Sharon Shannon and Friends
Virtuoso accordionist, fiddler, and bandleader Sharon
Shannon has walked a brave and personal path through traditional Irish
music, inventively fusing it with reggae rhythms, rock backbeats, and
the aching twang of American country and bluegrass. Previous collaborators
have included dub pioneer Dennis Bovell, members of U2, Steve Earle,
Jackson Browne, the Waterboys, and classical maverick Nigel Kennedy.
She continues to defy and redefine musical boundaries with her latest album,
the stunningly diverse Libertango . A year's worth of touring and recording
with Sinead O'Connor has lead Shannon to rediscover the role of female vocalists
in her own music, resulting in several stirring encounters here. O'Connor guests
on two traditional songs, while the much-missed Kirsty McColl delivers the title
track, a tango by the great Argentine composer Astor Piazolla. New Sharon Shannon
Band vocalist Pauline Scanlon shines on "All the Ways You Wander".
Instrumentally, Shannon draws from an ambitious and intriguing range of influences.
While staying firmly grounded in the agile beauty of her traditional Irish and
Scottish roots, Shannon embraces blues (on a haunting cover of Fleetwood Mac's
timeless "Albatross"), Arabian, jazz, and Latin sources. Encompassing instrumental
and vocal features, traditional and eclectic styles, and a wide range of virtuoso
accompanists, Libertango is the definitive album from one of Irish
music's most renowned performers.