RUNA burst onto the music scene during the summer of 2008 and has been taking audiences by storm ever since! Drawing on the diverse musical backgrounds of its band members, RUNA brings a contemporary and refreshing experience to traditional and more recently composed Celtic material. Through their repertoire of both highly energetic and graceful, acoustic melodies, along with their fusion of music from Ireland, Scotland, the Shetland Islands, Canada, and the United States, this vocal and instrumental ensemble gives its arrangements of traditional songs and tunes a fresh sound.
RUNA consists of vocalist, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, and Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion. The band often performs with world-renowned, guest musicians, featuring the uilleann pipes, flutes, and the fiddle.
Members of RUNA have played with Solas, Clannad, Fiddlers’ Bid, Moya Brennan, Eileen Ivers, Hazel O’Conner, Full Frontal Folk, Keith & Kristyn Getty, and Guy Mendilow.
“For contemporary Celtic music at its very best--do yourself a favor and check out the group RUNA, with rich, vibrant sound. RUNA.... brilliant!”
- Gene Shay, WXPN, co-founder of the Philadelphia Folk Festival
“There is truly a mystical quality to their playing. Prashker’s percussion, de Barra’s guitar and Lambert-Ryan’s vocals create a lyrical sound that is at once unique as well as seamless.”
- Lori Lander Murphy, Irish Philadelphia
"There’s a bit of the folksy innocence of seventies’ Clannad, a touch of the frenzied energy of Wolfstone (but only in the right places), and the sturdy professionalism of Runrig keeping it all together… RUNA’s all true, and all there – bringing out the heart and soul of these old songs and at the same time making them feel new and relevant, as if they had been thought up yesterday to capture all the stuff of life that never goes away – all the happiness, sadness, the time for dance and rejoice, or the time for being still with just your own yearning."
-Christopher Marcus, Free-lanceJournalist, Denmark
"The distinctive sound of the Philadelphia-based Celtic trio Runa grows out of the fascinating way Fionán de Barra's inventive and highly rhythmic guitar work interweaves with Cheryl Prashker's playful and ever-so-tasteful hand drumming. With that foundation, Shannon Lambert-Ryan's delightful and enchanting vocals, sometimes in harmony with Fionán, carry story after story, some from olden times, some from nowadays. At its core, Runa is a fine Celtic band with influences and sensibilities that extend well beyond folk traditions to World and Jazz and Pop sounds."
-Walt Haake, Celtic Sunday Brunch, WDVR-FM