About IONA

Formed in 1989, IONA take their name from the small island off the west coast of Scotland. From the beginning, their aim has been to write spiritual, atmospheric, yet uplifting music that would stir the emotions, weaving complex patterns that echo the intricate knot work of the great Celtic artists. Often inspired by the great figures of the Celtic Golden Age such as Columba, Aidan, Brendan and Patrick, IONA's music is as timeless as the message that reaches out to us across the centuries.

Uniquely combining rock / folk / progressive / ethnic and ambient elements with the crystalline voice of Joanne Hogg as their focus, IONA create 'a blaze of colours and textures...all the sounds fusing into a single, yearning, heartfelt beautiful cry.'

IONA have built up a formidable reputation as a great live band with their incredible musicianship and disarmingly humorous banter and are noted for their timeless and innovative studio recordings. They have released 6 acclaimed studio albums, three live albums (two doubles, one with The All Souls Orchestra), a beautifully illustrated 4 cd box set and two DVDs. Their seventh (2cd) studio album Another Realm was released in June 2011.

After a period of relative inactivity there is a new urgency and vibe surrounding the band. In a 2010 interview with Dutch magazine iO Pages, band co-founder, producer, guitarist, keyboardist Dave Bainbridge stated; "There is definitely a renewed vision and purpose within the band. A sense that we're back on the track that we first set out upon all those years ago." Judging by the tremendous reactions the band have had to gigs over the past year or so in Holland, Germany, Belgium, the UK, USA, Canada and Switzerland the 'wild goose' is indeed flying again.

But how do you describe Iona's music? Here's how some have tried:

'IONA has carved out a unique musical niche.....creating music that is challenging and inspirational.... Their music surrounds the listener, seeming to have no beginning and no end..... Book of Kells touches something elemental, resonating as few albums can. Allow it to touch you as well.'
C.C.M. Magazine (USA)

'Their music seems to draw from the collective memories of an entire race of people - 'Beyond these Shores' is all that and more. It is a modern day masterpiece.'
Bob Darden - Billboard (USA)

'Beautiful, mystic and edifying.......powerful, pure and simple.'
Musikk Forum Magazine (Norway)

'... an exhilarating contemporary folk act, able to press traditional instruments convincingly into service alongside their electric counterparts ... rarely has the Celtic thing been given so many welcome twists, or played with such conviction.'

'... staked in moods and atmospherics - they proceed to weave a complex, many stranded soundscape.'

'... ambitious and visionary ... The effect is at times stunning, as huge ethereal soundscapes... rise up from the hi-fi speakers.....A beautiful album.'
Cross Rhythms Magazine

'... close your eyes and prepare to sink into the atmosphere created by this magical band.'
Cornerstone Magazine (USA)

... It must be said Miss Hogg always did have a near mystical voice.... they know how to produce soundscapes, big, vast spaces which fill with melody and passion.'
FRoots Magazine

'The much awaited stunning live album from IONA..... The sound is immense, galactic, roof-blowing, soul-wrenching. It feels as though the whole recording has been touched by the hand of Heaven.'
Cross Rhythms

'Anyone with a Celtic nerve in their ear will be enthralled with this music ... these songs exude the mystery of faith, hope and struggle ... still, as always, beauty hangs on every note, every syllable.'

'A rock band full of imagination...which continues to grow day by day.'
Marquee (Japan)

If you have never heard IONA, or were unaware that they are still active, then now would be a great time to make your acquaintance with a truly unique band.

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