Redwood - Lunasa

Even for those of us who have grown up in the rain forest of the Pacific Northwest, there's something inspirational about California's giant sequoia or redwoods..Inspiration gives rise to fits of creative achievement when it falls on the likes of Irish traditional quintet, Lunasa. The result is 'Redwood', the follow-up to 'The Merry Sisters of Fate. Lunasa were on a break at a friend's ranch in Northern California where they happened on the giant sentinels of the forest, the album's namesake. Shopping for studios in the area turned up another happy coincidence, the fabled Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati into which they locked themselves for 10 days to capture the live band's live chemistry. On Redwood, Lunasa's uncompromising musicianship and scrutinous selection process delivers another album that aspires to towering heights. A personal nod to Lunasa for knowing how to launch a disc and leave the listener, both on a strong note; the opener, 'Cregg's Pipes' and closing track, 'Temple Hill' are among my favorites.