Fans rarely get the chance to join their favorite bands. Some exceptions are Tim “Ripper” Owens, who fronted Judas Priest, and John Frusciante, who hooked up with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and called it “the most amazing thing that could have happened to me.”
Irish actress and singer Lisa Lambe can relate.
In 2010, Lambe was asked to become part of the Ireland-based singing group Celtic Woman, which will perform Friday at the Kansas Star Arena.
“I was absolutely thrilled,” Lambe said. “I’ve been following the whole story of Celtic Woman from the beginning. I loved them from early on, since their songs really touch your heart. Living in Ireland, it’s hard to miss Celtic Woman. They’ve only gotten bigger and brighter as years have passed.”
Lambe is an interesting choice for Celtic Woman, which delivers a musical amalgam of Celtic, New Age and Adult Contemporary, because she was never in a band.
The soft-spoken Lambe is a theatrical actress who has worked with David Downes, the Celtic Woman music director who co-created the group in 2004 with Sharon Browne.
“He knew what I can do,” Lambe said. “I’ve been singing all my life but more in the theatrical manner. But it hasn’t been a difficult transition. I’ve sung in front of big crowds before. And I love singing the Celtic Woman songs that I’ve been a fan of for so many years. I can’t tell you how much I am enamored of these songs.”
Celtic Woman crafts dramatic, ethereal songs that are often sentimental. The well-crafted tunes are delivered with considerable energy.
“You have to see the show to fully get what Celtic Woman is about,” Lambe said. “It’s a big dimension that fans must experience to understand Celtic Woman.”
Lambe is belting out Christmas tunes from the group’s holiday albums along with her Celtic Woman mates, vocalists Susan McFadden and Mairead Carlin and fiddler Mairead Nesbitt.
The all-female quartet will be accompanied by a full symphony orchestra that includes 46 musicians.
“The Christmas songs are among my favorite to sing,” Lambe said. “There’s nothing like the Christmas season.”