Shannon Heaton | The Blue Dress

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Folk: Irish Traditional Folk: Celtic Fusion Moods: Instrumental
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The Blue Dress

by Shannon Heaton

Using a favorite dress (a bright blue vintage composition) as creative inspiration, this fresh new Irish flute album celebrates the exquisite beauty and lyricism--as well as the roots-based power--of tradition, with just a touch of whimsy.
Genre: Folk: Irish Traditional
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. 44 Mill Street
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4:09 album only
2. 99 High
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4:28 album only
3. Blue Dress Waltz
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3:09 album only
4. Dennis Watson's
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4:07 album only
5. Against the Grain
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3:34 album only
6. Nights on Caledonia Terrace
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3:22 album only
7. Grandfather's Thoughts
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3:21 album only
8. Red Molly
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2:57 album only
9. Frost Place
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3:24 album only
10. Aunt Jane's Trip to Norway
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3:18 album only
11. Irish Washerwoman
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4:24 album only
12. Hornless Cow
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3:10 album only


Album Notes
“The Blue Dress” * a new CD from Shannon Heaton * more info at

Boston-based Irish flute player/singer Shannon Heaton brings exquisite skill, heart, and sass to the music she writes and performs. Irish American News dubbed her Female Musician of the Year (2009), and named her latest album with husband Matt Heaton “Trad Fusion Album of 2010.”

For “The Blue Dress,” her first solo album, Shannon focuses fully on the Irish flute (instead of featuring her usual mix of vocals, tin whistle and flute playing). Using her favorite blue dress, a bright vintage composition of lace and satin, as creative inspiration, the album celebrates the exquisite beauty and lyricism, as well as the roots-based power of tradition, with just a touch of whimsy.

The album also features stellar guest accompanists Maeve Gilchrist (harp), Paddy League (bodhran/percussion), Liz Simmons (guitar), and regular collaborator Matt Heaton (guitar/bouzouki). "The Blue Dress" contains time-honored traditional tunes, as well as a handful of Heaton originals, all arranged with care and class.

Shannon Heaton’s new flute CD features special guest musicians Maeve Gilchrist, harp; Matt Heaton, guitar, bouzouki, bodhran; Paddy League, bodhran, percussion, guitar; and Liz Simmons, guitar

Gorgeous and satisfying for Irish music purists...
Accessible and exciting to general music lovers….
Fresh. Fun. Fabulous.

1. 44 Mill Street – a fresh, upbeat set of reels
2. 99 High – polkas like you’ve never known them (with “prepared” harp)
3. Blue Dress Waltz – the lush and stirring title track
4. Dennis Watson’s (reels) – big, toe-tapping, blousy reels
10. Aunt Jane's Trip to Norway - chill and groovy reels for the cocktail hour

More about Shannon:
By the time Shannon was 16 years old, her favorite mix tape included Highlife music (from her family’s tenure in Nsukka, Nigeria); Native American stories (from her parents’ research trip for their book Let My People Know); traditional Thai songs on Saw Duang and Saw Oo (from her year in Suphanburi, Thailand); and as much of Matt Molloy’s 1984 “Stony Steps” as would fit on the rest of the cassette.

Early exposure to languages and folk melodies instilled in Shannon a love of tradition. From her early piano and recorder lessons (from her mom and Belgian neighbor in Nigeria) to her flute and Irish flute studies in Chicago, Shannon was drawn to traditional music.

Though she specializes in Irish wooden flute and traditional Irish-style singing, adores the Chicago musicians who started her out, and is deeply involved with her local Boston traditional music scene (she co-founded Boston’s Celtic Music Fest and teaches for Boston’s Comhaltas), she still has a deep interest in Thai classical music. She and husband Matt Heaton included their own Irish-style version of Thai classic “Lao Dueng Duen” on their 2009 release “Lovers’ Well” (their 4th as a duo). More at

Shannon is committed to sharing and teaching Irish traditional music. Her free monthly podcast features a "lesson" of a different Irish tune every month:

Also, along with pal Laura Cortese, Heaton enjoys sharing music business ideas with seasoned and newer musicians via her teaching series and blog:


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