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SHARON SHANNON "Each Little Thing" Grapevine GRACD226

Sharon Shannon and Donal Lunny have brought together a big band with a drummer for the feature tracks on this new offering from the squeezebox virtuoso. This is the Irish music version of Shooglenifty, a sort of acid shebeen music.

Then the pounding drums fade and the music become sweet, or laughing, or just gentle as a smaller ensemble trips through a variety of tunes from all the Irish traditions, most of it recently penned by active traditional players, some seemingly written especially for this album.

There's traditional tunes from Shetland, French speaking Canada, even Chile, plus some Shannon originals. All fit seamlessly into her vision of modern Irish traditional music. There's a song, too, from Kirsty McColl, "Libertango".

This has already received much radio play on programmes that would not normally touch traditional Irish music, which shows that Sharon Shannon has been able to take her music away from restrictive labels and branch out into the mainstream. That she has been able to do so without compromising her ideals is evident, and should be applauded by all of us who want real music to take over the world.

Bob Harragan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 21 of The Living Tradition magazine.