None other than Louis Armstrong keenly observed that “All music is folk music, I ain’t never heard no horse sing a song,” and in his colloquially rich and triple negative way, he was right. If folk music is music by the people, of the people, for the people, then it doesn’t take much of a leap to see that old Satchmo was correct. Sharon Shannon’s latest album is the red biro underlining that idea
Although known for a core sound which sits in celtic, particularly Irish traditions, she proves that no matter where you go on this earth, which culture or region you find yourself in, the honest music of the land is a universal language, one which dovetails neatly into both that of its near neighbour and of far flung shores. And so it is that she travels genre, geography and time to find common ground from our shared musical expressions.
Hip-hop beats sit alongside classical charm, African rhythms vie for space with Canadian traditions and arabesque details embroider European folk splendour. Timeless musical birthrights join a more contemporary canon and urban urgency blends with pastoral passions.
At a time when the world seems more fractured and insular than ever, maybe remembering such universal languages is as timely as it is important, and Sacred Earth is nothing less than the perfect introduction to learning and appreciating that common musical tongue.