Album: Lunasa With The RTE Concert Orchestra
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 9

The seems to be a point in the career of a good number of the world's top folk bands that they find themselves on stage with a concert orchestra and it's probably not a coincidence that a lot of those orchestras are associated with broadcasting. In some cases the folkies find themselves there for the odd song or two, occasionally the collaboration bears the fruit of an album and such is the case here with Lunasa and the RTE Concert Orchestra.

The album title says with, but a more accurate title really should be Lunasa With/Vs The RTE Concert Orchestra as there are definitely a number of slots on the album where it all seems to get very competitive and that's no bad thing. For a start it mean that neither outfit ends up getting subsumed into the narrow world of the other, you can feel the way both units approach folk music, where they differ and where they compliment and whilst Lunasa's name may come first on the box, this is very much an album where music is very much the winner.

There are times where you can pretty much just hear a single instrument, but dynamically it doesn't feel like a solo, more like a contribution to the greater whole, a contrast to a broader, and often smoother, sound when the arrangement calls for everyone to be playing. It also makes this a difficult album to call out the highlights on, because whilst there is familiarity with the sounds of the Lunasa boys, I'd find it difficult to lay out wider attribution to the RTE Concert Orchestra members. Let's just say that this is one of the best folk and orchestra combinations I've heard and leave it at that, the arrangements are simply sublime.

Neil King

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Lunasa With The RTE Concert Orchestra

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