Hailing from the North Yorkshire National Park, Anna Shannon deeply embraces all things rustic. On hearing her compositions it is clear that the wonders of the natural world are the things that strongly colour her narratives. She is an immensely skilled multi-tasker, a creative and strikingly accomplished singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and designer, with her own definite, intense vision and a strong musical identity to match. Anna is carrying on a musical tradition, finding fresh meaning and relevance for us all in the old ways. Anna was born into a musical family but it wasn’t until in her early twenties that she discovered the folk scene. 2006 saw her first album “The Whale Dreaming” being released after being encouraged by winning BBC Radio “Yorkshire Songwriter of the Year”. Her latest sees her forging a strong path into the heart of today’s folk club and festival circuit.
Review by Grem Devlin
This album is a delightful showcase for the song writing of this multi-instrumentalist, a native of North Yorkshire, but familiar to me from successive Fylde Folk Festivals, where I’ve seen her give some blinding performances. However, she really comes into her own on this recording, which gives us the opportunity to hear her many instrumental talents overlaid with care by the producer (Doug Bailey). Of the 14 songs, 13 are self-penned (the exception being a new take on the Trad. Gaudete - yes, the one that Steeleye had a Christmas hit with all those years ago). The subject matter is almost exclusively rural – hunting, poaching, farming, travellers and country crafts. Anna has a vocal delivery that shouts its ethnic credentials and all of her songs sound like they have been handed down over generations, rather than contemporary. The Traveller’s Ways is a prime example, but I could just as easily have cited Polly Cooper or The Sheep They Bide - in fact any of her compositions. Her competence on a multitude of instruments – and what must have been countless hours of over-dubbing – has resulted in an album that is both a labour of love and a tangible demonstration of the essence of this artiste, summing her up in a melodic nutshell. A gem.
This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 14 December, 2014.