Irish Traditional Music
Lúnasa, one of the most influential bands in the history of Irish traditional music, celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2017. Named after an ancient Celtic harvest festival in honor of the Irish god Lugh, the group that Folk Roots magazine once called an “Irish music dream team” was formed from members of some of Ireland’s greatest bands and over the years has proven its mettle time and again, having sold over a quarter of a million records, performed more than 2,000 shows in high-profile concert venues across 36 countries, and collaborated with many notable artists outside the tradition. Two decades ago they ascended to the forefront of contemporary Irish music, and there they’ve remained, a leading voice in the genre and the standard against which others are compared.
Lúnasa’s current lineup includes Trevor Hutchinson, who achieved fame as the bassist with the The Waterboys; uilleann piper Cillian Vallely, who was a member of Riverdance and recorded with Bruce Springsteen; Kevin Crawford, widely considered one of Ireland’s greatest ﬂute players; ﬁddler Colin Farrell, who has performed and recorded with an array of great musicians including such groups as Flook, Grada, Karen Casey, John Doyle, Tim O’Brien, The Elders, Julie Fowlis, and The Michael McGoldrick Band; and guitarist Ed Boyd, known on the UK folk circuit for his work with bands such as Flook, Kate Rusby, and Cara Dillon.
Their inventive arrangements and bass driven grooves have steered Irish acoustic music into surprising new territory. Their recordings have been hailed as some of the best and most important world music albums anywhere, while their blend of intelligence, innovation, virtuosity, and passion has brought them to the forefront of Celtic music.
Legendary Irish fiddler Kevin Burke once said that “maintaining the unique, intimate qualities of a musical tradition while at the same time meeting and fulfilling the demands of the contemporary music world is a difficult juxtaposition to achieve, yet Lúnasa have managed to accomplish exactly that.” From the start, the band’s complex arrangements and unique sound reshaped the boundaries of traditional music and energized audiences the world over. Twenty years on, the group continues to evolve, playing new music that is as state-of-the-art and aggressively infectious today as it was so long ago. With a new album set for 2017 and a robust touring schedule to match, Lúnasa continues to set the standard and will lead the way for decades to come.