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Solas, one of the most popular, influential and exciting Celtic bands to ever emerge from the United States, will bring its Irish folk music to Lakeland College's Krueger Fine Arts Series.
Solas will perform on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Lakeland's Bradley Theatre. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for non-Lakeland students and can be reserved by contacting Deb Fale at (920) 565-1536.
Even before the release of its first Shanachie CD, the Boston Herald trumpeted the quartet, which formed in 1996, as "the first truly great Irish band to arise from America," and the Irish Echo ranked Solas among the "most exciting bands anywhere in the world."
Since then, the praise has only grown louder. The Philadelphia Inquirer said they make "mind-blowing Irish folk music, maybe the world's best." The New York Times praised their "unbridled vitality," the Washington Post dubbed them one of the "world's finest Celtic-folk ensembles" and the Austin American-Statesman called them "the standard by which contemporary Celtic groups are judged."
Solas is virtually unique in the new territory it has opened up for Celtic music. It has performed at all the major Celtic and folk festivals, including Philadelphia, Edmonton, the legendary National Folk Festival, and Milwaukee's Irish fest; but also at Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and the chamber music summer series at Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
In New York City, where the band was based in its early years, it has played at the legendary Bottom Line folk club, but also at vaunted classical venues Town Hall and Symphony Space.
Although Solas can play undiluted traditional Irish music as well as anyone, they are always varying the mix of fire-tested tradition and contemporary sensibility. As a result, they transcend musical genres into the realm of pure musical expression.
The internationally-acclaimed supergroup has not only captured the hearts and ears of Irish music fans, but fans all around the globe with their blend of Celtic traditional, folk and country melodies, bluesy sometimes jazz-inspired improvisations and global rhythms.
The Solas sound today is anchored by founders Seamus Egan, who plays flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistle, guitar and bodhran, and fiddler Winifred Horan. They are two of the most respected - and imitated - musicians anywhere in acoustic music.
Mick McAuley from Kilkenny plays accordion and concertina; Eamon McElholm from Tyrone plays guitar and keyboards.