Sharon Shannon is a musician who continues to surprise. While she is known for her arrangements of traditional Irish tunes and Irish-influenced compositions, she has always been eager to explore new styles, and to meet and work with other musicians.
The accordionist from Ireland has achieved legendary status throughout the world and has made the much-maligned accordion ‘cool’ in her home country. Renowned for her collaborations, not just in Irish traditional music, but through all musical genres, Hip-Hop, Cajun, Country, Classical and Rap.
Sharon will be celebrating 30 years on the scene with the release of a special anniversary album in November 2020, following the release of The Winkles Tapes in November 2019.
Please note, the original date for this event was Friday 6 November 2020. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, this event had to be postponed. Read our full statement.
The story behind The Winkles Tapes:
In May 1989, Sharon Shannon began work on her first album at Winkles Hotel, Kinvara, Co Galway. This recording session lasted three days and featured guest appearances by some of the biggest names in Irish music including Donal Lunny, Gerry O’Beirne, Mary Shannon, Eoin O’Neill, The Waterboys’ Mike Scott and U2’s Adam Clayton.
In June later that same year, Sharon became a member of The Waterboys, and toured and recorded with them for 18 months before returning to her debut album. By this time, Sharon had become very influenced by the variety of musical styles played by The Waterboys; the instrumentation in particular. Sharon had discovered drumkits, Hammond organ, brass and electric guitar, so when she returned to her debut album, the approach to recording was very different to The Winkles Tapes.
And so, these sessions went into storage for 30 years. Sharon was prompted to return to the recordings in early 2019 by Mike Scott, who worked tirelessly compiling and editing the work into The Winkles Tapes. Recorded live over three days direct onto tape, these recordings capture all the unpolished energy, spontaneity and authenticity of an Irish music session.