Date:   3/11/2011

"Hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet" hits the Thrasher stage in March

Saturday, March 11th at 7:30 p.m., Lunasa will take the stage at the historic Thrasher Opera House. Hailed as “the hottest Irish acoustic band on the planet”, Lunasa will entertain the audience with Irish music, fused with their own innovative arrangements and bass-driven grooves for an unforgettable evening of high-energy fun.


In October 1997, Ireland’s all-star quintet Lúnasa released their first CD ‘Lúnasa’, a mix of concert and studio tracks gathered from their prolific year together. It was immediately hailed as one of the finest, freshest recordings of Irish music in years, called "moving, pulsating, and thrilling to the very marrow" by Folk Roots and "a true must-have disc" by the Irish Voice. From the start, Lúnasa met with instant acclaim. Their first album became an immediate best-seller in Ireland, topping Hot Press’ folk charts and nominated one of the year’s top ten by the Irish Echo in the USA.


Since that auspicious beginning, Lúnasa has become one of the most sought-after bands on the international Irish music scene. The band’s inventive arrangements and bass-driven grooves are steering Irish acoustic music into surprising new territory. On their first American visit, word-of-mouth led to sold-out shows and rave reviews. "A standing-room only crowd in New York confirmed Lúnasa’s reputation," wrote the Irish Voice. "This is the hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet."


Like the younger generation of Nashville musicians such as Bela Fleck or Edgar Meyer, pushing the boundaries of bluegrass into jazz and beyond, Lúnasa are redefining Irish music by going right to the heart of its rhythms. With its distinctive use of the upright acoustic bass -- brought front and center by Hutchinson’s remarkable playing -- teamed with Hennessey’s percussive guitar, the group seeks out the essential heartbeat of a tune. "There are lots of great melodies in Irish music but often people don’t hear the rhythms underneath," says founding member Sean Smyth. "We try to relate the swing or energy out of the music, using new rhythms, letting each instrument add its own unique layer. We’ll play the same tune over and over searching for the groove, exploring it. We let the music find its pulse." The result is a sound that, though distinctly Irish in flavor, touches on jazz and other improvisational music forms. -


Tickets for this lively evening of music by Lunasa are only $22 and can be purchased online at, at the Thrasher office, Knowledge Emporium, Green Lake Bank (Green Lake); Pick N’ Save, Ripon Drug (Ripon); Twister (Princeton) or by calling (920) 294-4279. 


This project is supported in part by grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Accommodations provided by the Heidel House Resort & Spa.



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