Shannon’s flow continues with ultimate box set!

Sharon Shannon comes across as someone who prefers looking to the future than raking over the past – which makes it ironic that she has to talk about the soon-to-be-released definitive box set, encapsulating her lifetime’s work.

And yet when she had to, she acknowledges that she thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reflecting over a career that saw her burst onto the scene in 1991.

“You put so much work into recording a new album and you have to listen to the tracks over and over again to make sure everything is okay – so by the time it’s done and dusted and sent off for pressing, most of the time I would never listen to the album again in full,” she says.

“I’d have no reason to listen to it. You’d hear tracks on the radio sometimes or you’re in someone’s house and it’s on, but I myself would never put it on again.

“It would be rare that I would listen to a full album again; it would have to be for a specific reason.”

And this project provided that specific reason.

“I did sit down and listen to them from start to finish – and I really enjoyed listening to them again,” admits the acclaimed accordionist.

Her gargantuan box set, Now and Then, contains twelve of Sharon’s studio albums on reformatted digi-sleeve CDs, a 100-page photographic record of those years and a host of additional paraphernalia. But it’s the new album – the Now part of the equation – that most excites her.

“It is entirely instrumental; there are no guest singers – so it’s a bit more like the very first album, and both of them are on vinyl as part of this box set,” she says.

“They’re all brand-new tunes I’d have written out walking the Prom or driving the car; tunes can happen any time for me – I’ll just press a button on my phone to record and just whistle it into the phone.”

Fans will have to wait until next year to get their hands on Now, unless they want to be one of the 100 superfans who fork out for this limited-edition box set, all numbered and signed, for release in October.

“I had to have a new album done and have everything ready by early June – plus all the box set stuff – so that it would be ready for release in October. And vinyl takes ages; there’s a queue for pressing,” she says.

Pictured: Sharon Shannon, pictured on a break from recording at Grouse Lodge in Wesmeath back in 2003.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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