Solas (group)

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Solas live in 2010
Solas live in 2010
Background information
OriginPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Years active1996–2016
LabelsCompass Records
Shanachie Records
MembersSéamus Egan
Winifred Horan
Mick McAuley
Éamon McElholm
Moira Smiley
Past membersKaran Casey
John Williams
John Doyle
Deirdre Scanlan
Mairead Phelan
Niamh Varian-Barry
Noriana Kennedy

Solas (Irish: light) was an American musical group officially formed in 1996, playing Irish traditional music as well as original compositions influenced by the country, rock, and americana genres.[1] With several members who are prominent performers, both solo and in other constellations in the irish traditional music scene, Solas has been described as a "Supergroup".[2]

Their name comes from an Irish word meaning "light". At the time, the band was made up of Séamus Egan, who had already recorded two solo albums as well as a soundtrack to a film; Winifred Horan, a member of Cherish the Ladies; John Doyle, previously a member of Susan McKeown & The Chanting House with Egan; Karan Casey and John Williams.[3]

In June 2008 the band announced Mairead Phelan had joined the group as their new singer. In September 2010, Niamh Varian-Barry[4] from Cork replaced Mairead Phelan as lead singer of Solas.[5] On July 11, 2013, they announced on their Facebook page that Niamh was leaving the band and that Noriana Kennedy would be replacing her.[6] The band announced an indefinite hiatus in early 2017.[7]


  • 1996 — Solas
  • 1997 — Sunny Spells and Scattered Showers
  • 1998 — The Words That Remain
  • 2000 — The Hour Before Dawn
  • 2002 — The Edge of Silence
  • 2003 — Another Day
  • 2005 — Waiting for an Echo
  • 2006 — Reunion: A Decade of Solas
  • 2008 — For Love and Laughter
  • 2010 — The Turning Tide
  • 2013 — Shamrock City
  • 2016 — All These Years


  1. ^ Geoff Wallis, Sue Wilson. 2001. The Rough Guide to Irish Music. Rough Guides, Limited, p. 2036
  2. ^ Sean Williams. 2013. Focus: Irish Traditional Music. Routledge, p. 252-254
  3. ^ "John Williams". Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  4. ^ "Niamh Varian-Barry". Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  5. ^ "Compass Records". Compass Records. September 21, 2010. Archived from the original on July 7, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  6. ^ "Solas - Important News from Solas: It has been a joy..." Facebook. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  7. ^ "Solas says it's time to say 'goodbye for a while' But not before a show in Beverly this month, and a five-week tour". Boston Irish Reporter. Retrieved March 27, 2019.

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