It’s hard to think of an artist in traditional Irish music more influential than Seamus Egan. From his beginnings as a teen prodigy, to his groundbreaking solo work with Shanachie Records, to his founding of Irish-American powerhouse band Solas, to his current work as one of the leading composers and interpreters of the tradition, Egan has inspired multiple generations of musicians and helped define the sound of Irish music today. As a multi-instrumentalist, he’s put his mark on the sound of the Irish flute, tenor banjo, guitar, mandolin, tin whistle, and low whistle, among others. As a composer, he was behind the soundtrack for the award-winning film The Brothers McMullen, co-wrote Sarah McLachlan’s breakout hit, “I Will Remember You,” and has scored numerous documentaries and indie films since. As a bandleader, Solas was the pre-eminent Irish-American band of their generation for decades, continuously renewing Irish music with fresh ideas. As a performer, few others can make so many instruments or such wickedly complex ornaments seem so effortless. Music comes as naturally to Seamus Egan as breath, but his mastery of the tradition is only one facet of his plans to move the music forward.
Early Bright (2019)
Early Bright marks Seamus Egan’s first solo album in twenty-three years, following on the heels of his groundbreaking 1996 instrumental album When Juniper Sleeps. From the first, delicate opening notes through to the melancholic, yet hopeful, closing track, Early Bright, showcases the virtuosity Egan has become renowned for, while also bringing his superb original compositions to the fore. He has written music inspired by childhood memories and ruminations on our yearning to connect and our need to be heard.
“A perfect balance of energetic and wistful, modern and traditional.”