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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:02 pm 
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I found this four-CD set in a used book store today. It's a collection of recordings from the 1920s and 1930s of Irish musicians in America. The collection was selected by Ron Kavana, who also wrote a booklet to accompany the set, and was published by Proper Records of London in 1999 with a re-release in 2005. My question is what to make of this collection. Some tunes are accompanied by piano and a few of them sound like they were played by something approaching a big band with a brass section. Others sound authentically trad with fiddles, banjos, a few pipes and one (so far - I've just started listening) whistle tune. The quality is good considering the original recordings were made in early 20th century. My guess (and it's made with no evidence whatsoever this being an online forum and all) is this is Irish trad filtered to some extend through the American music scene of the early 20th century. Kavana's commentary cites the desolation in Ireland in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and leads me to wonder if the American Irish music scene of the early 20th century was the Irish trad scene of that time. Wide-ranging questions I guess. I'm interested in your comments.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:54 pm 
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http://thesession.org/recordings/search ... to+ireland

Those were the big-name Irish recording artists of the day, and I suppose most of the publication was on the American side.

See the above for a list of the performers, but they appear to be a lot of the early influencers: Michael Coleman, Packie Dolan, John McKenna, Flanaghan Bros.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:47 am 
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I think you will have to take into account very few people playing in Ireland during the early years of the twentieth century were ever recorded commercially (or otherwise). That will by default skew any selection towards the few popular and traditional players who were recorded. Much has been said and written about Kavana's selection, including with regards to the bogus track with fake history he included.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:07 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
...including with regards to the bogus track with fake history he included.

And which one would that be?

Having listened to most of the tracks, I find most of them sound like I would expect traditional players to sound (I have no background in this, my listening to Irish music thus far has been limited to the modern musicians starting with about the 1960s). There are a few tracks with large bands and several with a piano that sounds a bit out of place, but overall I'm enjoying the listen.

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