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Popular Irish-American quintet to play Smith Fine Arts

MONMOUTH -- St. Patrick's Day will come to Monmouth nearly two months early this year.

Solas, featuring (from left) Mick McAuley, Seamus Egan, Eamon McElholm, Niamh Varian-Barry and Winifred Hogan, play WOU's Rice Auditorium Friday night.

www.solasmusic.com for the Itemizer-Observer

Solas, featuring (from left) Mick McAuley, Seamus Egan, Eamon McElholm, Niamh Varian-Barry and Winifred Hogan, play WOU's Rice Auditorium Friday night.

January 22, 2013

MONMOUTH -- St. Patrick's Day will come to Monmouth nearly two months early this year.

Solas, a celebrated Irish-American band, will make a stop at Western Oregon University on Friday for a special performance as part of the Smith Fine Arts Series.

Solas is a Philadelphia quintet that utilizes acoustic guitars, mandolins, flutes, accordions and other instruments to produce Celtic music that borrows from tradition and offers a contemporary twist.

Solas got its first national exposure on an edition of a "Prairie Home Companion" in 1996.

The band has a penchant for social commentary and its latest album, "Shamrock City," was inspired by the family history of band leader Seamus Egan.

It tells the story of a Montana mining town at the turn of the 20th century, as seen through the eyes of Egan's Irish immigrant great-great uncle. A component of the band's current tour is creating opportunities for fans to share their family histories at concerts and online.

Solas' performance will start at 7:30 p.m. at Rice Auditorium on the WOU campus. Tickets are $28 at the door for community members and $11 for students. You can purchase tickets in advance for $25.

For more information: 503-838-8333 or fineart@wou.edu.

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