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Lúnasa's contribution to Saint Patrick's Day 2006 (and all celebrations thereafter!) is Sé (pronounced "shay" -- Irish for "six", this being their album of that number.) Produced by double-bassist Trevor Hutchinson, the band's trademark instrumentals are as tight, weightless and clean as ever, with a sophisticated perpendicular swing that sometimes knocks more typically straight up-and-down reels and jigs sideways. But despite the festal merriment of the dance pieces, the real standouts are the slow airs, in which poignant, meandering melodies unfold in a leisurely manner, gradually revealing themselves in full splendor. "Absent Friends", composed by flute, whistle, and bodhrán player Kevin Crawford and paired with Diarmaid Moynihan’s equally lovely "Ivory Lady" is one such, "Two Of A Kind/Portobello" and especially, "Glentrasna/ Miss Admiral Gordon's Strathpey" are two more. "Midnight In Avilés" consists of a tune from Galicia, an ancient Celtic outpost in Northern Spain, plus two from Brittany in Western-most France, one of the original six Celtic nations along with Ireland, Scotland, Isle Of Mann, Wales and Cornwall. --Christina Roden


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