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Redwood

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Album Review

A new album from one of the best Irish bands is always a welcome treat. The aim behind Redwood — recorded in a ten-day break from Lúnasa's 2002 U.S. tour — was to re-create the feel of their live set in the studio. And they succeed beautifully in that. There's a rare fire and flow to the music — a piece like "Two-Fifty to Vigo" just slides along smoothly. There's plenty of risk-taking in the arrangements, such as using three whistles on "Spoil the Dance," or the duet between flute and fiddle on the gorgeous "Harp and Shamrock." Lúnasa is masterful at finding good tunes, be they traditional or mod (just witness the wonderful "Lady Ellen" that's simply sweeping). The musicianship is beyond question — anyone who can make parts as complex as theirs sound easy is highly skilled, indeed. To hear them roar through "Temple Hill" is an absolute joy, negotiating the tricky turns of the melody at a dangerous speed. All the sets sparkle, broken in by being played in concert, the musicians thoroughly familiar with the material, and with what everyone else is going to play. Their previous albums have shown their intent to push Irish music a little and not be satisfied with the status quo; this shows that they really do have the power to remake Irish music in their own image

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The seeds of one of the most highly rated contemporary Irish bands were sown in 1996, when former Waterboy and Sharon Shannon bassist Trevor Hutchinson teamed up with guitarist Donogh Hennessy for a Scandinavian tour. From such tiny acorn beginnings have grown mighty oaks. Back home in Dublin, they drafted uillean piper John McSherry and flutist/piper Michael McGoldrick to record some shows, then hit the jackpot when they landed Kevin Crawford, also a member of Moving Cloud, whose flute and whistle...
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Redwood, Lúnasa
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