For Love and Laughter (Compass, 2007)
There is no doubt that Solas is the most influential US-based Celtic band in North America. Solas has become a launching pad for several outstanding vocalists, like Karan Casey (who has had a successful solo career) and Deirdre Scanlan. It’s one of those essential bands that never ceases to surprise, but at the same time provides opportunities to some of the finest instrumentalists and vocalists in the contemporary Celtic music scene.
Most Solas CDs feature a mix of fiery instrumental pieces full of virtuosity and exquisite ballads that provide room for the talented singers. For Love and Laughter is no exception to this rule. The band has signed Mairead Phelan, a young singer from Kilkenny, as new vocalist and she keeps the standard as high as her predecessors. Solas is still led by multi-instrumentalist Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistle, guitar and bodhran), together with Winifred Horan (fiddle), Mick McAuley (accordion and concertina) and Eamon McElholm (guitar and keyboards).
As an added treat, For Love and Laughter includes members of the increasingly popular Canadian contemporary folk band The Dukhs. It’s an impressive collaboration, featuring two of the finest contemporary folk bands from North America. Other collaborators include Natalie Haas on cello, Chico Huff on bass, John Anthony on bodhran and other types of percussion, and Dirk Powell on bass.
Solas is on tour. Next dates:
- Oct 1 / Aladdin Theatre / Portland
- Oct 4 / Lotus World Music Festival / Minneapolis
- Oct 5 / Abbey Pub / Chicago
- Oct 7 / The Ark / Ann Arbor
- Oct 9 / St. Brendan’s Inn / Green Bay, WI
- Oct 10 / Cedar Cultural Center / Minneapolis
- Oct 25 / Perthshire Amber Festival / Perthshire, Scotland UK
- Nov 1 / Liverpool Irish Festival / Liverpool, UK
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.