To say I’m excited for the Solas concert tonight would be an understatement. When Linda Fahey and I met Ann Kingston at the Folk Alliance Conference—we started talking about the possibility of webcasting Solas’ Cleveland concert live. Luckily, with just about a month to prepare, we looked over our equipment needs, polished off the extra mixing boards, and finally washed the Folk Alley Van to make tonight’s live on-demand concert a reality. I’d like to throw an extra special thanks to producer Joe Gunderman who somehow managed to squeeze all our recording gear in the van—I just hope they can somehow get heat in there—it’s gonna be a cold night.
About ten years ago, I jumped at the opportunity to direct the 30th Kent State Folk Festival. That year, we brought in acts like Tim O’Brien, Tish Hinojosa, James Keelaghan, and Sam Bush. At that time, this brand new Celtic band was on the scene called Solas. They had only released one record but after the first few seconds of that album, I knew I found the perfect band to close out Friday’s music at the festival. There was this power and energy in that first record—a sound unlike anything I had heard for a Celtic band. I just knew they were going to be something special. Even with member changes throughout the years, Solas has maintained their unique brand of Celtic music by not compromising their sound for anyone. They continue to make different records each time they go into the studio and their live shows have certainly not lost the energy and excitement from their early years. Plus—Seamus Egan and the gang are such nice people—it makes it hard not to fall in love with this band. In April, Compass records is releasing “Reunion” from Solas—a live recording done last year featuring every single past and present member of the band. You can bet we’ll be playing it on Folk Alley. So tonight, at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, don’t forget to click on the special link that will take you live to the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio, with Solas—an early St. Patrick’s Day present from Folk Alley.