Shanakee, the four piece Celtic Country band from Melbourne, Australia, was formed in 1992 by Corkman Kieran O’Connell.
Their debut original album, Weeds and Wildflowers, was released in 2013, earning the band an award at the 2014 Australian Celtic Music Awards.
Over the years, Shanakee has been home to some of Australia’s finest musicians and the current lineup of Kieran on vocals, guitar and bodhran, Greg Hunt on fiddle and mandolin, Mark McNeilly on bass, five string banjo, whistle, guitar and vocals and Dave Walker on vocals, guitar and mandolin.
They bring a vast and varied range of musical experiences to the table and have impressive touring and recording resumes.
Monthly residencies at The Celtic Club in Melbourne and the Bay Hotel in Mornington, along with regular special concerts and festival appearances have cemented Shanakee’s place as one of Australia’s premiere Celtic acts.
Their formula is a simple one – have a good time, enjoy each other’s company and play great music.
The appeal of Shanakee stretches across generations and cultures and brings together people from all walks of life, people who are connected by a mutual love of the Celtic heartbeat at the core of Shanakee’s music and are drawn to the spirit of the band.
There’s something greater than the sum of its parts when they take to the stage, an energy that has been beautifully captured on Weeds and Wildflowers.
As a front man, Kieran is a born storyteller and entertainer.
His songs are tales of experiences, emotions and events, written in his inimitable style, frank, forthright and utterly engaging.
It’s little wonder he chose the name Shanakee for his band. In Gaelic, Shanakee is written Seanchaí and is the name given to a storyteller or a bearer of old lore; someone who keeps the stories and legends alive.
It’s an apt description for this Irish expat, a man who has wholeheartedly embraced his adopted land through his life, his story and his song, while still honouring the Celtic spirit that burns deep within.
Shanakee are: Kieran O’Connell, vocals, guitar, bodhran | Greg Hunt: Fiddle, mandolin | Mark McNeilly: bass, vocals, whistle, five string banjo, guitar | Dave Walker: guitar, vocals, mandolin, tenor banjo, bass.