Updated: Jun 7
The great box player Sharon Shannon has just released her newest EP “Unlocked Series 1 - Inspirations”, which was recorded during the 2021 lockdown here in Ireland.
The Unlocked series was recorded with “The Big Band”, which has accompanied her several times on stage and as it has unusual instruments in the classical formation of a traditional Irish music. The band features fiddles, tin whistle, piano, acoustic guitar, double bass and electric guitars and drums. I already mentioned in the article about Sharon (which you can read here!) that she has a huge prominence inside and outside the traditional world, mainly for innovating and exploring sounds that are not very accepted by traditional people - however, there is no denying that Sharon has a genuine language in her music, and that's why she doesn't detract from her origins. In Unlocked Series it's no different, and the tracks are very interesting and varied from each other.
The first track “Unlocked/The Lochaber Badger” is a composition by Sharon and Justin Adams, with the second tune written by Scottish “piper” Fred Morrison, well known for the flautist Michael McGoldrick's version. The set is quite interesting, with melodies mixing with the electric guitar while the bass keeps the rhythm, giving a “Pink Floyd” vibe to the tune.
The second track “Merry Go Round” is also written by Sharon and the main theme of acclaimed musical series “Heartlands”, which was broadcast on the Irish television channel TG4 (which is only spoken in Irish!).
The third track “Daddy Shannon’s Jig / The Bealacana Polka” is a tribute to her father who passed away in December 2021. Sharon composed the first tune of the set for her album The Reckoning. The polka at the end is a traditional tune from where Sharon was born, Bealacana, in Clare.
Sharon Shannon is a renowned musicians in Irish traditional music, with a record of worldwide sales in the genre. Read the full article about her to learn more about her work!