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Otherworld

Lúnasa

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Album Review

Lúnasa treads a fine line between the strictly traditional approach to Irish music taken by bands like Altan or Cherish the Ladies and the somewhat more progressive approach used by groups like Solas and Déanta. Although the group's instrumental lineup (flute, fiddle, guitar, and bass) is pretty well within the bounds of tradition, their approach to recording is not: on a reel set consisting of "The Butlers of Glen Avenue," "Sliabh Russell," and "Cathal McConnell's," flutist Kevin Crawford is double-tracked on flute and whistle and plays in harmony with guest artist Mike McGoldrick, himself double-tracked on union pipes and low whistle. This setting is typical for Lúnasa (repeated with guest piper John McSherry on the air "January Snows" and Phil Cunningham's "Laura Lynn Cunningham," for example) and it yields a sound that is unique to the group and yet clearly in touch with tradition. Most importantly, it's a very attractive sound, rich and dense but still danceable. Less traditional are the occasional incursions of electric bass, cello, and (believe it or not) flügelhorn. But it's hard to imagine any but the most uptight folkies objecting to the final product. Highly recommended.

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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Otherworld, Lúnasa
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