Tom Cussen and Benny O'Connor are still the backbone of Shaskeen.
When they moved back to
Ireland about a year after
the foundation of the band,
they put together the first
line-up in Ireland, with PJ.
Hernon on accordion and
John Dooley on guitar and
vocals. They played locally
in the Galway area to begin with, but very soon their
sphere of influence began to widen. About this time they
began a long and fruitful association with Eddie Moloney,
the great flute-player and fiddle-player from Ballinakill, in
east Galway, who lived in Lower Salthil!. Eddie - whose
father had been a founding member of the famou
Ballinakill céilí Band - brought a wealth of knowledge
about traditional music to the band, as well as a fine store
of tunes from his own area, a wonderfully rich source of
musicians and of music. It was Eddie who put together
most of the selections of tunes that became the hallmark of
Shaskeen in those early days and which remain firm
favourites to this day.
Living Tradition CD review of Shaskeen - 25th Silver Jubilee Collection
Shaskeen are one of the most popular Irish touring bands ever to hit this side of the water and they've released both a CD and a video to celebrate - in their typical low-key style - 25 years in the business.
If you don't believe they've been around that long just cast a glance through the sleeve notes of the CD and see the fresh-faced youths in one of the starting line-ups.
The band began in London's Kentish Town, but founder members Tom Cussen (banjo) and Benny O'Connor (drums) soon moved back to Ireland andbased themselves in Galway from where their sphere of influence has continued to spread.
The album's 22 tracks range from 1975 to the present and mix impeccably-timed jigs, reels, hornpipes and polkas with songs from past and present vocalists.
It's a delightful souvenir of a live gig but can stand on its own as some supreme examples of traditional Irish ensemble playing.
Clareen Banjos, custom-made banjos, mandolas, repairs, restoration -
- SHASKEEN - 25TH SILVER JUBILEE COLLECTION
See Albums: Irish Traditional Music And Song