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Sharon Shannon hasn’t played the Grainstore since January 2015, so we are delighted to welcome her back for a long overdue night of high-octane traditional music. She will be joined by Alan Connor on keyboards, mandolin and guitar.
The button accordion player from Co. Clare has recorded and toured with a ‘who's who’ of the Irish and global music industry, 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. She co-wrote and produced an album with The High Kings in 2013.
Sharon’s 12 studio albums have all been very different and ground-breaking, mixing traditional Irish with reggae, country, Native American, bluegrass, rap, dance, African, and French Canadian.
The genre-defying star has had multi-platinum album sales and several number one albums, singles and DVDs. Her album Galway Girl went four times platinum, with the title track winning her the Meteor award. For two year running it was the most downloaded song in Ireland.
Sharon grew up in a rural community and was part of a family of traditional Irish musicians.
Her career took a massive upward trajectory in the late 1980s when she was asked to join the seminal rock band, The Waterboys. Her first show with that band, performed before an audience of 50,000, was the on main stage at perhaps the most well-known music festival on earth: Glastonbury.
Her subsequent debut album was released worldwide and became the biggest-selling record by a traditional artist in Ireland.
Sharon has entertained U.S. Presidents Clinton at the White House and Obama in Dublin, and Irish Presidents Robinson and MacAleese on presidential visits to Poland and Australia respectively. She recently accompanied Irish president Michael D. Higgins on his official tour of China.
Among her many awards are the Hot Press and Meteor Awards. She is the youngest ever recipient of the Meteor Lifetime Achievement Award. She received an iBAM Award in Chicago in 2015 for her ‘unique contribution to Irish music’. Other recipients are Darina Allen, Liam Neeson and Daniel O’Donnell.
Sharon’s music has been featured in several Hollywood movies, and she played a cameo role in Neil Jordan film, ‘Ondine’. She has worked on a stage production of JM Synge’s ‘The Playboy of the Western World,’ directed by Jim Sheridan.
In March 2017, Sharon released her 10th studio album, Sacred Earth. Produced by Justin Adams, it mixes Irish music with African and blues and features celebrated African musicians Abass Dodoo and Seikou Keita and special guests Finbar Furey and Alyra Rose.
Sharon is a passionate animal lover and does a lot of voluntary work and fundraising for various animal rescues. A vegetarian for many years, Sharon has adopted the vegan diet and has launched a vegan brand called Sharon Shannon’s Garden of Vegan. This was spearheaded by a vegan food truck which has been at more than thirty festivals in Ireland and the UK.
She is currently writing a book about her life.