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For Love and Laughter

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 26, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

For over a decade, Solas has been hailed as the leading Irish-American supergroup. Through line-up changes and experiments with style and technology, the band has pushed the boundaries of but never strayed too far from their Irish roots.

Now, as Máiréad Phelan, an exciting young singer from Kilkenny, steps up to lend her exquisite vocals to the existing line up of Seamus Egan (flute, tenor banjo, mandolin, whistle, guitar, and bodhran), Winifred Horan (fiddle), Mick McAuley (accordion and concertina) and Eamon McElholm (guitar and keyboards), the band heads into their second decade of playing tight, fiery Irish music with a new tour and a new CD, For Love and Laughter .

The new material breaks fresh ground in duets with Canada s folk phenoms The Duhks and an inspired rendition of Rickie Lee Jones s Sailor Song, while it offers the imaginative reinterpretations of traditional material that Solas has been playing to the delight of their fans worldwide.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 26, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alliance
  • ASIN: B001BWQABY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,095 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 8, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Contemporary Irish-American folk at its best, from one of the finest bands in the field... Although former members Karan Casey, John Doyle and John Williams will be missed, newcomer Mairead Phelan makes a fine lead vocalist, while the album is anchored by the top-flight musicianship of guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Seamus Egan, fiddler Winifred Horan (the band's two remaining founding members) and dazzling accordionist Mick McAuley. The group is undeniably a powerhouse, although reactions of fans towards the modern folk style that predominates on this disc will vary, depending on the listener's devotion to (or rejection of) strictly traditional material. Fans with more modern tastes, who are looking for the genre to expand its horizons, should be quite happy with this one! (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To World Music)
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I have always loved this band, since its inception. As with most Irish music groups, they can already boast of some impressive PAST members, including John Doyle, John Williams, Karan Casey, and Donal Clancy, but the current ensemble is still wonderfully talented and retains founders Seamus Egan and Winnie Horan. They have always played with a kind of gypsy flare, sort of Irish music "kicked up a notch," (as Emeril might say). The pop influence has grown even stronger with this CD, which might put off some rigid traditionalists, but I find it an irresistible confection (and I love traditional Irish music).

I loved the driving rhythms of the traditional song "Seven Curses," the wonderful song about life as a "Merry Go Round" (which could probably double as country music hit), the contemporary feel of "There is a Time," the expressive guitar and fiddle work on Sunday's Waltz/Double Oh," and the instrumental set that begins with "John Riordan's Heels." They also render a wistful, slowed down version of the classic song "Mollai na gCuach Ni Chuilleanain," which I have always heard played as an up-tempo song, but is successfully reinvented here.

Egan and Horan manage to imprint the same fiery signature that seems to transcend this band's various incarnations. Mairead Phelan from Ireland is a terrific lead singer, and the talented Mick McAuley and Eamon McElholm complete a world class quintet. If you ever liked SOLAS you will love this CD. I am tempted to say that if you love music period, you will be happy to bring home "For Love and Laughter." This one is worth five stars in my book.
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By J. Best on September 30, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a BIG Solas fan. Great musicians, wonderful people.
I've followed them, now, through 3 changes in lead singers. Each time it took awhile to get used to the new "voice" in the mix.The album itself is great. It's not just another "same old, same old" next album that you find with so many other groups. Very enjoyable.
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this is my favorite Solas album (i have three others plus the Reunion CD). starts with a reel, then goes into "Seven Curses" which is a story song where a maiden places curses on a judge who did her wrong (this has been done by others, but is beautifully done here). then another jig followed by a slower traditional song in gaelic. then comes "Merry Go Round" which has got to be one of my favorite songs ever. moves well and is basically song about life and living. think this is the pinnacle of the album, with 7 more good songs to follow ("There is a Time" is another really good life song that moves), ending with the lovely plaintive sounding "My Dream of You".
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Format: Audio CD
After having seen Karan Casey front Lunasa at a show in Tucson, AZ a couple weekends ago, I was moved to check Allmusic and Amazon to see if I was missing any Solas recordings in my collections. That's not meant to be a slap at Lunasa, their show was fine. But they reminded me of how much I love Solas music and shows, and how long it's been since I've seen them (around Mother's Day, 2010 in Scottsdale). When I saw the thumbnail photo for this recording, I thought it was showing the wrong photo/artwork--the cover AND back photos are exact reverse-images of the props and background for the Paris Combo's "Living-Room" disc released eight years earlier. And I've had the Solas recording since the moment of its release, and the other for years prior to that and never noticed before. Just an interesting observation, wondering what inspired them to pay homage to Paris Combo. "Well, it was an interesting observation to me anyway," he said, mumbling to himself

Anywho, another great Solas recording, but I agree with another reviewer's characterization of the affect of the new singer's voice. A different style, very sweet and nice and breathy. Any follow-on to Karan Casey and Deirdre Scanlan would suffer by comparison. I'll just call this a slightly different direction for Solas, one that ultimately proved prescient and successful on their very nice next release, Turning Tide
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So very good and satisfying. It has instantly become one of our perennial favorites, didn't take it long to rise to the top of my iPod's most frequently played list! What I most like about this CD is the mix of original and traditional tunes all done in Solas' wonderful style.
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