Posts Tagged ‘Solas’

Echoes Top 25 for September-Ambient Leads the Way

October 6, 2008

Digitonal tops the Echoes Top 25 for September, and will no doubt be near the top for the next several months. But right behind is Marconi Union, topping their own record as the highest placing digital download recording on Echoes. October’s CD of the Month, Sumner McKane’s nostalgia-tinged ambient americana masterpiece, What A Great Place to be, is already near the top in September at #4. New Entries include Darshan Ambient, Jeff Pearce, General Fuzz, Anja Lechner & Vasillis Tsabropoulos , Peter Kater, and Wolfert Brederode.  Over-all, another month of chilled moods and exotic grooves from across the Echoes spectrum. It’s been a good year, and it’s not over yet.  You can read print reviews and hear audio reviews with music from several of them,  including Sumner McKane, Digitonal, Marconi Union, Ron McFarlane, Michael Brook & Djivan GasparyanOttmar Liebert, Solas, and General Fuzz.

John Diliberto

SEPTEMBER 2008    

1. Digitonal Save Your Light for Darker Days Just Music
Read the Review!
2. Marconi Union A Lost Connection MU Transmissions
3. Ronn McFarlane Indigo Road Dorian
4. Sumner McKane What A Great Place to Be Don’t Hit Your Sister Records
5. Darshan Ambient From Pale Hands to Weary Eyes Lotuspike

6. Michael Brook/Djivan Gasparyan Penumbra Canadian Rational
7. Ottmar Liebert The Scent of Light Spiral Subwave Records Int’l
8. Solas For Love and Laughter Compass Records
9. William Ackerman Meditations Compass Productions
10. Fernwood Almeria Self Released
11. Hans-Joachim Roedelius & Tim Story Inlandish High Wire Records

12. Niyaz Nine Heavens Six Degrees
13. Jeff Pearce Rainshadow Sky Jeff Pearce Music
14. Jesse Cook Frontiers Koch Records
15. David Cullen Guitar Travels Solid Air
16. General Fuzz Soulful Filling Self Released
17. California Guitar Trio Echoes Inner Knot
18. Peter Kater Cloud Hands Point of Light Records
19. David Arkenstone Echoes of Light and Shadow Gemini Sun Records
20. Joan Jeanrenaud Strange Toys Talking House Records
21. Anja Lechner and Vasillis Tsabropoulos Melos ECM Records

22. Michel Banabila Traces Tapu Records
23. Forastiere Why Not? Candyrat Records
24. V/A Harp Guitar Dreams Harp Guitar Music
25. Wolfert Brederode Quartet Currents ECM Records
Digitonal’sSave Your Light for Darker Days

was the Echoes CD of the Month
for September 2008


Echo Location: Solas and the Celtic Tradition

September 25, 2008

Celtic veterans Solas find new dimensions in a traditional sound when they play live on Echoes.

You can hear an Audio Version of this blog with music.

Music From The Show Celtic WomanThe Celtic boom of the Riverdance days are long over, leaving only the fructose sweetened foam of marketing campaigns like Celtic Woman. But real Celtic music continues to be played, and real Irish musicians continue to take their heritage and bring it forward into the 21st century. No one does it better    than Solas, the  band headed up by multi-instrumentalist Seamus Egan.                                                                                                 
Seamus Egan had his day in the spotlight during the Celtic craze, scoring the soundtrack for The Brothers McMullen which included a hit he wrote for Sarah McLachlan, “I Will Remember You.” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
But he was making Celtic music long before that and has continued long after. Solas pushes the boundaries of Celtic music from the inside out. American born and Irish raised, Seamus Egan grew up playing traditional music, but with his band Solas, he’s always treated tradition with a modernist’s sensibility.

Seamus Egan: I think one of the reasons Irish music has stayed as, I don’t know, if not always on the air 24 hours a day but it’s always around because it’s a music that has allowed itself to evolve. But it’s been able to avoid ending up in a museum.

For Love and Laughter After some experiments with electronica and electric guitars, Solas has returned to their core sound on their latest CD, For Love and Laughter.   There’s not much in the way of electronics, except a hint of electic guitar. Otherwise, it’s virtuoso playing from multi-instrumentalist Egan, Mick McAuley on button accordion and guitar, Eamon McElholm on guitar and keyboards, and Winifred Horan playing violin. The album also marks the debut of their new singer from County Kilkenny, Mairead Phelan.

Even when they’re playing songs by Tom Waits or Bob Dylan, Solas somehow makes them Celtic.

Winifred Horan: The instrumentation definitely dictates that it’s Celtic, like the accordion, the whistle, the fiddle. Because even examining some of the breaks or the intros and the outros on some of the songs like, they wouldn’t be typically Celtic, I don’t think. Rhythmically they’re not what would be considered traditional. I think it’s definitely it’s more of the instrumentation that leads the listener to believe that it’s Cetlic.

Solas continue their new Celtic traditions on their latest CD, For Love and Laughter. We’ll hear them live on Echoes Monday, September 29.

You can also hear an Audio Version of this blog with music.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

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