Label: Ogham - BLB 5006 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album • Country: Ireland • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • Style: Folk, Celtic
The frantic era of the Charleston and Blackbottom was boom-time, too, for Irish-American music. In the concert-halls, the angelic voice of John McCormack trilled an innocent and idealised vision of a lovely past, Inside - Nude - Black Box with sweet regret.
Meanwhile, in the taprooms and dancehalls, the Flanagan brothers belted out hectically rhythmic dance music and knockabout stage-Irish vaudeville farce. The last bastion of genuine mid-Atlantic nostalgia to survive into the '80's was Leo Maguire's minute Walton's programme on Radio Eireann every Saturday afternoon.
Sung originally by Joe Lynch on the Glenside label, "Come back again to me, Mavourneen" is a classic item from the now sadly Maggie - De Danann All Stars* - The Star Spangled Molly programme of "the songs our fathers loved". In the '20's Irish instrumentalists of every description crowded into the recording studios to provide 78 r. The instrument par excellence of the period, though, was Maggie - De Danann All Stars* - The Star Spangled Molly single row key melodeon.
The first virtuoso, unbelievably, in an age rampant with racism, was a German-American named John Kimmel who flourished as "The Irish Dutchman"! Kimmel's sound was described in the record catalogue of the time as being somewhere between a Scotch bagpiper and Αν - Νένη Ζάππα - Ενδοχώρα jazz band.
On "The Cuckoo's Nest" on this record Jackie Daly plays an accordion he has himself built to reproduce Kimmel's rich reedy sound. Arguably the greatest fiddler of the era was Sligoman James Morrison. Unlike archrival Michael Coleman who was primarily a soloist and musical purist, Morrison reveled in duets with accordeonists, flute players and even a washboard player on one recording.
Last song on the album is that rarity in an age of sentiment, a tear-free emigration song. Careful listening will reveal scarcely a tinge of regret as Frankie sings "I'm Leaving Tipperary", echoing perhaps the restrained optimism of the original rendition by Larry Griffin and the Shamrock Band.
Butterfield and George W.
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