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Jim Sharkey, Folk Musician

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I grew up in County Roscommon, Ireland, listening to The Clancy Brothers, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Rory Gallagher and top twenty music from the late sixties and seventies. Around that time Irish music was building on what The Clancy Brothers had done. The music changed with newer bands and singers such as The Bothy Band, Planxty, Christy Moore, Paul Brady and many others. This was, in a way, a different type of Irish music in that the arrangements were a little more elaborate and the addition of new musical instruments, like the bouzouki, gave it a slightly different sound. It's not to say it was better, it was just different. It appealed to a wider, and probably younger audience. Growing up during that time I think it helped connect me to the Irish musical heritage and Irish history. It was also "cool" Irish traditional music. I play because I love the stories contained in the songs - songs like Little Musgrave by Christy Moore; The Homes of Donegal by Seán McBride; England's Motorways by Ewan McColl; and so on. I want to keep these songs alive other than on recordings, and the only way to do that is to play them live and give others a chance to hear them. I like to go through The Child Ballads too and other sources to find old songs that still have great relevance to our times. Several of the songs on my new CD, "Sweet Anne's Road," were found by looking through old books - "Blow the Candle Out"; "The Three Ravens"; the poems "Adieu to Belashanny" by William Allingham, and "I Saw From the Beach" by Thomas Moore, as well as "The Fair Maid In The Garden" which is called "The Love Token" in the book I found it in but I changed a few lines and added a verse or two and thought I'd change the name too because it seemed to fit, no other reason than that. I hope you like them and I hope you like the original songs as well. I play a lot around Southwest Virginia. If you're ever in the area do look me up. Thank you.