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Sharon Shannon, Frances Black and Mary Coughlan unite for a unique show
bringing together their collective talents. The three performers are some of the
most succesful female artists Ireland has to offer. The 3 are no stranger to
performing together having been an integral part of the successful Woman's Heart albums
and tours. The three performers perform a set with their own musicians performing many
of their greatest hits then everyone comes on stage together to finish the night.
SHARON SHANNON is a former member of seminal Scots-Irish band THE WATERBOYS.
The last few years for Sharon have included worldwide airplay with the song GALWAY GIRL
from the HILARY SWANK FILM ‘PS I LOVE YOU’.
Sharon also performed live for President OBAMA when he visited Ireland in the summer of
2011 — making him the second US President that she has played for.
Sharon Shannon has been a musical icon for over 20 years. Traditional Irish music is her
background but she has been fearless in her musical exploration having defied genres and
woven her unique style through country, French-Canadian reggae, hip-hop,dance and
At various times, Sharon has collaborated, toured and recorded with Bono and Adam from
U2, Steve Earle, Jackson Browne, Nigel Kennedy, Willie Nelson, John Prine,
and Christy Moore. She has performed for US Presidents Clinton and Obama, entertained
Irish Presidents Robinson and McAleese, and most recently Michael D. Higgins.
Several of her albums have been platinum selling and she has had Number 1 albums and
singles including the Steve Earle penned The Galway Girl performed with Mundy, which was
featured in the movie PS I Love You and the Bulmers TV ad campaign of 2008. She has
contributed music to many TV shows and some feature films including Neil Jordans Ondine.
She has received several industry honours including a Meteor Lifetime Achievement in 2009.
When Nanci Griffith called Frances Black “the sweetest voice of Ireland,” she was paying
tribute to someone who has been one of Ireland’s best-loved and most enduring artists
since the late 80s, with a string of best-selling albums, awards and other accolades behind
The extent of Frances’ popularity and talent has been reflected in the awards and accolades
that she has received for her albums and live performances. She has twice been the
recipient of one of the highest honours in Irish music, the prestigious Irish Recorded Music
Association’s Best Irish Female Award, and was also delighted to receive a National
Entertainment ”Personality of the Year” award, as it has always been vitally important to her
to connect with her audiences during a performance.
Mary Coughlan is the only singer these shores have produced to rival the greatest of
European cabaret and American jazz club blues because of one thing: her voice. She is
unique in blending the whisky-blurred, smoke-seared, husky notes and laconic wit of Billie
Holiday and Peggy Lee and the line of deep, down and dirty blues singers back to Memphis
Minnie and Bessie Smith with the sardonic, bitter-sweet defiance and despair of the Piaf
chanteuse, born out of war, in the shadow of Brecht, at war with the world, men and finally
herself. And Mary Coughlan enfolds it all in a delicious and unapologetic Irish drawl,
sceptical, rueful, mournful and melting, ardent for love, all in one voice which wraps itself
around Cole Porter and Jerome Kern, Elvis Presley and Joy Division, Mick Jagger and Keith
Richards and sails down that long river of blues that links the Mississippi to the Liffey in her
magnificent Irish brogue.
Mary is our greatest female singer because over twenty-five years and ten albums she’s
made the most grown-up, uncompromising, wholly personal and utterly universal music on
either side of the Atlantic about what goes on between men and women. She has taken the
classic standards of jazz balladry and the recent gems of rock and Irish song-writing,
shaken them and offered them up anew, like jewels dripping from the deep, strewn on black
velvet. She sings in the voice of the wrong and wronged woman and she makes us think
what it is men make of women and what women have to do to make do. She has just one
other forebear in the pretty pallid parade of British female pop artists, just one other woman
whose bruised, haunted voice could find and enjoy the inconsolable longing and loss in a
three minute pop song: Dusty Springfield. Or Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien, to
give her her real name. Born to an Irish Catholic family. Small world. – David Kelly
Mary Immaculate College, Courtbrack Avenue, Limerick