Getting Jiggy the Celtic Way

LLúnasa's 'Lúnasa'únasa — another reason for that Irish/English dictionary. I don’t know if it can be translated, but I know what it means: three albums worth of great Irish music. Well, I’m taking the third on faith; I only have their self–titled debut, and the follow–up, “Otherworld.” Both are fantastic, though, and I’ll be surprised if “The Merry Sisters of Fate” is any less.

Lúnasa's 'Otherworld'Lúnasa plays almost traditional Celtic music. Along the way, they manage to give it a spin and a nudge, and suddenly, it’s sounding extremely modern without losing its venerable age. This is a natural evolution of a living art form, and it’s marvelous to see. Fiddles and whistles and flutes and bass, one minute sounding O so traditional; the next, sounding like the intro to the latest U2 single. The band is purely acoustic, and technically there’s really nothing ‘rock’ about them, but there’s a currency in the performances which is more than just the youthful vigor elementary to Celtic music.

Lúnasa's 'The Merry Sisters of Fate'Their website is a mixture of information and fun, and is well worth browsing. As are, of course, the albums. My special favorite: “Laura Lynn Cunningham” from “Otherworld” — first, a mournful flute, all alone, then joined by others. Finally, when the song is more than half over, the fiddle and guitars take over, dispelling the pensive mood with a finish bright and cheerful as their album covers.