A St. Patrick’s Day Treat


Review (of sorts) for Lunasa with the RTE Orchestra

Lunasa with the RTE Orchestra reviewAs a music blogger, I often get samples for review. Sometimes, the music I receive doesn’t fit the blog for which I write, and I have to sadly forego the review. In almost every case, I enjoy the music on my own time and wish I could find another outlet to let people know about the beauty I’ve absorbed. The latest album from Lunasa is one such album, but I enjoyed it so much, I had to share somewhere.

As most of you know, my husband is Irish. (Nooooo, really?) St. Patrick’s Day is something like Christmas around my house. We usually pick a city and take a roadtrip to enjoy the Irish culture in faraway places that aren’t as far away as Ireland. In the past, we’ve enjoyed New York City, Boston, Chicago, Denver, and Louisville. The Highlands of Louisville turned out to be so fun, we went back again this year. And we took Lunasa with us.

What can I say about this inspired CD? We were in the mood for traditional Irish, though Liam probably expected a rousing drinking song. What we got was far better. Opening with the lilting Casu, Lunasa captured us immediately. The harp, fiddle, uilleann pipes wove a mystical setting, and we all shut our mouths to listen. The song received the highest of praise from Liam, which was “feels like home.”

We loved the next song, Leckan Mor, just as much but for different reasons. The reel is playful, featuring the Irish flute (or penny whistle), but not at all grating. It perked us right up before slipping into another dance tune named, appropriately, Spoil the Dance.

I’ll admit we talked over the album as it played, but that was okay. When it reached the end, we let it repeat. And then again. The haunting An Buachaillin Ban stopped our conversation (and my heart) more than once, calling to mind ancient Irish hills, chilling mist, and ghosts of legend. Morning Nightcap inspired the dance and chatter again, as well as the lively Breton Set and The Minor Bee. The final song, The Merry Sisters of Fate, was so lush and full, we all had to stop and just listen again.

We had every intention of rocking U2, The Cranberries, Van Morrison, and even some Dropkick Murphys. And we did get plenty of raucous Irish fun in. But the best part—the part where we all felt truly connected to Liam’s homeland—was when we played Lunasa with the RTE Orchestra.

If you love Irish music, this is a must. In fact, check out some of their other albums from past years. I intend to listen over and over while writing book three from The Kingdom series, because the images these songs evoke are powerful. You won’t regret giving it a listen.

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