RTÉ | September 7th
Over the last 30 years, Sharon Shannon has established herself as a global trad music superstar and all-time legend of Irish music. Now the acclaimed accordionist adds – so to speak – another string to her bow with new TG4 series Heartlands, a travel show with a musical bent.
Caoilinn: It was…different! It’s not very nice hearing your own voice, but no, it was good. I’d done a very small amount of TV before. I played fiddle on The Late Late Show with Sharon at Christmas (alongside Adam Clayton, Denise Chaila, Mundy, Donal Lunny and others on a special tribute show), and we did Family Fortunes years ago (on TV3).
C: I got a call from John Dunford, Sharon’s manager, asking would I be interested. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity, it sounded fantastic. It all happened very quickly, over a month or two.
S: Not really. I have school Irish. I was able to understand everything going on in the show, and threw in a few words of Irish, but mostly I spoke in English; I’m not confident enough as Gaeilge. But I did my best and I learned loads.
C: Beginning of the summer, just a while ago.
C: We could spend a few days in one spot, or go to several places in one day. You might move between counties, be travelling all day. Generally, the show revolves around that – we’d be on the boat for about four hours.
S: I’d highly recommend it. Lovely places and lovely people – and a great community vibe among the boating people. They all help each other out and are really friendly to each other.
S: Yes, please!
C: Yes, but we probably could play together a lot more, as a family. There are so many of us who play music. My brother Ross, my cousins Darragh and Cillian, Áine’s a lovely dancer, Saoirse plays, Gary, and Sharon of course… We did a show for TG4 around Christmas, not everyone was there but it was brilliant. We were all saying, we should do this more often.
C: I’ve never really done anything like that. I’d say if we were to record something, it’d be the broader family.