"Saints And Scoundrels"
(Compass Records, 2010)
If you put this record on for your average Celtic music fan (assuming there is such a thing) and didn't tell them anything about it, I doubt many listeners would guess that this was an album by Irish accordion wizard Sharon Shannon. A robust, lively mixture of styles, with lusty jug-band blues and rollicking roots-Americana -- along with a healthy dose of Celtic craic -- this album is a radical departure from most of Shannon's earlier work. Sure, the adventurous, acclaimed Ms. Shannon has never shied away from blending genres or stylistic experimentation, but this energetic, joyful set dips deep into the wellsprings of American country and blues, and really brings out a new side to her work. Guest artists include a group called The Cartoon Thieves, as well as Shane McGowan (of the Pogues) and Mike Scott and the Waterboys, who Shannon toured with for many years. It's quite a nice album, with a boisterousness and sense of fun that's completely infectious... Definitely worth checking out! (DJ Joe Sixpack, Slipcue Guide To World Music)
on July 30, 2011
I thought the cover looked interesting when I checked it out of the library, never having heard of Sharon Shannon. The music grabbed me from the opening cut, Mama Lou. There are some rollicking songs here, along with instrumentals Wild West Wagon Train, Cape Clear, and Lady Luck, ending with Rake at the Gates of Hell, written and sung by Shane MacGowan.