Lúnasa performing at the Cornouaille Festival in Quimper, Brittany (France)
|Genres||Irish folk, Celtic|
|Labels||Lúnasa, Compass, Green Linnet|
Lúnasa is a traditional Irish music group.
Named after Lughnasadh, an ancient harvest festival, Lúnasa was founded when Sean Smyth, John McSherry and Steve Cooney teamed up to tour Sean's solo album The Blue Fiddle. They decided to call in Mike McGoldrick who was a friend of McSherry's and tour as a four-piece. As the band was taking off Cooney felt that he couldn't commit and bowed out. In the meantime Sean was touring in Scandinavia with the great rhythmical duo Donogh Hennessy and Trevor Hutchinson, from the Sharon Shannon Band and asked if they would like to join the band. It was after this that Lúnasa, as we know it, was born. The first album Lunasa Live was recorded while the group was on tour in 1996 and released to critical acclaim. McGoldrick and McSherry were becoming increasingly busy with other projects and decided to bow out. Kevin Crawford then joined the band and various other pipers stepped in for McSherry. For whatever reasons, the services of McSherry and McGoldrick were again called upon to record the second album Otherworld. It was after this album that Cillian Vallely joined the band.
In 1999, the group signed a three-year contract with Green Linnet Records, and that October released their second album, Otherworld. After releasing The Merry Sisters of Fate and Redwood with the label, they terminated their contract. In 2000 they appeared on A Thistle and Shamrock Christmas Ceilidh.
In 2004, Lúnasa signed up with Compass Records and recorded The Kinnitty Sessions before a live audience in Kinnitty Castle, County Offaly. That same year, Donogh Hennessy left the group. He subsequently recorded an album as a duet with Pauline Scanlon - previously of the Sharon Shannon band - the culmination of a project entitled 'Deora De', an album comprising tunes and songs. Hennessy was eventually replaced by Tim Edey and Paul Meehan who each played half the tracks on the album Sé. Tim Edey left shortly after, and Paul Meehan became the band's guitarist.
Released in April 2010, the band's newest album, Lá Nua, was the first release on the band's own record label, Lúnasa Records. That same month, the band also performed on the Natalie Merchant album Leave Your Sleep. Meehan left the group in late 2011 and was replaced by Ed Boyd.
The group tours for a majority of each year and has performed in the Americas, Europe and Asia.