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- Released: June 4, 1996
- Originally Released: 1996
- Label: Shanachie
- 1.Nil Na La
- 2.The Flowing Bowl / Maire Breatnachs #1 / The Doon / The Mason's Men
- 3.The White Petticoat / Stan Chapmans / The Miller's Maggot
- 4.I Wonder What's Keeping My True Love Tonight
- 5.The Yellow Tinker / Cranking Out / Master Crowleys #2
- 6.Crested Hens
- 7.Johny's Gone For a Soldier
- 8.Dougie Macdonald's / Maire Breatnachs #2 / The Antrim Rose / Atlantic Wave / Toss The Feathers
- 9.The Newry Highwayman
- 10.Gan Ainm / The Humours Of Whiskey / Leslie's March
- 11.Sliabh Geal Gcua Na Feile
- 12.Lament For Frankie
- 13.Timmy Cliffords / The Return Home / O'Ot Be Est Da Vong / John Joe Casey's
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
Solas: Karan Casey (vocals); John Doyle (guitar); Winifred Horan (fiddle); Seamus Egan (flute); John Williams (accordion).
Solas succeed where other Irish bands fail: They're lively without being frenetic; Karan Casey's vocals are high and clear without being ethereal or waifish; and they manage to add texture and complexity to the many traditionals they play. Their self-titled debut contains five songs (not enough!) and eight jigs, reels, and airs. The group know how to build an instrumental up to a fevered pitch, as on "The Yellow Tinker/Cranking Out/Master Crowley's #2," which creates fantasy swirls of accordion and fiddle before the guitar enters with its insistent rhythms. Not that all the pieces are fast: "Crested Hens" is a slow, sweet air -- a bit reminiscent of Jay Ungar or Eileen Ivers -- and "My Johnny's Gone for a Soldier" is a sweet love song about an Irish rebellion. Solas is simply one of the best, most varied albums of Irish music to come out in a long time. ~ Kurt Keefner
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