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THE FLANAGAN BROTHERS "The Tunes We Like to Play on
Paddy's Bay" Viva Voce 007

The tracks on this CD were originally recorded between 1921 and 1933. They have been selected from over one hundred and fifty sides made by the Flanagan Brothers during their long and successful recording career in America. The Flanagan Brothers were extremely popular entertainers in the broadest sense and their recordings reflect this, including popular songs and tunes of the day, comic skits and selections of robust instrumental traditional music.

The standard of musicianship is of the highest on all tracks but I feel the instrumentals will have the most relevance for today's listener. The Flanagans were, however, capable of innovation, they were for example among the first to introduce the banjo and guitar (twin necked according to the cover photo) to the music. The accordion, banjo, guitar combination not only produces powerful, driving music but will also be a great interest to those who study the development of traditional music.

Many important recordings of Irish traditional music were made in America in the 1920's and 1930's. Viva Voce are to be congratulated on making much of this material available, not only on the present CD but also on previous releases. Encourage them, give the Flanagans a listen, you will be pleasantly surprised.

Just a thought, for those of you who buy re-issues, none of these tracks appear to have been re-issued before.

Danny Saunders

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This album was reviewed in Issue 24 of The Living Tradition magazine.