‘I’m lucky to make a liv­ing from mu­sic’


The Sligo Champion - - NEWS - BY JES­SICA FARRY

Her name is syn­ony­mous with tra­di­tional mu­sic, and her face is one of the most recog­nised when it comes to Ir­ish mu­sic.

Sharon Shan­non is as pop­u­lar today as ever, and tick­ets for her Sligo Live show are sell­ing fast, with less than a month to go.

The Clare na­tive is no stranger to Sligo, hav­ing per­formed here many times, in­clud­ing at the Sligo Sum­mer Fes­ti­val a cou­ple of years ago.

Per­form­ing in the Hawk’s Well The­atre on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 3rd as part of Sligo Live, Sharon can­not wait to bring her band with her to the North-West. Sharon’s cur­rent band fea­tures long time col­lab­o­ra­tors, Jim Mur­ray on acous­tic gui­tar and back­ing vo­cals, Sean Re­gan on fid­dle/ per­cus­sion/beat­box and Jack Ma­her on elec­tric gui­tar and vo­cals.

“I love go­ing to Sligo, it’s a great town and there’s al­ways a great buzz about the place. I’ ll have the band with me and we’ ll be do­ing stuff from the new al­bum and all the oldies as well,” she told The Sligo Cham­pion.

“The mu­sic is all fairly lively, we hope to get peo­ple out danc­ing to the mu­sic.”

Sharon is a mu­si­cian who likes to sur­prise. While best known for her ar­range­ments of tra­di­tional Ir­ish tunes, she has al­ways been ea­ger to ex­plore new styles, and has toured and recorded with a Who’s Who of Ir­ish and global mu­si­cians in­clud­ing Bono, Adam Clay­ton, Sinead O’Con­nor, Jack­son Browne, John Prine, Steve Earle, The RTE Con­cert Orches­tra, The Chief­tains, The Water­boys, Wil­lie Nelson, Nigel Kennedy, Ali­son Krauss and Shane Mac­Gowan.

Her early ca­reer took a mas­sive lift when she joined the sem­i­nal rock band, The Water­boys. Her first show with that band was to an au­di­ence of 50,000 on the main stage at Glas­ton­bury.

Sharon’s sub­se­quent self-ti­tled de­but al­bum was re­leased world­wide and re­mains the best-sell­ing al­bum ever of tra­di­tional mu­sic in Ire­land. The genre-de­fy­ing star has had multi-plat­inum al­bum sales and has had sev­eral num­ber one al­bums, sin­gles and DVDs. Her al­bum Gal­way Girl went 4 times plat­inum in Ire­land with the ti­tle track win­ning the Me­teor award two years run­ning for the most down­loaded song.

“I’ve been do­ing gigs since I was 14 re­ally. I started do­ing these gigs in about 1992.I love mu­sic. It’s just such a great buzz. It’s amaz­ing when you can see that the au­di­ences are en­joy­ing it, it re­ally spurs me on when I’m do­ing a gig,” she said.

“It’s what I do for a liv­ing. I’m lucky enough to en­joy mu­sic, and I’m lucky to make a liv­ing from it.”

She has been per­form­ing for a life­time, but Sharon says she is not on the road con­stantly. None­the­less, even if she is on the road for a while, she ap­pre­ci­ates how lucky she is to make a liv­ing from some­thing she love so much.

“I’m not con­stantly on the road. I might have two or three gigs with six or seven days off so it’s man­age­able. I might play a week some­where but then I’ ll have time off af­ter­wards. In Septem­ber like I’ve played three gigs in Scot­land with a great Scot­tish band. I’m do­ing a week of gigs in Lan­zarote too.”

“In Oc­to­ber then I have a few gigs in the UK be­fore I have Sligo Live. Peo­ple ask me all the time if I’m trav­el­ling and on the road all the time. It’s dif­fer­ent ev­ery week.”

Fol­low­ing Sligo Live, Sharon will travel to the United States for a num­ber of gigs there. She con­tin­ues to draw in­spi­ra­tion from trad mu­sic when writ­ing new ma­te­rial.

“I al­ways love the tunes I grew up with. When I write new tunes they are usu­ally in the same vein as the tunes that I grew up with. I get a lot of ideas from trad mu­sic. I will keep go­ing and keep play­ing mu­sic as long as I en­joy it. Life is great. I’m so lucky to make a liv­ing from this,” she added.

Her most re­cent al­bum Sa­cred Earth Sharon re­leased In March, sees her bring­ing African mu­sic into the mix for the first time.

TRIP, the new Glas­gow based tra­di­tional band ev­ery­body is talk­ing about, are Sharon’s special guests. The six mem­bers hail from Ire­land, Scot­land, Eng­land and the Isle of Man.

For tick­ets, check out sligo­live.ie or hawk­swell. com.

Sharon Shan­non who will head­lin­ing Sligo Live this Oc­to­ber.

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