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Ryan & Brennish Thomson

Updated Feb 2, 2024

Traditional Irish Music on Button Accordion

by Ryan Thomson

This is a fine collection of traditional style jigs, reels, polkas, and hornpipes from Patty Furlong, born in the Bronx, and the daughter of Irish immigrants. She has played with many of the best known contemporary Irish musicians, including Cherish the Ladies and the Chieftains. 


A three times all Ireland champion on a C#/D button accordion, she is accompanied on this CD by other fine musicians including Myron Bretholz on bodhran, Fiona Doherty on fiddle, Brendan Dolan on piano, Hilari Farrington on Harp, Mairead Powell King step dancing, Benedict Koehler on Uilleann Pipes, Donna Long on piano, Frankie McCormick on banjo, and Zan McLeod on guitar, bass, synthesizer, dombek, and shakers.


Patty's playing is both clean and precise, and demonstrates a mastery of phrasing and dynamics. In addition, the characteristic that makes me want to listen to the CD over and over is the human touch. The recording has personality! Its nice to get both virtuosity and feeling at the same time. Unlike some other box players who merely play fast in a mechanical fashion, her playing has a lively lilt.


Her tunes come from various sources: from Cape Breton fiddlers Jerry Holland and Brenda Stubbert; the O'neils Music of Ireland tune book; Charlie Mulvihill, Jackie Daly, and others. Selections include 13 sets of tunes: Tumbledown/White Petticoat, Brenda Stubbert's/The North Side/Alices, Charlie Mulvihill's/Eugene Stratton's, The Golden Legs/Harry Bradshaw's, Caherlistrane/Castletown Connors/Fasten the Leg on Her, Blue Eyed Rascal, Micky Quinn's/Humors o' Ballingarry/Rakes of Clonmel, Man of the House/Kieran Kelly's/Brendan McMahon's, Killavil/Paddy Fahy's, Nell Fee's/I'll Buy Boots for Maggie, Munster Grass/Coey's, Snow Capped Mountain/Mist Covered Mountain, The House on the Hill/P.J. McComiskey's.

Written by Ryan Thomson, 1999

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