Sharon Shannon is primarily known as a gifted button accordion player in traditional Irish music. (She is also a talented fiddler and tin-whistle player!) Her long career began at home in County Clare Ireland, and has since expanded to many areas of the world.

Shannon is known for her adventurous spirit in crossing over from her traditional Irish music roots to other genres, including jazz, rock, classical, hip-hop, country, and Americana.

This program outlines her life in music, from her early days collaborating with the likes of Adam Clayton of U2, and The Waterboys through associations with Jackson Brown, Steve Earle, and the late John Prine.

We also include the full audio for a concert recorded in February 2020 at DeBarras in Clonakilty, West Cork — my home town — and a playlist of 10 songs to provide a broad introduction to her music. I hope you enjoy it.

More information on Sharon and her music at:

DeBarras Folk Club and Bar, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, Ireland
Sharon Shannon live at the DeBarras Folk Club and Bar, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, Ireland
Ray Blackwell
Sharon Shannon: Live at DeBarras
Recorded at DeBarras Folk Club in Clonakilty, Co. Cork, Ireland in February, 2020

"Who Is..." is a series we are building on A Celtic Sojourn for broadcast and online. It features musicians who have made a significant impact on the Celtic music scene. If you have a suggestion for the segment, please email me directly at