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"Press Quotes"

Best Irish Traditional Album of 2006 - #4 Sé
“ …. this sixth recording by Lunasa reaffirms their reputation as the best Irish traditional instrumental band on the planet.”
Earle R. Hitchner III

THE IRISH TIMES 2006 & 2004
LÚNASA Sé Compass Records ****
“... Lúnasa have embarked on another journey, full of hairpin bends and vertiginous peaks, fuelled by an insatiable appetite for reconnoitering routes previously uncharted .”

LÚNASA The Kinntty Sessions Compass Records ****
“...only a corpse could resist the temptation to get lost in the glorious freefall of it (The Kinnitty Sessions) all.”
“...music whose roots are showing, but whose viewfinder is fixed firmly on the present.”
Siobhán Long

HOT PRESS 2006 & 2004
“Lunasa are at that place where the past meets the future, and when all four Lunasicks collide in one smooth ensemble they reveal a spirit few of their contemporaries can equal, as they seem to choose from a palette containing a range of sounds and moods not available to more mortal players. ““Taking Irish trad where few bands have gone before.”
Jackie Hayden

“The results are a wonderful affirmation of the powers of this band and this tradition.”
Noel Mengel

“Their passion for the music and their abilities to transport it to new levels is simply irresistible.”
Iain Shedden

“To beauty of sound and dazzling precision Lunasa adds the arranger's art of textural variation, and to the music as a whole is added the raconteur's art of risible patter, by the hugely entertaining Crawford. Don't miss them.”
John Shand

“For anyone who wishes to review the basis of our own folklore this record is simply the one to get.”

“It was an incredible gig; flawless musicians working with machine precision, and offering heart and emotion as well.”
Simon Sweetman

“ ... quite frankly one of the finest recordings of Irish music that I have listened to in a long time.' / 'If you only buy one Irish traditional CD this year, this must surely be the one.”

“The most innovative and intriguing instrumental group in Ireland today” / “…they all affirm Lúnasa’s status as the finest instrumental ensemble in Ireland today.”

“From Japan to Israel (Lúnasa) goes global.”

"…a group whose instrumental brilliance and cutting-edge arrangements have set a new standard for Irish groups building on the old tradition"

‘Lúnasa reigns as the new Celtic royalty’

“Anybody who listens can’t help but find them contagious.”

MOJO (UK) - 1999/2001
“Lúnasa’s musicianship is awesome… I’d sell my soul to be able to play like that’/ ‘The New Gods of Irish Music”

“The hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet.”
- Lúnasa


Special guests on Natalie Merchant's 'Leave Your Sleep' 2010.

Lá Nua - 2010
Leitrim Equation - 2009
The Story so Far - 2008
Sé - 2006
Kinnitty Sessions - 2004
Redwood - 2003
Merry Sisters of Fate - 2001
Otherworld - 1999
Lúnasa Live - 1997



In October 1997, Ireland’s all-star quintet Lúnasa released their début CD Lúnasa, a searing mix of concert and studio tracks gathered from their first prolific year together. It was immediately hailed as one of the freshest recordings of Irish music in years, called “moving, pulsating, and thrilling to the very marrow” by fRoots magazine and “a true must-have disc” by The Irish Voice. From the start, Lúnasa met with instant acclaim. Their first album became an immediate best-seller in Ireland, topping Hot Press’ folk charts and nominated one of the year’s top ten by the Irish Echo in the USA.

Since that auspicious beginning, Lúnasa has become one of the most sought-after bands on the international Celtic music scene. The band’s inventive arrangements and bass-driven grooves are steering Irish acoustic music into surprising new territory. On their first American visit, word-of-mouth led to sold-out shows and rave reviews. “A standing-room only crowd in New York confirmed Lúnasa’s reputation” … wrote The New York Times. “This is the hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet.”

Like the younger generation of Nashville musicians such as Béla Fleck or Edgar Meyer, pushing the boundaries of bluegrass into jazz and beyond, Lúnasa are redefining Irish music by going right to the heart of its rhythms. With its distinctive use of the upright acoustic bass -- brought front and center by Trevor Hutchinson’s remarkable playing -- teamed with percussive guitar, the group seeks out the essential heartbeat of a tune. “There are lots of great melodies in Irish music but often people don’t hear the rhythms underneath,” says founding member Sean Smyth. “We try to relate the swing or energy out of the music, using new rhythms, letting each instrument add its own unique layer. We’ll play the same tune over and over searching for the groove, exploring it. We let the music find its pulse.” The result is a sound that, though distinctly Irish in flavour, touches on jazz and other improvisational music forms.

Named for an ancient Celtic harvest festival in honour of the Irish god Lugh, patron of the arts, Lúnasa is indeed a gathering of some of the top musical talents in Ireland. Its members have helped formed the backbone of some of the greatest Irish groups of the decade - Bassist Trevor Hutchinson was a key member of The Waterboys, and later he, with guitarist Donogh Hennessy, would form the dynamic rhythm section of The Sharon Shannon Band. Fiddler Sean Smyth is an All-Ireland champion who has played with Donal Lunny’s Coolfin; Kevin Crawford, considered to be among the finest flautists in Ireland played with the acclaimed traditional group Moving Cloud; and, piper Cillian Vallely (of the same talented musical family as brother Niall Vallely of Nomos).

As confirmation of their excellence live, Lúnasa won the "Coup de Coeur Mirror" prize for their performances at the Quebec City Summer Festival July 2003. This prize is defined as follows … "Recognizes an artist, in any popular music genre, who the jury agrees has given a truly outstanding performance. The concert must stand out from all the others on the basis of one or more criteria …".

In 2004, seven years and three albums on from that acclaimed début, the band revisited the immediate, live-in-the-studio recording style on The Kinnitty Sessions. Recorded before an invited audience of friends and supporters in the supposedly-haunted walls of Ireland’s Kinnitty Castle, the album is clearly the work of an ensemble in peak form. Sharpened by constant touring and endless refinement of the material in a live setting, The Kinnitty Sessions was the most inventive and intense recording yet from Lúnasa, capturing the vitality and interplay of their concert appearances with a rich, crystal-clear studio sound. The album received a nomination for Folk Album Of The Year in the BBC Radio 2 Awards. It was also voted Best Traditional Album of 2005 by the readers of Irish Music Magazine.

At the end of 2004 guitarist Donogh Hennessy decided to take some time out to develop his own projects. He was replaced by Paul Meehan - one of the most dazzling young guitar/multi-instrument talents in the Celtic genre today.

Between their stunning début (available in a remastered/expanded edition as Compass Records COM 4317) and the heights scaled on The Kinnitty Sessions, Lúnasa released three superb albums for the US Green Linnet label. Otherworld (1999), The Merry Sisters of Fate (2001), and Redwood (2003) were each met with wide critical accolades, and furthered the development of the band’s richly detailed, driving vision of acoustic music. The albums were supported by worldwide touring, including Ireland, the US, the UK, Canada, Japan, Australia, Italy, Holland, and Spain.

In 2001 Lúnasa went to Hollywood (and performed in front of 13,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl). In 2005 Hollywood came to Lúnasa … in the form of their debut composin