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The Friday Morning Listen: Solas

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Look…I’ve got my green socks on. Also, a green & black plaid flannel shirt. Isn’t that enough? Do I really have to listen to some Irish-type music for this St. Patrick’s Day thing? C’mon, you just know that, by the end of the day, there are sure to be several nice posts on groups such as the Chieftains and what not.

Oh, all right. Be that way.

To be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about the music of Ireland. If I’d had my wits about me this morning I might have picked a Thin Lizzy record just for fun. Maybe even that Buck O Nine CD with “Irish Drinking Song” (yeah, I know it’s a stereotype, but that “Drink&drink&drink&drink&fight!” chorus is catchy and funny as hell). I do have my share of Chieftains and Pogues (are they actually Irish?) and stuff. What I do know is that when I hear new music from that land I’m genuinely intrigued.

For many years I’ve listened to the show “A Celtic Sojourn” on Boston radio station WGBH. While I’m only a quarter Irish (from my mother’s side), the show’s host, Brian O’Donovan, hails from Clonakilty, West Cork. You can’t get more Irish than that. His knowledge of Celtic music is vast (though I wonder if he knows who Thin Lizzy was). He also mixes in the modern with the traditional in interesting ways. This weekend, for example, his guest will be singer Carol Noonan. I will definitely be tuning in for her rendition of “Danny Boy”.

Speaking of the tradition and the modern, I’ve got O’Donovan to thank for introducing me to the music of Solas. Beautiful vocals, stunning instrumentals, and some of the craziest, most athletic rhythm guitar I’ve ever had the pleasure of wondering at. Great stuff.

On my way home I will do my duty and surprise the house by picking up some silly green carnations and armload of Guinness. I’ll be able to smell the corned beef and cabbage from the driveway, I’ll bet.

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About Mark Saleski

  • Brian O’Donovan

    I love Thin Lizzy. Am a huge fan of Phil Lynott. Grew up crazed on the music of Rory Gallagher, Peter Green, Yes, CSNY, BB. King, Allmans, Velvet Underground, Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, The Band, Springsteen. I am offended (kidding!) that you would think I haven’t heard of Thin Lizzy. I was rockin to Taste, and Cream long before the diddleedee penetrated my conciousness.

    Glad you like Solas. They will be live in Studio on April 15th.