Since it burst upon the Irish music scene in 1997, Lúnasa has been redefining how Irish music is played. The ways in which this band is innovative only serve to amplify the essence and innate beauty of traditional Celtic music.
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This band is an instrumental quintet of some of Ireland’s best musicians. Together as Lúnasa, they make up one of the world’s most popular Irish bands, most likely because of the way their music grooves. As Nickel Creek is to bluegrass, so is Lúnasa to Irish music. The acoustic guitar and double bass use modern rhythms and styles to update the Celtic sound as the fiddle, flute, and pipes weave around their dancing backdrop.
Since it burst upon the Irish music scene in 1997, Lúnasa has been redefining how Irish music is played. The ways in which this band is innovative only serve to amplify the essence and innate beauty of traditional Celtic music. Hallmarks of Lúnasa’s sound are sophisticated, nuanced arrangements that masterfully employ dynamic shifts, counterpoint, drones and ornament in combination with driving rhythms. Melodic interweavings of wind and string instruments, and low whistles played in rich ensemble, are hypnotically propelled by upright acoustic bass with guitar. In its meditations on Irish music’s inherent rhythms, the group seeks out the heartbeat of the music. As founding fiddler Sean Smyth says, “We try to locate the swing or energy… using new rhythms, letting each instrument add its own unique layer. We’ll play the same tune over and over searching for the groove, exploring it. We let the music find its pulse.” The results are mesmerizing.
Lúnasa has been called the “Irish music dream team” (Folk Roots), “the new Celtic royalty,” (Boston Herald) and “. . . the hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet,” (The Irish Voice). Each musician is exceptionally accomplished: fiddler Sean Myth is an all-Ireland champion; flutist Kevin Crawford performed with the group Moving Cloud and is considered one of the finest players in the country; bassist Trevor Hutchinson made his mark with the Sharron Shannon band, and uillean piper Cillian Vallery, from a noted musical family, is one of the most influential players in the tradition. The superb guitar and bouzouki playing of Paul Meehan now rounds out the group. With a sound that remains as fresh and unpredictable as ever, Lúnasa is adored worldwide for the energy, inventiveness and spontaneity of its live performances.