Tuesday, February 16, 2010

“Gráda is to Irish music what Arcade Fire is to indie." -Washington Post

With a new album just out at the end of January and accolades already pouring in, popular Irish band Grada couldn't have started off 2010 on a more positive note.

Their latest release, Natural Angle combines the traditional spirit of Irish music with Appalachian folk and and bluegrass– appropriate for the band, given their choice to record the masterpiece in Nashville. Singer and bodhran player Nicola Joyce believes this decision was essential in ensuring the band produced an album focused on their dynamic energy.

"Recording in Nashville allowed us to make the kind of record that we really wanted to make, which was all about capturing the live energy of the band. That's really what we went there to do," said Joyce.

Without a doubt, the band far exceeded its goal. New listeners, critics and avid Grada fans alike are raving about the latest release; The Washington Post says “Gráda is to Irish music what Arcade Fire is to indie – informal, prodigious and full of spirit." The Irish Edition said, "At times, I feel I'm listening to a Neil Young track or something composed by Philip Glass. But this is Grada and this is the signature sound that they've been developing so successfully since forming."

Founded in 2001, Grada has undergone a number of lineup changes, all lending to the unique sound the group has cultivated through these adjustments. Currently, the quintet holds strong, with Gerry Paul on guitar, banjo and vocals; Andrew Laking on double bass and vocals; David Doocey on fiddle, whistle and concertina; Stephen Doherty on flute, whistle, accordion, bodhran and cajon; and the aforementioned Nicola Joyce on vocals and bodhran. In addition to their latest recording, the band has released four albums – 2001's "Off to Sardinia," 2002's "Endeavor," 2004's "The Landing Step" and 2007's "Cloudy Day Navigation."

Grada plays the Iron Horse on Friday, March 12th at 7PM, part of the Celtic Required Listening series. Local fiddler and Suzuki instructor Sarah Michel aka Sarah The Fiddler (left) opens. Get tickets here.

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