All posts tagged: Solas

Acoustic Music Old and New

Airline travel has its occasional benefits. Earlier this week I had a trip to Boston booked on Jet Blue Airlines.  When I sat down in the seat, I glanced at the arm rest and thought, “Hot dog – Jet Blue is the airline with free XM radio!”  I whipped out my ear buds and settled in for 90 minutes of the XM station Bluegrass Junction. I love to listen to my own iPod playlist, but it also great fun to settle in to an airline seat or a rental car to catch XM radio’s bluegrass station.  Every time that happens I always end up hearing some great new music, and my Boston trip was no exception. On one leg of the trip, the station was featuring one of its staples:  a program entitled Track By Track where the DJ plays a full album by a featured artist who provides commentary along the way.  This week’s show featured the new Compass Records album Somewhere South of Crazy by the Southern songbird Dale Ann Bradley. Now I’ve …

Double Play with Liz Carroll and John Doyle: CD review

John Doyle is — to my ear — about the best rhythm player in roots music today.  Ever since first hearing him as the original guitarist with the Irish super-band Solas, I’ve been taken with the mixture of power and musicianship in his playing. In recent years, Doyle has been playing in a duo with Fiddler Liz Carroll, and they just released a new CD in March on Compass Records.   As promised last week, I’m highlighting several new releases from Compass in the hopes of encouraging others to take a look at this label’s varied offerings from a talented group of artists. Double Play is the second release from the Carroll/Doyle duo.  The CD begins with a medley of two Carroll tunes, The Chandelier and Anne Lacey’s.  Liz Carroll is not content to simply play traditional tunes, but she’s quite a composer of new Irish music.  The interplay between the major key of The Chandelier and the minor tones of Anne Lacey’s makes for a great pairing. Doyle’s singing is strong on tunes such as …

Irish Band Solas Plays in Arlington This Week – Recommended!

One of the great Irish bands of the past decade will be playing twice in Arlington, Virginia this weekend.  The band is Solas and since the late 1990s they have been hailed as the best Irish band to ever emerge from the United States.  I agree.  Led by the terrific Seamus Egen, they exhibit superb musicianship that is infectious, and their new album also includes duet work with the Canadian band The Duhks.  Solas will play at a CD-release party on Friday evening, and then will follow that the next day with a concert as part of Planet Arlington’s World Music Festival. Solas is a great live band – which you can see in Arlington and (for those outside Washington) on the joint CD/DVD album SOLAS:  Reunion – A Decade of Solas.   A great concert and a great band.  More to come… DJB