Helen O'Shea & The Shanakees
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Helen O'Shea & The Shanakees

Princeton, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2017 | SELF

Princeton, New Jersey, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2017
Band Americana Celtic



The best kept secret in music


This band has no press


Still working on that hot first release.



Helen O'Shea has just released her first full CD "Turning Tides..." - a collection of original songs about relationships, love, loss, motherhood, grief and friendship. Helen is originally from Limerick in Ireland. In 1995, she moved to the USA & then Canada with her husband - their children were born in Montreal - before moving back to the USA to settle in Princeton, NJ in 2011.

At that time, after a career in medicine spanning 4 countries – Ireland – UK – Canada – USA - in the field of Obstetrics & Gynecology, including clinical care, perinatal research & medical student education, Helen's children asked her to stay home for a while.  Her husband suggested that she revisit her longstanding love of singing during the break and she gradually began performing locally, as well as writing poetry and songs.

In 2014, Helen started working with Music Mentor & Producer - 2 time Grammy winner - Marc Swersky and her music career took off in a new direction. In 2016, their first collaboration - "Moments" - was selected for inclusion on the Cape May Singer Songwriters Festival CD. Then Helen released "Mama Told You..." her first EP of 5 original songs & her unique take on "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd - a song she learned for her son. 

Six of the ten original songs on Helen's new CD "Turning Tides..." were co-written with Marc Swersky - who also produced the CD, which was recorded at Shorefire Recording Studios in Long Branch with Joe DeMaio. In the recording studio, Helen worked with Marc's "dream team" on some of these tracks - Steve Holley (Wings) - Todd Caldwell (Crosby, Stills, Nash) - Vinnie Mascolo (Tunnels to Holland) as well as her American  cousin and National Heritage Fellow Billy McComiskey, and the guys from The Chordaes who provided vocals on the track "Aftermath".

Now that the CD is done, Helen is currently in rehearsals for the CD Release Shows in 2018 (TBD) with the new lineup of her live performance band "The Shanakees" - named for the Gaelic word "seanachai" meaning "storyteller" - which includes, at different times depending on the needs of the song, dobro, mandolin, guitar, keys, bass, drums. 

Helen O'Shea & "The Shanakees" are - Helen O'Shea (Vocals) - Marvin Perkins (Dobro & Bass) - John Mazzeo (Mandolin & Bass) - Jay Posipanko (Keys, Mandolin, Guitar) -  David Ross (Drums & Percussion) - and they perform Helen's original songs as well as duet/ensemble covers in the "AmeriCeltiCana" style - Americana with a Celtic twist! 

Band Members