DURANGO, Colo. – SOLAS, the Celtic-folk super group said to have invigorated the Irish traditional music scene, returns to the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, for a 7:30 p.m. show.
Acclaimed by many as the most exciting Irish traditional group worldwide, SOLAS breaks new ground by incorporating non-traditional Irish instruments such as guitar, banjo and bouzouki and interpreting a wide range of material in what is called “surprising” ways. The combination adds a contemporary spice to SOLAS’ sound, though it’s a sound that remains rooted in Irish reels, jigs and other folk song forms.
SOLAS formed in the mid-1990s as a side project for several musicians who were already touring with other bands. Wide recognition came when the band performed on “A Prairie Home Companion” in 1996, and almost immediately SOLAS became one of the most popular Irish music groups in the world. SOLAS celebrates its 15th Anniversary during the 2011-2012 season.
SOLA’s sound is anchored by founders Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistle, guitar and bodhran) and Winifred Horan (fiddle, vocals). The band is rounded out with Mick McAuley (accordion, conctertina, whistles, vocals), Eamon McElholm (guitar, keyboards, vocals) and, the most recent addition, Niamh Varian-Barry (vocals).
As reported in the Los Angeles Times, “SOLAS offers a compellingly original, strikingly contemporary view of traditional Celtic sounds.”
Currently, SOLAS has embarked on what the band refers to as “somewhat of a milestone,” as the group is producing its first album without the support of a record label. Entitled Shamrock City, the CD project, which will also include a DVD, is inspired by the story of Seamus Egan’s father’s great uncle, an Irish immigrant who in 1910 sailed from Cobb County, Cork, in Ireland to Philadelphia. Six years later, having made his way to Butte, Mont. to work the copper mines he was dead.
The story is one typical to many Irish immigrants who came west to work the mines, and the impetus for Butte earning the nickname “Shamrock City.” For the DVD, SOLAS’ members will make their own journey to Butte to perform music from Shamrock City live at various locations.
Learn more about the Shamrock City project and view additional SOLAS music videos at http://www.youtube.com/solasmusic.
Tickets for SOLAS, ($22/$32) are available on-line at www.durangoconcerts.com or by calling 970.247.7657, or at the Ticket Office in Downtown Durango at 7th St. and Main Ave. All sales final.
Showtime is 7:30 p.m., with doors to the Concert Hall and concessions, serving beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks, opening at 6:30 p.m.
The Community Concert Hall is a not-for-profit, multi-use performance venue located on the campus of Fort Lewis College. Its ability to bring a diverse spectrum of shows to Southwest Colorado is made possible through a partnership with the college, a state-supported, independent institution of higher education, and through financial and in-kind contributions from generous members of the community.