Irish-American supergroup Solas have always been great. Now they’ve upped the ante again with a new concept album titled Shamrock City, which officially hits the streets on Feb. 5. Band leader and producer Seamus Egan set out to tell the true story of his great-great uncle, Michael Conway, who left County Mayo, Ireland in 1910 and boarded a ship bound for the copper mines and boxing rings of Butte, Montana. Six years later, in a cloud of mystery, he was dead at the hands of local police.
The breadth and depth of this record reward the listener at every turn. From snippets of archival sean nós singing to pounding feet and clawhammer banjo, the material here spans from east to west and from trad to modern. And the guest artist list reads like a who’s who of the folk star galaxy: Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops), Dick Gaughan, Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still), Natalie Hass, Dirk Powell, Trevor Hutchinson (Lunasa), and others. Here’s a medley of American tunes and a song written by band members Mick McCauley and Seamus Egan.
LISTEN: High, Wide, And Handsome
LISTEN: No Forgotten Man[youtube http://youtu.be/Dwan6C3bNp8]