Album: Sharon Shannon, Saints & Scoundrels, (Independent)

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The Independent Culture

An exuberant, good-timey return by the Galway accordion virtuoso.

Who knows which of her celebrated collaborators count as saints and which as scoundrels but, as ever, it takes a cast of interesting mates to conduct Shannon's sound from trad-style instrumental to R&B knees-up. Imelda May is here, as is Shane MacGowan plus a den of hoarse bandits called the Cartoon Thieves. But perhaps the most affecting cut is the drifting, trickling "Saints and Angels", featuring an original cast of Waterboys. Uncomplicated fun for all.