Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sharon Shannon *is* The Galway Girl

Sharon Shannon's latest album, The Galway Girl: Best of Sharon Shannon, topped the Irish charts late last month. It was a tumultuous month for the veteran performer who first toured U.S. at 14. Her long-time partner, Leo Healy (MHRIP), died suddenly and unexpectedly in early May, shortly before the new disc's debut.

Featuring the likes of collaborators Steve Earle, Jackson Browne, and Damien Dempsey, The Galway Girl was formally released on June 9th. A video of her performing Galway Girl live with Steve Earle is well over one million views on YouTube, where most of her vids have been rated five-star. With good reason. This woman can really play. Her Irish-style concertina accordion is very well-known in Celtic music circles, where she is something of a legend. Check out her label's blog here.

As regular readers already know, The Author is very fond of traditional Celtic music. Be it in Gaelic, English or Old Scots the music is infectious and captures the rhythms of the land, sea and everyday work in old and magical ways. It makes me want to dance, to work and to occasionally cry in my Guiness. And Shannon is a master musician, a multi-instrumentalist that is happy making music on whatever is close by. The accordion is really her main axe. You know, the kind with buttons instead of keys. Just watch her fingers fly on this first video; then listen to her back up Steve Earle on his version of Galway Girl.

With Steve Earle

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