Few artists from traditional Irish music are more influential than Seamus Egan.
A founding member of groundbreaking powerhouse band, Solas, the multi-instrumentalist has a reputation as one of the leading lights, having inspired generations of musicians and helped define the sound of Irish music today.
In his hands, flute, tenor banjo, guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, and low whistle are all handled with an astounding level of dexterity and trademark joie de vivre. As a composer, he was behind the soundtrack for the award-winning film The Brothers McMullen, co-wrote Sarah McLachlan’s hit, Weep Not for the Memories, and has scored numerous documentaries and indie films.
As a bandleader, he established Solas as the pre-eminent Irish-American band of their generation in the past 20 years, continuously bringing in fresh ideas, and teaming up with Rhiannon Giddens in 2015.
After Solas decided to take a break in 2018, he began touring both as a formidable solo performer, and calling on a host of friends and musical kindred spirits to bring his lively and evocative ensemble ideas fully to life.
He has revisited albums he cut before Solas, building on that initial burst of creativity that followed the breathtaking All-Ireland Championships he won on four different instruments by the age of 14, and his turns as a star soloist in his later teens with Mick Moloney’s The Green Fields of America.
Now we have all enjoyed the fruits of these exhilarating new adventures following the release of Seamus Egan Project’s stunning Early Bright album.
At its thumping hot, pulse-racing best, it is jaw-dropping good; at its most subtle and understated natural pace, he displays the playful spirit and delicate touches we had previously learned to expect.
When they were flown in for a Celtic Connections main stage show at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, BBC grabbed the chance to film them for coverage of the event. Early Bright, marked the beginning of a new chapter for an artist many had maybe mistakenly believed had already reached his peak.