As the former leader of Solas, Philadelphia’s Seamus Egan is a legend in the world of Irish American music. This January, he’ll be releasing his first solo album in over 20 years, Early Bright. It’s a record featuring all-instrumental compositions, inspired by Irish and classical composers.
The Fretboard Journal is proud to premiere the video for “Welcome to Orwell” from Early Bright for our readers. “This is a tune that I had been working on for some time,” Egan tells us. “It existed quietly in various forms before finding it’s way to this current iteration. The initial inspiration was the playing of Juana Molina, although I don’t think that would be at all obvious at this point. In fact, like most musicians, I captured the initial spark of the idea on my iPhone, and for months, it was labeled, ‘Molina’ so I would remember what it was. In the first section of the tune, I wanted to create a sinewy interplay between my guitar, Kyle Sanna’s steel string guitar and Owen Marshall’s bouzouki. I play a rather uniquely tuned nylon string guitar. I don’t consider myself a guitar player at all, really, and I tune the guitar like my tenor banjo, E, A, D, G with the bottom 2 strings, on the suggestion of the great Irish guitar player, John Doyle, tuned, A, D. It always makes me smile to see the look of confusion on the face of a real guitar player when they pick up my guitar before I can explain to them that it’s not what they think it is! The nylon and steel string guitars sit so well together and then the bouzouki adds this high shimmer to the overall sound. I feel fortunate to be able to play with these guys and make a sound that I really enjoy. I hope you do, too.”