Ramor Theatre present
Sharon Shannon returns with her brand-new studio album “Sacred Earth”on 17th March 2017.
Newly signed to Irish record label Celtic Collections, this is Sharon’s first new studio album in 3 years and her tenth studio album to date.
Sharon Shannon is a musician who likes to surprise. While she is best 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. There are Irish influences here, of course, but these are cheerfully mixed in with often unexpected styles from around the world, including – for the first time – Africa.
Sharon has perfectly mastered an African/Irish crossover. But Sacred Earth is more than this: musical elements from the classical world, the Shetland Fiddle Tradition, Hip Hop, country and blues all conspire to make this album a ground-breaker.
She was helped in the project by Justin Adams, who co-produced the album, plays guitar and a variety of percussion instruments, and was, says Sharon, “the obvious guy to help us get that sound”. The guitarist in Robert Plant’s band, The Sensational Space Shifters, Justin has long been an expert in African (and Middle Eastern) styles, and produced that great Malian band ‘Tinariwen’. He played on Sharon’s 2007 album ‘Renegade’, and Sharon wanted to work with him again both because of his African connections and because “he’s such a generous musician. I love his fearless approach to trying different ideas”.
As for Justin, he described the collaboration like this: “ever since a late-night music session at her house in Galway, I’ve been aware of the joy and openness that goes alongside Sharon’s rootedness in tradition. My musical passions that have led to immersion in Blues, North and West African music and Reggae sit easily with Sharon’s dancing rhythm, and show the ancient connections from South and East to West and back again, connections we need to celebrate more than ever”.
There is indeed a sense of celebration to this set, as Irish dance tunes interact with music from around the world. The African-influenced material includes rousing instrumentals. Away from Africa, there are more surprises.