BreakOut Year for Seamus Egan (Earle
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By Bernadette Price
The news that Seamus Egan was doing the music for "Dancing on Dangerous Ground" was downright thrilling. I don't think that Jean Butler and Colin Dunne could have made a much better choice than this amazing Irish-American musician, who at the age of 15 won the All-Ireland competition in four different instruments (tin whistle, flute, banjo and mandolin) and who brings to the band Solas his brilliance on no fewer than eight: flute, tin whistle, low whistle, nylon-string guitar, four-string banjo, mandolin and uilleann pipes. The Solas CDs and especially his "When Juniper Sleeps" have gotten a lot of airplay at my house since I had the great pleasure of seeing them perform twice earlier this year.
Seamus Egan was going to be a future "Featured Artist of the Month" here at the Celtic Cafe, but with the announcement about his involvement with "Dancing on Dangerous Ground," there is no reason to wait to focus on this multi-talented and just plain NICE person. Besides his solo efforts and his Solas discography, you can find Seamus Egan playing on literally dozens of other wonderful Celtic CDs. His music provided the soundtrack for the film "The Brothers McMullen" and he was one of the musicians contributing to the "Out of Ireland" series.
We are privileged to once again work with the renowned music writer Earle Hitchner, who is sharing his interview with Seamus Egan and the Solas article that he wrote for the Wall St. Journal. I'm going to excerpt part of that interview to show why I think it makes perfect sense that Seamus was chosen to do the music for "Dancing on Dangerous Ground." As with "traditional Irish dance," which is evolving as we see from the hugely popular "pioneers" like Riverdance and Lord of the Dance (and the others following them), so is traditional Irish music.
That could be as easily said about Irish dance, and we are fortunate indeed to see a veritable explosion of this kind of entertainment. (The Celtic Cafe strives to bring you information on all the touring Irish dance productions out there.) Before Riverdance and Lord of the Dance I barely knew that Irish dance existed as an art form, and the same with Celtic music. I think that there are millions around the world just like me who had it brought into our consciousness when we first encountered these wonderful Irish dance productions. That awareness led us to explore Celtic music and culture more deeply. We are now discovering and purchasing the music, both traditional and "neo-traditional," of so many Celtic artists who we might have missed altogether were it not for the powerful impact of the new Irish dance shows.
Seamus Egan is one of those artists who I am VERY glad not to have missed.
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