggest fan in the world and think the world of him.”
While Nora admires her brother and the musicians in the family, she admitted, “I did not get those genes.” Their Uncle Tommy McCloskey is an Irish tenor troubadour and his son, their cousin Kevin McCloskey anchors the “River Drivers” with their passion-infused style drawing from Celtic, Americana and Mountain influences.
Don grew up "listening to everything; a lot of old music, church music, jazz, classical, folk, rock and 60-70’s singer-songwriters, 80's pop, 90's hip hop and alternative”. His biographical “Son of It All” confirms his roots, “Son of the old sounds that came down from my momma’s vinyls, rippin’ on needles”. “Can’t get you off my mind….”
Coincidentally, he shares his birthday with Scottish singer, songwriter and guitarist, Donovan Philips Leitch, known as Donovan.
Don conceded that like many artists, he's inspired by ideas from artists who work in other mediums. His eclectic and distinctively styled works may resound with hints of Edgar Allen Poe symbolism [1809-1849] or quickly stroked touches of Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marqués de Dalí de Pubol, known as Salvador Dalí [1904-1989]. This Saint Joseph's Preparatory School Valedictorian/ Fordham University English major produces outstanding albums and will perform at the BRT with a drummer, bass player, keyboardist and an additional guitarist.
His athletic endeavors included crew, wrestling, basketball, soccer and baseball but his artistic side began to flourish with his involvement in the Bristol Riverside Theatre [BRT], beginning as a stage hand and working in lighting, joining his friends, Terry and Timmy Roche who were working there.
No school track teams but “I ran the ½ marathon in Philadelphia!”
Even though he was involved with the BRT musical production, “The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd”, acting did not entice him. “I wasn’t interested in pursuing acting. My cousin, Lou Pirri played guitar and he gave me his Ibanez Acoustic guitar. I plucked out “Stand by Me”. I was thrilled I could play something!”
Memories are cherished. “A favorite time for me is when he and his cousins use our family home as a rehearsal studio. I cook and feed them and they fill the home with wonderful music”, his mother shared. "I could not be more proud of the man, musician, and overall thoughtful and generous human being that he has become. I know that there is much more that he and his music will contribute to this world."
Don’s guitars now are a Gibson Songwriter and a keepsake Fender Soundcaster electric guitar that “my roommate at the time gave to me when he moved out. It was given to him by someone who thought it was worthless and was throwing it out on the street in Brooklyn. It turns out to be somewhat of a collector's piece made in Japan. And it sounds amazing!” He has been in bands and has performed solo since college, playing at the Sidewalk Café in NYC and in a Philadelphia Old City hotspot, the Tin Angel.
His multi-layered education also included “choral music at St. Mark’s” and a Boys Scouts stint with “songs, the pinewood derby, learning to tie knots and basic survival skills. Bert Adamson was the scout leader. He was the man!”
Don’s lyrics to "Corporation Man" appear in Michael Moore’s 2002 Academy-Award-winning documentary [Best Documentary Feature at 75th Annual Academy Awards 2003], “Bowling for Columbine”. “Big D’s” tracks from “Bombs over Bristol” have gotten airplay on WMMR, Y100 and WXPN, and in episodes of MTV’s reality show, The Hills while he himself has appeared as a guest on two VH1 series. He has toured nationally."
Don's music cannot be classified into one genre, or even several including folk, funk, rock, soul, hip-hop, blending the folk troubadour tradition with all things Americana. He is just himself, an eclectic-lyrical maniac exhibiting an insight and talent that a rare few artists in modern music possess.
Did you know that this musical genius went to high school with Robert Dale “Rob” McElhenney, creator of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"? In fact, Don was instrumental in bringing the show's musical "The Nightman Cometh" to the stage and opened their performances in LA, Philadelphia and NYC.
His 19007 roots and early childhood memories run deep. “I have yet to stumble across a town like Bristol. The views and history are great but the people make it. I ran, walked and biked every foot of that town.” His fond food memories include the fabulous King George II, Annabella’s and Cesare's Ristorante, along with, of course, the perennial staple, Mazzanti's Market hoagies. His food of choice is “Italian food, my great grandmother lived on Washington Street and owned Gus' Wood Street café”.
His two hour show full of infinite jest has “no end in sight…at least for me tonight.”
Bristol is his home fan base and he can “try out new material”.
It's been a while since Don has been back to Bristol, “there’s something strangely familiar in your voice”, so this is the perfect time to re-connect with him!
Come see “the Lyrical Miracle, that’s what they call me….”
“Oh, it’s out of control…” Reserve your seat for Saturday, August 27, 2016. He is a gifted storyteller.
BRT has consistently brought acclaimed professional theatre to Bucks County and maintained a long-term commitment to finding and developing new plays and incredible talent.
Bristol Riverside Theatre
120 Radcliffe Street
Bristol, PA 19007
215.785.0100 or visit brtstage.org
Bolded quotes are excerpts from Don's songs.
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