Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers



Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers – IRISH KINETIC

We feature the music of Solas, Seamus Egan, Dervish, and other fast-moving tracks. Hold on to your hats! Calling this Irish Kinetic for a reason. And here is a listening advisory – don’t drive while listening. You’ll get a speeding ticket or certain. This music rolls and just doesn’t stop.

Featuring Seamus Egan

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, “Weep Not for the Memories,” and has scored numerous documentaries and indie films since. As a bandleader, Solas has been the pre-eminent Irish-American band of their generation for the past 20 years, continuously renewing  Irish music with fresh ideas, including a collaboration with Rhiannon Giddens on their 2015 album. 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.  

In 2018, Seamus Egan began touring as a solo performer, bringing along friends and musical guests, and making music as Seamus Egan Project which points towards the origins of Solas in the 1990s. Originally a band of friends who gathered to enjoy the late-night craic of the Irish sessions in Philadelphia and New York, Solas was able to meld the breakneck speed and fun of these late-night jams with a more sensitive feel for complex arrangements and composition that came from Egan’s love of other music genres like jazz, classical, bluegrass or rock. Revisiting this period in his music, focusing on the three solo albums he cut before Solas, Egan’s looking back to that initial burst of creativity that followed the breathtaking four All-Ireland Championships he won on four different instruments by the young age of 14 and his turns as a star soloist in his later teens with Mick Moloney’s The Green Fields of America.  

Growing up under the wing of powerful elder musicians, Egan’s always paid homage to his roots, but he’s thought of these roots less as a heritage and more as a universal language to be shared. Just as classical or jazz cuts across all ethnicities and unites communities around the world, Egan saw Irish music the same way, and the ensuing decades only served to support this idea. Today, musicians play Irish music all over the world, and part of this comes from the constant evolution the tradition has seen in the past century. Certainly this idea of musical evolution has kept Egan centered through the twenty years he’s spent as founding member of Solas, but the first real inkling of this came from his groundbreaking 1996 album, When Juniper Sleeps. Here, Egan began to explore the further reaches of the Irish tradition, blazing his way at spectacular speed through Irish reels, but also bringing in rich compositions and arrangements, and crafting soundscapes to enrich the melodies. This album dropped nearly the same year as Solas’ debut, self-titled album, so it’s no surprise that Egan would reach back to this time period to create new music for new generations. 


IRISH KINETIC (S3 | E117) | Show Playlist

Yellow Tinker / Cranking Out / Master Crowley’s #2SolasSolas1996
John Doherty / Crowley’s / Gan AinmSeamus Egan3 Way Street1993
BrennansMartin Hayes QuartetThe Blue Room2017
FionnghualaThe Bothy BandOld Hag You Have Killed Me1976
Big Reel of BallynacallySolasSunny Spells and Scattered Showers1997
6 Then 5Seamus EganEarly Bright Live2022
Apples in WinterDervishHarmony Hill1992
TournesolSeamus EganEarly Bright Live2022
Huginn & MuninTen Strings and a Goat StringCorbeau2013
Paddy Taylor’s / McFarley’s Handsome DraftSolasSunny Spells and Scattered Showers1997
Music for a Found HarmoniumPenguin Cafe OrchestraPreludes, Airs and Yodels (A Penguin Cafe Primer)1996
Nin Na LaSolasSunny Spells and Scattered Showers1997
Reels The Goosberry Bush / The Sailor’s ReturnJohn DoyleMasters of the Irish Guitar2006
AlzenCalum Stewart, Lauren MacCollWooden Flute & Fiddle2012
Day OneRuraIn Praise of Home2018
PJ Ewing

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DJ and radio personality PJ Ewing is the host of Lester the Nightfly.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Mary

    I loved this!!!! I felt like I was back in Ireland! Loved your choice of songs and the artist! When I was in Ireland I heard many sad songs too. I’m so happy with the tempo of this show!! Happy, makes you want to laugh and grab a friend and dance! Absolutely enjoyed this! Thank you, PJDJ

  2. Jonathan Phillips

    What an interesting style

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