CELEBRATIONS Legendary trad band Shaskeen.
THE legendary Shaskeen band is celebrating 50 years on the circuit. They are marking the occasion with a series of around 20 concerts around the country and they take the tour to Claremorris Town Hall Theatre on this Saturday night, February 29.
The band was formed by Tom Cussen, a native of Broadford in Co Limerick, who spent a good few years over in London before coming back to Ireland and settling in Clarinbridge where he has resided since the early 1970s.
The band has had numerous musicians over the decades (including Johnny Walsh from Gortnara, Claremorris) and Tom Cussen is now the only original member who is still on stage with Shaskeen.
It was Tom who named the band after the Shaskeen Reel which he played in the Oxford Tavern in London on a regular basis. The pub was run by one of the McNicholas family from Bohola at the time. The reel was associated with Patsy Tuohy, a piper from Galway, and was also played by Michael Coleman from south Sligo who became such an influential figure in Irish music in New York.
Shaskeen has always been noted for their genuine and authentic shows which are renowned for their rapport with audiences. Blessed with great communication skills and storytelling ability, the members engage audiences in an intimate way and a Shaskeen concert in always a most enjoyable event. The show comprises of wonderful traditional music, lots of songs, poetry, recitation, some old-time American music, great stories and ‘pure craic’ from a group who knows how to entertain folks with talent and class in the most natural way possible. The Shaskeen has no time for gimmicks. Backing tracks have no place in a show like this.
“We will have ten on stage including four singers and they are all looking forward to the concert in Claremorris,” says Tom Cussen. “One of our band is Johnny Donnellan from Kilmaine and he will be a singing a song or two on the night as well. Indeed, he has already recorded one for our new album which will be out in a few weeks time. It is a special double album to honour the 50 years of Shaskeen.
“We can assure patrons we will be in fine fettle for a show where the emphasis is always on entertainment and a rapport with the audience. There will be great music, fine songs and stories to engage and delight all in the theatre,” says Tom.
Shaskeen in Concert starts at 8pm and tickets are available online at www.townhall.ie/tickets or by calling the Box Office on 094 9310999.