Lúnasa’s self-titled 1996 debut album (Compass 4317) was considered by many to be a new chapter in the development of Irish music. By pinning traditional elements of composition and instrumentation to a fluid rhythmic undercurrent, Lúnasa achieved a new pinnacle of urgency and intricacy -- sparking off unprecedented acclaim and notoriety in the process.
The Kinnitty Sessions, their fifth album, returns the band to that immediate style of recording. Cut before a live audience at Kinnitty Castle in Ireland and then refined in a Dublin studio, the recording blends the best elements of a studio recording with the energy and spontaneity of a live album. Building on the rock-solid rhythmic foundation of double-bassist Trevor Hutchinson (ex-Waterboys, Sharon Shannon Band) and guitarist Donogh Hennessy (Sharon Shannon Band), piper Cillian Vallely, flutist Kevin Crawford, and fiddler Sean Smyth ride the surging rhythms with impeccable grace -- alternating blistering unison passages with episodes of deft counterpoint. Four years of constant touring has elevated the band’s already-formidable skill to peak brilliance, perfectly captured by the unique setting of The Kinnitty Sessions.
"Nobody since the Bothies has wielded such a thrilling rhythmic underlay, switching pace and mood with a Donogh Hennessy guitar dynamic that’s the equal of Donal Lunny in his heyday. The irrepressible flautist Kevin Crawford is right up there with Matt Molloy of the Chieftain’s and his flowing interplay with fiddle and pipes maintains a breathtaking pace and energy..." - MOJO
"The biggest buzz in Irish music is emanating from Lúnasa." - The Chicago Tribune
"What a breath of fresh air Lúnasa is....a merry and mesmerizing exploration of Irish, Breton, Galician and original music....flawless execution....another leap of faith and imagination for Lúnasa, who right now rule the roost in Irish instrumental music." - The Irish Echo
"Not since the debut of Solas has an Irish traditional band been as lavishly praised as has Lunasa since its 1997 eponymous debut....Lunasa brings the world of traditional Irish music some sweet fruits indeed." - The Boston Herald
"Ireland’s new all-star quartet.....Lunasa manages to marry jazz-rock bass lines and an expanded harmonic sensibility to anolder rural music. ....determined to drag Irish folk music kicking and screaming into the 21st century." - The Washington Post
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