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Solas: Irish Eyes Are Smiling On Beartrap 2013 [VIDEO]

Take some Irish-Americans from Philly, shake them up with a healthy dose of Irish traditional music and add a couple spoonfuls of Country, and you have Solas – coming to the meadow this August for the 2013 Beartrap Summer Festival.

Gaelic for “light” – Solas shed plenty of that on the Irish music scene when they formed in 1994 – and after some strong exposure on A Prairie Home Companion, recorded their first album and launched a US tour. Flash forward to today, and they’ve got 11 incredible albums under their belt, with no signs of slowing down.

Their latest project, “Shamrock City”, is perhaps their most ambitious – the story of Butte, Montana, a mining town seen through the eyes of an Irish immigrant (founding member Seamus Egan’s great-great uncle, Michael Conway) – during the turn of the 20th century.   Conway sailed from Ireland to Philadelphia as a teenager in 1910, and then made his journey to Butte, seeking work and a better life in the copper mines. A short six years later, at the young age of 25, he was gone – dead after a blow to the head.

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Through music, stories, audio from Philly and film from Butte – Solas tells not only Conway’s story, but takes an inventive look at the life of an immigrant during the Industrial Revolution.  The streets of Shamrock City truly come alive – nightlife and all – in “Lay Your Money Down”, featuring Rhiannon Giddens:

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Their bio perhaps says it best – “for anyone who associates Irish music solely with pubs, green beer and March – be prepared to have your mind firmly changed.”

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More from Shamrock City and a taste of what’s in store for Sunday, August 4 at the 2013 Beartrap Summer Festival – check out “Tell God And The Devil” – Solas recorded live at a recent Glasgow performance:

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