Harry Bradshaw at the ARC

25 07 2007


For fans of Irish music, Harry Bradshaw is something of a household name. Although long an engineer and producer at RTE, what he is probably best known is his work researching and reissuing Irish music recorded during the 78rpm era. Indeed, most of the era’s music was recorded in the United States and shipped back to Ireland; today, that music is often the basis for not only much of what people play, but for how they play it. Harry knows a staggering amount not only about these recordings, but about the people who made it. Although he’s had his hand in many, many projects (all of which are stunning), some of his more seminal collections are those of Michael Coleman, James Morrison, John Feeney, the collected recordings of the Gael Linn label, and of course my favorite, the Flanagan Brothers:

To say that his projects have had a merely “substantial” impact on today’s musicians would be an understatement.

The hits aren’t in danger of stopping, either. Last week, Harry made a presentation at Irish Arts Week that discussed the recently rediscovered cylinder recordings Francis O’Neill made when he was the Chief of the Chicago police. These recordings were thought to have been destroyed, but he found them and is doing yeoman’s work to preserve them and help raise awareness of the collection. He was able to pop on by the ARChive because he just happened to be in the neighborhood doing genealogical research for an entirely different reissue project (ach sin sceal eile, right Harry?). It was our pleasure to have him by.


For those who haven’t the foggiest about who I’m talking about, have a listen to some examples posted over at the Juneberry 78s site, a neat place set up by a guy who posts mp3s of 78rpm records in his collection as an educational service.
Michael Coleman playing “The Blackbird” set dance.
James Morrison playing “Kitty’s Wedding” and “The Rambler” jigs.
The Flanagan Brothers playing “Paddy in London.”



24 07 2007

Wandering around the internets recently I found a really well done blog entitled

Observations On Film, Music & Imagery of the Past

ARChivers, as inveterate fans of antique recording technology (and rabid ukulele heads) will dig these pages to the infinite. There’s tons of art and fabulous sound clips to illustrate the breezy text which focuses on the early days of music in film. Much of the discussion touches on musicals long lost, the existence of which persists only in ephemera such as movie mag articles or sheet music, or on 78rpm sides. The latest post has much to say about the infamous Charleston, a dance craze so dangerous to the mind and bodies of innocent (meaning white) youth that it can only be described as the Dutty Wine of the ‘Twenties. as an aside, the old joke among dancers, Lindy-hoppers especially, was that the Charleston was a dance that black folks did to parody the stiff, spastic movements of white folks trying to dance to the new Hot Jazz! A dis that destroyed Western Civilization.

Anyhoo, when you’re tired of Avril and Paris and Tammy Faye, go check this one out.


Oops! There Comes A Smile!

23 07 2007


Click on any cover for a larger view.

Tammy Faye fell from grace
Tammy Faye had a make-up face
She + Jesus cut lots of wax
“Oops” is our favorite trac

RIP TFB 7/23

Select Discography (or, “Tammy” things, plus other relevant material easily at hand):

Jim & Tammy & Their Friends. Building on the Rock. (Singcord, USA, ZLP 963, 1975).
Jim & Tammy & Their Friends. Oops! There Comes a Smile. (Singcord, USA, ZLP 948, 1975).
Tammy Faye. Run Toward the Roar. (PTL Club, USA, RLP-1820, 1980).
Tammy Faye Bakker. Tammy Sings…You Can Make It. (PTL Club Records and Tapes, USA, LP-1827, 1982).
Tammy Faye Bakker. “The Ballad of Jim and Tammy.” (12″ Single). (Sutra, USA, SUD 067, 1987).
Tammy. In The Upper Room. (PTL Records & Tapes, USA, LP-1840, 1984).
Tammy Faye Bakker. The Lord’s On My Side. (PTL Records & Tapes, USA, RLP-1822, 1980).
The PTL Musical Family. Jim & Tammy Present. (PTL Records & Tapes, USA, LP-1826, 1981).
Dino. Jim and Tammy Present the Best of Dino. (PTL Records & Tapes, USA, LCS-518, 1980).
Jim Bakker. How to Accomplish the Impossible with The Big Three Mountain Movers. (PAX Musical Reproductions, USA, PMR 7001-R, ND).


ps. for those just learning about us, don’t forget about our greatest contest ever!

Tunes and Beer

23 07 2007



Brian McNamara, Tim Collins* and Michael Rooney 

Yep, the craic was good and the tunes were flying this week at the annual Irish Arts Week in East Durham New York. We were only able to manage a last gap weekend visit, but seeing friends and playing in some nice sessions made the trip worthwhile.

We arrived late on Friday, and immediately popped around to all the interesting looking sessions.  Crowded…difficult.  We eventually linked up with Don Meade, and enjoyed some tunes and beer with him at McGrath’s until about 4:00 am, by which time it seemed that my head couldn’t have hit the pillow fast enough!

Up late on Saturday and headed over to the fairgrounds for the big concert.  A great afternoon of festival madness. Although the pavillion sets were heavily attended and clearly the primary draw, I much preferred being at the smaller sets in the tent.  It was nice to see some familiar and many entirely new faces on the smaller stage doing their thing, but the highlight for me (seeing as how I’m a tenor player) was hearing Angelina Carberry and Martin Quinn perform:


Angelina’s a wonderful banjoist whose playing I greatly admire, and I was glad to hear her in person.  Her and Martin’s set just flew by.

Later that evening, we went to John and Suzanne’s house party for some tunes and “hospitality” (beer and hot dogs).  I was one among many who had a great time; I even came away with a couple of really nice tunes from John, a great flute player from Carmel, NY.  Later, we went to Furlongs for some tunes and beer, and then, all the way over to Stack’s where Mike Rafferty was holding court for a small but appreciative crowd of luminaries (Tim, Brian, Gearoid, Ben, Sean, etc) and sundry.  He was brilliant, as were the tunes and the beer.

We didn’t tuck in until after 4:00am, but it’s not like I had planned to be anywhere on time this morning anyway.  If not for tunes and beer, isn’t that what Sundays are about?

* BTW, Tim (concertina) and Brian (uilleann pipes) have a spectacular new album out called Reed Only.  This is what it sounds like.  Great stuff!


Never Talking, Just Keeps Walking

20 07 2007

Spreading his magic…

What with the imminent release of the newest and last Harry Potter book, this morning’s Marketplace ran a little feature on Wizard Rock. Well, this piqued our interest here at the ARChive because we maintain a database of genres, and Wizard Rock wasn’t in it.

Until today.

So what is it, you ask? Well, according to Wizardrock.org, the self-described “premier” wizard rock site (eat it, Real Wizard Rock!), it is:

…a genre of music inspired by the works of J.K. Rowling, author of the popular Harry Potter book series. […] Many, like Harry and the Potters, are named for a specific character and sing songs from their point of view. Many also dress up like the character for performances.

If you think that just about covers it, you’re sorely mistaken. By the way, don’t mistake Wizard Rock for filk (science fiction or fantasy based folk music) or for the kind of D&D/LotR thing that Led Zeppelin did, or emo, for God’s sake. Wizard Rock is its its own damn thing. MTV even said so.

Compliments of my sister-in-law Eileen, we have a set of Wizard Rock lyrics she made up:

Oh Dumbledore, oh Dumbledore / Now its time to settle the score / Perry, Ron and Hermione too / Will vanquish the evil, you know who.

Oh Dumbledore, oh Dumbledore / Now its time to settle the score / Perry of the fame / Will vanquish he who must not be named.

Pretty sweet, right? So when all the wizard rockers are dead, where will we bury them, in Harry Potter’s Field?

Ugh, no! In the Deathly Hollows, next to the Shreiking Shack, obviously!

Spoiler alert! In the new book Harry undergoes a sex change operation, and we managed to find this as yet unreleased image of her new look. All hail Henrietta!


My wife (who reads the Harry Potter books) had a set of lyrics on Friday, but we were out of computer contact through this morning, so it’s taken me until today (Sunday the 22nd) to post them. Here they are:

Keep your eye on the snitch and one hand on the broom.
But keep your head on straight ’cause the bludgers will always loom
Let ’em fly baby fly
Let ’em fly baby fly let ’em fly
To win the cup.

Now that Malfoy’s rich and his daddy buys him every toy
But in the end he’ll always be nuthin’ but a momma’s boy
Let ’em fly baby fly
Let ’em fly baby fly
Let ’em fly
To win the cup
Now the pitch was green and the sky was almost clear
But be if it starts to get cold you’ll know a dementor’s near

I have no idea what they mean, but they sure do sound convincing!

Kioku / Happy Fun Smile

19 07 2007

My friend Wynn Yamami leads a great experimental music group called “Kioku” (Japanese for “memory”), and they’re going on a west coast tour this summer. You can go to their myspace page to hear what they sound like, but if you’d rather see them in action (and who wouldn’t?) look no further. Here they are playing a piece called “Binalig”:

The group’s a trio and includes another friend, Christopher Ariza (live electronics, also a fine composer) as well as Ali Sakkal (saxophones, percussion). You can learn more about the group (and learn about their tour dates) by clicking over to the Kioku homepage. If you’re a fan of experimental music and live in California, you have to go check them out.

Lest we think that Wynn is all about being serious at the expense of fun, he’s also the leader of a group called “Happy Fun Smile” that “performs an eclectic mix of Okinawan pop, electric folk songs (ultraminyo), supersweet ballads (enka), festival rhythms and obon beats.” I’d be remiss if I didn’t say he’s joined in this endeavor by several friends, including Ryan Dorin, Billtron and MBQ who help make the group great. They’re something to hear – really, really fun – so you must check them out as well. Here’s a taste:

HFS also has a homepage. Go there NOW.


ALSO: Don’t forget about our “Greatest Contest Ever.” It’s still in full swing and will remain open until we give away BOTH cases of Moxie!

Paris Hilton has nothing to do with Hawaiian Shirt Day

18 07 2007

This is a watershed Wednesday. Everybody came be-decked in their ersatz Polynesian finery. It’s getting embarrassing. Maybe next week we’ll bring in our ukuleles. Hang loose, wahinis.


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