Celtic Roots Bans Runa Comes To Harwich Cultural Center

By: Debra Lawless

Topics: Entertainment

Celtic band Runa will perform at the Harwich Cultural Center March 10. COURTESY PHOTO

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a week early with the award-winning Celtic roots band Runa which will perform Irish and Scottish music in Harwich on March 10.

“We’re bringing out all the celebration early,” says the band’s co-founder and manager Shannon Lambert-Ryan. “We’ll be playing high-energy songs and tunes from Ireland and Scotland and American Appalachian blue grass.”

Runa will mark its own 10th anniversary this summer. Lambert-Ryan, who comes from Philadelphia, and her husband Fionan de Barra, a native of Dublin, formed Runa in August 2008. Originally meant as a side venture, it later became “more of a full-time project,” Lambert-Ryan says. Originally the group had a musician from Norway, and Lambert-Ryan decided to salute everyone with the group’s name, Runa, which means “mystery or secret lore” and reflects both the group’s Celtic and Nordic roots.

These days the band has five members from three countries. As well as Lambert-Ryan, who sings and does Irish step dancing, and de Barra, who plays the guitar, the group features percussionist Cheryl Prashker from Montreal, fiddler Maggie White of Nashville, and White’s husband Zach who plays the guitar, banjo, mandolin and dobro, a type of resonator guitar. Zach White is the most recent person to join the band.

“He’s a fantastic musician and all-around great guy,” Lambert-Ryan says.

The group will perform in Harwich as a part of its nine-day tour of New England, where it has not performed for several years. Its last Cape performance was at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod but this is its third or fourth visit to the Cape.

The group has won international awards including Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and four Independent Music Awards. It is known as one of the most innovative Irish folk groups of this generation, according to its website. It performs the haunting melodies and exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland along with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of bluegrass, flamenco, blues and jazz.

The group has released four studio CDs as well as, in 2016, a live CD called “Live.” This summer it will celebrate its 10-year milestone with a new CD.

One exciting piece of news for “Runatics”—that is, fans of the band—is that Lambert-Ryan and de Barra are expecting their first baby next month. Lambert-Ryan’s mother plans to tour with the group in the summer to help with the baby, Lambert-Ryan says.

Runa will perform on Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Harwich Cultural Center, 204 Sisson Rd., Harwich (the site of the former Harwich Middle School). Parking is free.

Tickets are $40 reserved, and $25 general admission. Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3207250 or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door beginning at 6:45 p.m. St. Patrick’s Day refreshments from Devil’s Purse Brewing Company will be on sale beginning at 6:45 p.m. The event is presented by the Harwich Cranberry Arts and Music Festival.

For more information on Runa, visit www.runamusic.com.