IRELAND’S accordion maestro Sharon Shannon pops into Ullapool’s Arch Inn on Wednesday before popping over to the Isle-of-Lewis for a set at An Lanntair, Stornoway, the following evening.
A former member of The Waterboys before embarking on her solo career, Shannon also plays fiddle, tin whistle and melodeon, but is best known as a box player who is not content to remain with the confines of Irish traditional music and has delved into hip-hop, Cajun, country, classical and rap.
Having recorded and toured with many of Ireland’s own music stars, including U2’s Bono and Adam Clayton, Sinead O’Connor, The Chieftains and Shane MacGowan, she has also accompanied such international names as Jackson Browne, Steve Earle, Willie Nelson, Nigel Kennedy and Alison Krauss.
Last year saw Shannon play live to in excess of 250,000 people worldwide at concerts and festivals from Ireland to New Zealand, and she is the biggest selling traditional music solo artiste in Ireland selling a total of one million copies of her CDs around the world. Her album Galway Girl went four times platinum in Ireland with the title track winning her Ireland’s Meteor award two years running for most downloaded song.
She has entertained US Presidents Bill Clinton at the White House and Barack Obama and her music has been featured in several Hollywood movies including PS I Love You, and the award-winning Bulmers cider commercial. A prolific composer, she recently released an album of original music recorded with the RTE Concert Orchestra called Flying Circus.
Awarded the Irish Books, Arts and Music (IBAM) Award for outstanding contributions in music in Chicago last weekend, her most recent CD and DVD release is live album In Galway, recorded with Dublin multi-instrumentalist Alan Connor in her hometown of Salthill, Galway.
Unlike previous Highland visits with her big band, Wednesday’s Ullapool will be a special intimate acoustic show with Shannon and Connor with only some 50 tickets available.