||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
Solas to Perform|
At UW-Eau Claire Feb. 26
MAILED: Feb. 8, 1999|
Solas, one of the top Irish-folk groups on either side of the Atlantic, will perform on the Artists Series Friday, Feb. 26, at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.
No band in Irish music today has risen faster and further in such a short time than Solas. Formed in 1995 in New York, the virtuosic quintet received back-to-back best album awards from the Association for Independent Music and the Irish Echo newspaper for its first two recordings, "Solas" (1996) and "Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers" (1997), both on Shanachie Records. The band's third CD, "The Words That Remain," was released in November 1998.
"Solas, which means 'light' in Gaelic, is an appropriate name for a band that is brightening the genre of Irish traditional music with youthful energy and experimentation," wrote Billboard magazine in November.
Solas renews older traditional tunes and songs through their own arrangements. Last September, the Irish Echo wrote the following: "No other Celtic band on the planet can equal this quintet's innovative, often risk-taking arrangements, transforming the familiar into something new and lending to the new the grace and vigor of something ageless... Perhaps best known for their showstopping dance tunes and conscience-stinging songs, Solas also has an uncanny ability to pick slow airs of breathtaking beauty."
Solas was founded by Seamus Egan, a Pennsylvania-born musician and producer who was raised for a time in Foxford County Mayo, Ireland. Egan won All-Ireland championships on four different instruments flute, tin whistle, mandolin and tenor banjo and also plays low whistle, nylon-string guitar, bodhran and other percussion. He appears on Paula Cole's multi-platinum 1996 album "This Fire"; has been a guest flute soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C.; was featured on the "Masters of the Banjo" tour sponsored by the National Council for the Traditional Arts; scored the music for the film "The Brothers McMullen" (1995); and performed on the soundtrack to the movie "Dead Man Walking" (1995).
The other members of Solas are lead vocalist Karan Casey ("our own little piece of Waterford crystal"), born and raised in Ballyduff Lower, Waterford, Ireland; Dublin-born guitarist and singer John Doyle; All-Ireland champion fiddler and nine-time Irish stepdancing titlist Winifred Horan, a native New Yorker who is a violin graduate of Boston's New England Conservatory of Music; and Mick McAuley, one of Ireland's best box players, on accordion, concertina, slow whistle and background vocals.
Solas has performed on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion," National Public Radio's "Morning Edition," CNN's "World Beat" and "Showbiz Today," and NBCTV's "Weekend Today."
Tickets are $15 for the general public; $13 for those age 62 and over, and UW-Eau Claire faculty/staff; or $5 for those age 17 and under, and UW-Eau Claire students. Tickets are available at the University Service Center, (715) 836-3727, and will be sold at the door.
Patrons also may charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call (715) 836-3727 or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free (800) 949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.
The Artists Series is made possible by student funds allocated by the UW-Eau Claire Student Senate.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Feb. 8, 1999