"The Winkles Tapes 1989" - Shannon, Sharon


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  • Larry O’gaff’s Set (featuring Adam Clayton)
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Background Information

In May 1989 as part of the recording sessions for her album Sharon Shannon Sharon did a three day session in the west of Ireland at the Winkles Hotel. The sessions featured Shannon, Donal Lunny, Eoin O’Neill, Mike Scott, and others and Adam Clayton dropped in on the sessions. “The Marguerita Suite” from those sessions featured Adam Clayton and was released on Sharon Shannon in 1991, and was later collected on Spellbound: The Best of Sharon Shannon.

But the rest of those sessions remained unreleased. The sessions went into storage for 30 years. In 2019, Waterboy Mike Scott urged Shannon to return to the Winkles sessions, and she agreed, asking Scott to compile and edit the performances into an album. The three days of music, recorded live direct onto tape were turned into a 16-track album, which was released digitally on November 8, 2019 in the UK. Of the songs, just one includes Adam Clayton, but it is not the previously released “The Marguerita Suite” but a new song called “Larry O’gaff’s Set” and the song features Shannon as well as Donal Lunny and Adam Clayton. The new track is 03:12 in length.

The album is a digital release, and is available now at various online retailers including streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer, and online stores such as iTunes, Amazon Music and Google Play. A high resolution audio release has also been made available at 24 bits – 44.10kHz at select retailers such as Qobuz. Although not released on CD at this time, press releases suggest they will be collected on a 30th anniversary album celebrating Shannon’s career which will be released in November 2020.

In an interview with RTE, Sharon Shannon discusses Adam Clayton’s participation, “I’m not sure how Adam Clayton got roped in, but i think it was something to do with Philip King being involved with us, he was doing Bringing it All Back Home, that big huge award-winning thing that Philip did. It was an amazing show, TV show of Irish music. Donal was involved in that show. I think Philip asked Adam. Adam was going to be involved in that show as well. And he said to Philip ‘I really don’t know much about trad. music’, so Philip said, ‘Come on to Kinvara, we’re bringing you to Kinvara.’ Adam Clayton backed that story up on the Late, Late Show, in an interview in 1992, “I got involved in Philips program Bringing it All Back Home at an early stage, I don’t really know that much about traditional music, I’d like to know more about it. He said come with us we’re off to Kinvara for the weekend, there’s an amazing lady down there playing and we’ll put in a good word for you and we’ll see what happens. And Sharon was very kind to invite me to play with her and that’s how it all got started.”

Mike Scott remembers the sessions, “We were deep in our Irish/Scottish/Celtic adventure, and word had reached us of a remarkable young button accordion musician called Sharon Shannon. Our soundman, John Dunford, was working with her and invited Wickham and I to her first recording session in the village of Kinvara, a funky hamlet on the west coast of Ireland. The venue was Winkles, a long dark bar with décor from the 1950s or ‘60s. At the front end a circle of musicians was gathered, led by the twenty-year-old Sharon, who hurtled through set after set of exquisitely played tunes, notes scattering from her fingers like machine gun fire, an impossibly fast but exquisitely articulated stream of music.” Of Clayton’s appearance at the session, Scott adds, “Even U2’s Adam Clayton, entering the scene with an air of genial bemusement, added some bass to a set.”

Liner Notes

Larry O’gaff’s Set: Featuring Sharon Shannon, Donal Lunny and Adam Clayton.
Mike Scott, Producer
Sharon Shannon, Producer
Sharon Shannon, Main Artist
Adam Clayton, Featured Artist
Donal Lunny, Featured Artist
John Dunford, Producer
DLM, Music Publisher
Wardlaw Music, MusicPublisher;
Polygram Int Music Publishing BV…
© 2019 Kata Songs (P) 2019 Kata Songs

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