It all started on Joe's Father's knee, listening to him play the harmonica and singing and playing the button accordion and his Mother dancing around the kitchen, where Joe says "thats where I learned to dance an Old Tyme Waltz, while listening to Ceili House, Radio Eireann on Saturday nights"
It seemed Joe knew back then what he was going to do.
Joe also paid his dues in construction and destruction, underground and overground etc,,
He Started playing the harmonica at the age of 5. At age 12 he got a Framus guitar from a catalogue and soon started picking and singing the Irish ballads. Joe McShane is one of the most soulful balladeers of all time with a voice of pure velvet whilst fingerpicking his guitar and playing harmonica.
He has proved himself to be a national treasure as a songwriter, His first song was penned at age 14 titled "My Silverbridge Home".
Susan McCann recorded this song as "My Forkhill Home" on her "Sentimental Journey" Album. (this album received a platinum disc)
She later recorded another song of Joe's called "Love Me One More Time"
A few years later found Joe joined up with the "High Noon Band" The band played most of the local dances, playing a cross section of music, they also played most of the local Ceali dances. Band members were Band Leader - Peter Murphy R.I.P. (Fiddle, Bass, Accordion) his brother John Murphy R.I.P. (Drums, Fiddle, Accordion)
Teddy Campbell (Guitar, Keyboard, Vocals) and Martin Campbell (Drums, Vocals)
They were kept very busy around home (Silverbridge, Co Armagh) and surrounding Counties. The band also joined up every Wednesday night with such players as Sean McGeeney, Tubby Corway both from "The Wranglers" (John Glenn's Band) Basel Hendricks (Philomena Begley's Band) and John McHugh, who was with "The Travelers" at the time (Big Tom's Band) @ The Fairways Hotel, Dundalk, Co Louth. The show went out live on "Radio Carousel" with Hugh Hardy R.I.P. This really started to help Joe become a household name in the surrounding counties !!!
Traveling and getting more into his writing mode, Joe spent a lot of time performing in Switzerland (About 7 months a year),
Scotland, Wales, England, Shetland Isles, and of course U.S.A. Living on the road for quite a few years, his home was often the back of his van !!!
Thanks to Tony Campbell (Engineer @ Big Tom's Studios, Castleblaynney) Daniel O' Donnell recorded a song on his first album written by Joe called "My Side Of The Road" which had also been recorded by Joe's neighbour and friend John Glenn
Some of the many artists to have recorded songs written by Joe McShane are - Keelan Arbuckle, Gerry Carney, Nathan Carter, Jake Carter, Noel Cassidy, Andy Cooney, John Glenn, Kathy Kane, Susan McCann, Lisa McHugh, Owen McVeigh, Jordan Mogey Daniel O'Donnell, Margo O'Donnell, Patrick O'Sullivan, Kevin Prendergast, Stephen Smyth, Ben Troy and Sean Wilson.
Joe bought his younger brother Nick, who was 15 at the time, an acoustic guitar for Christmas. Showed him a few chords and within 6 months they were a duet, they joined up with Pat Hogan Bass Guitar/5 string Banjo and travelled about playing Irish/Country and Bluegrass music mostly. Joe went back solo after a few years with the boys and started to travel more.
Although Joe and Nick always got together whenever they could, and played a lot in Switzerland.
Sadly, Joe's brother passed away on February 6th, 2020. Joe says life is just not the same without Nick in his life.
Joe's eighteen year old son Declan has been showing a rare musical talent also. And not only plays quite a few instruments but he is also writing and composing music. He plays with his father regularly and looks set for a musical career!