(This Folk Alley Session was originally published March 14, 2014)
RUNA draws on the diverse musical backgrounds of its band members and offers a contemporary and refreshing approach to traditional and more recently composed Celtic material. Through their repertoire of both highly energetic and graceful, acoustic melodies, along with their fusion of music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the United States, this vocal and instrumental ensemble gives its arrangements of traditional songs and tunes a fresh sound.
When they stopped by Folk Alley’s studio in 2014, the band consisted of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Dave Curley from Corofin, Co. Galway on mandolin, vocals, bodhrán, and step-dancing, and Maggie Estes of Kentucky on the fiddle.
RUNA has been recognized on an international level in the Irish Music Awards, winning Top Group (US, IRE, EU, UK) and Top Traditional Group in a Pub, Festival, Concert (2013) and a nomination for Best Female Vocalist (2013, 2012), and in the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards, winning both the fan ballot and judges’ votes for Best Song in the World Traditional Category for “Amhrán Mhuighinse” (Somewhere Along the Road). The band won several awards at the 2010 Montgomery Buck Music Awards, including Best Entertaining Band, Best Folk Artist, Best Female Vocalist, and Best Album ” “Jealousy”.
RUNA stopped by the Folk Alley studio back in March of 2014. Listen to their interview and see video of their performances below.