No traditionalists, this Irish/American quintet has been infuriating purists for the better part of ten years with its blend of Irish folk music, bluegrass, country and world music. Led by multi-instrumentalist Seamus Egan, the quintet boasts other highlights, including the clear voice of singer Deirdre Scanlan, which is suggestive of that of a less hyperglycemic Allison Krauss. Fiddler Winifred Horan also shines -- not just as a player but also as a composer. Her gypsy-jazzy instrumental "Highlands of Holland" is the most immediately catchy tune on the band's brand-new record, Another Day.
The Boston Herald calls them "the best traditional Irish band in the world," and while this writer thinks that honor belongs to the crazed crescendo-artists in the similarly genre-bending combo Kila, Solas is damn close behind. So put on your Aran Islands sweater and head on over.