“There is truly a mystical quality to their playing. They create a lyrical sound that is at once unique as well as seamless.” – Lori Lander Murphy, Irish Philadelphia
RUNA draws on the diverse musical backgrounds of its band members and offers a contemporary and refreshing approach to traditional and more recently composed Celtic material. Through their repertoire of both highly energetic and graceful, acoustic melodies, along with their fusion of music from Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and the United States, this vocal and instrumental ensemble gives its arrangements of traditional songs and tunes a fresh sound.
“Best of all, RUNA sounds like no one else.” – Travis Rogers, Jr., Music Life and Times
Members of RUNA have played with Solas, Riverdance, Slide, Clannad, Fiddlers’ Bid, Moya Brennan, Eileen Ivers, Hazel O’Conner, Full Frontal Folk, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Barcó, Téada, and the Guy Mendilow Band.
RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Dave Curley on mandolin, vocals, bodhrán, and step-dancing, and Maggie Estes of Kentucky on the fiddle. The band often performs with world-renowned, guest musicians, including Ross Holmes (Mumford & Sons, Cadillac Sky, Chessboxer) on fiddle, Matt Mancuso (Cathie Ryan Band) on fiddle, and Isaac Alderson (The Yanks, Comas) on the uilleann pipes, flutes, and whistles.
RUNA was recently recognized on an international level in the Irish Music Awards for 2013, winning Top Group (US, IRE, EU, UK) and Top Traditional Group in a Pub, Festival, Concert, and a nomination for Best Female Vocalist (2013, 2012), and in the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards, winning both the fan ballot and judges’ votes for Best Song in the World Traditional Category for “Amhrán Mhuighinse” (Somewhere Along the Road). The band won several awards at the 2010 Montgomery Buck Music Awards, including Best Entertaining Band, Best Folk Artist, Best Female Vocalist, and Best Album – “Jealousy”. Jim Allford of PA Music Scene writes, “The band is going to be reckoned with and I really feel they are Grammy bound within time.”
RUNA recently released their third album, Somewhere Along the Road – hailed by Irish Philadelphia as “an inspired group that has found its voice, and its place, in the world of Irish music”.
“For contemporary Celtic music at its very best – do yourself a favor and check out RUNA.. brilliant!” – Gene Shay, co-founder of the Philadelphia Folk Festival; WXPN-FM