Wintergrass 2016 will have Solas performing both on the Thursday and Friday of the Fesitval. 2016 marks the 20th Anniversary of the quintessential Irish-American band, Solas. Formed in 1996, in a manner befitting their name (Gaelic for “light”), Solas burst onto the Irish music scene and instantly became a beacon – an incandescent ensemble that found contemporary relevance in timeless traditions.
11 albums later, with numerous awards to their credit, and more miles traveled touring the world to count, Solas will mark this milestone with a exciting new recording project and tour, ALL THESE YEARS. It is a celebration of a band that, from its inception, captured the musical world’s attention and went on to become one of the most influential groups in the history of Irish music. ALL THESE YEARS sees Solas reuniting with all the members of the band, past and present, to record new material and embark on a year long world tour.
Anchored by founding members Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistles, guitars, bodhran) and Winifred Horan (violins, vocals), who form the backbone of the uniquely definable Solas sound, long time members Eamon McElholm (guitars, keyboards, vocals), and Mick McAuley (button accordion, vocals) and newest member, the dynamic Moira Smiley (vocals, banjo), Solas is musically at the top of their game and continues to be the standard bearer not only for great Irish music, but great music in any genre.
Indeed, it can be convincingly argued that no band has done more than Solas to prove that Celtic music today is a truly universal musical language, like jazz, classical, rock, or bluegrass. The band’s sound is explosive yet seductively personal; timelessly melodic yet rippling with modern muscle. It can bring edgy urban hipness to ancient reels, and make songs by Tom Waits and Bob Dylan feel like they’ve been aging for centuries in the sweet old casks of Celtic tradition. Through fresh and unexpected arrangements of age-old tunes, compelling and topical originals and covers, and unparalleled musicianship, Solas continues to define the path for the Celtic music world and drive the genre forward.
From their early days with singer Karan Casey, to the present lineup featuring Moira Smiley on vocals, Solas’ ALL THESE YEARS demonstrates the evolution of a band the New York Times hailed for their “…..unbridled vitality”, and the Boston Globe declared to be “the finest celtic ensemble this country has ever produced”. Solas’ 20th Anniversary Project celebrates their remarkable past while demonstrating why they continue to be one of the most popular, influential, and exciting bands ever to emerge over the past two decades.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see founding members and Solas stalwarts Seamus Egan and Winifred Horan bring the past, present, and future of the band to the stage, with a program sure to delight audiences with old favorites and with new material that lights the way forward.