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Dan Milner and Bob Conroy - Irish in America :

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CD129 -

Dan Milner and Bob Conroy - Irish in America

McNally's Row of Flats
Billy the Kid
Scovill's Rolling Mill
Billy the Kid
Christmas Eve
Day I Played Base Ball, The
Drill Ye Terriers, Drill
Girl I Left Behind Me
Hard Working Miner, The
Irish Volunteer, The
Katie Kearney
Man of the House, The
McNally's Row of Flats
Pat Murphy of the Irish Brigade
Portland County Jail, The
Richard Brennan's
Roving Gambler, The
Scovill's Rolling Mill
Sons of Liberty, The
Tell Her I Am
West Rutland Marble Bawn, The

A ground-breaking new Folk-Legacy CD - a musical history of the Irish People in the United States: 14 songs and 4 traditional dance tunes spanning the years between 1780 and 1980.

Timeless songs, fine singing... and great Irish & American musicians! Produced in association with South Street Seaport Museum in New York City and painstakingly researched over 2 years, this new compact disc details the lives of Irish immigrants - laborers, factory hands, homemakers, Revolutionary War and Civil War soldiers, sportsmen and politicians - plus first generation Irish-Americans - cowboy rustlers, card sharks, dancing vaudevillians and workers adrift in the Great Depression.

The songs come from 19th Century songsters, great folk song collections and by word-of-mouth. As a follow-up to Folk-Legacy's highly acclaimed "Irish Ballads & Songs of the Sea," (CD-124), renowned ballad singer Dan Milner & banjo virtuoso Bob Conroy reveal 200 years of the Irish-American experience with keen understanding and great conviction.

Milner & Conroy are joined by 5 All-Ireland Champions. Brian Conway & Pat Mangan (fiddles) and Billy McComiskey (accordion) come together with United States National Guitar Champion Orrin Star (mandolin, banjo, guitar) and the sterling talents of Brendan Dolan, (flute, whistle, piano), Eliot Grasso (uilleann pipes), Terry McKee (bouzouki), Jan Oosting (piano) and Denny Ryan (bass). Champion step-dancer Niall O'Leary from Dublin adds to the excitement. A team of great supporting singers features All-Ireland Champion Jim McFarland of Derry and American folk music stalwarts Dick Swain, Lisa Null,
Deirdre Murtha, Bonnie Milner, Bill Grau and Frank Hendricks.

McNally's Row of Flats / The Girl I Left Behind - The Man of the House / The Sons
of Liberty / Drill Ye Tarriers, Drill / The Irish Volunteer / Pat Murphy of Meagher's
Brigade / The Roving Gambler / Scovill's Rolling Mill / Tell Her I Am - Richard
Brennan's / The Day I Played Base Ball / Katie Kearney - Christmas Eve / The West
Rutland Marble Bawn / Billy the Kid / The Hard Working Miner / The Portland County

McNally's Row of Flats - was written in 1882 for the early vaudeville play McSorley's Inflation by Ned Harrigan. Often called "The American Dickens," Harrigan was brought up on Manhattan's Lower East Side so this brilliant sketch of 19th Century tenement life is a truly first-hand report on New York's
great multi-cultural melting pot. Despite being wrapped up in a humorous cover, all the grime and pathos are there.

Billy the Kid - Details of his early life are sketchy (and he used numerous aliases in his brief career) but he was born Henry McCarty in Manhattan or Brooklyn in 1859, the son of Irish immigrant parents. Long painted as the hardened killer of as many as 21, he is more often viewed today as a young man who was orphaned as a boy, who fell in with bad company, who once tried to go straight and was betrayed, and who may have killed only 4 men in what can be broadly termed as self-defense. Those who knew him said he was charming, fluent in Spanish and had blue eyes and light brown hair with delicate hands and an artistic nature. a fine singer and an excellent dancer. Certainly, he was very dangerous but he also had the reputation of a Robin Hood among the Mexican poor.

Scovill's Rolling Mill - Waterbury, Connecticut was the center of America's brass industry from Colonial times until about 20 years ago. Large numbers of Irish - from Co. Kerry and Queen's Co. (Co. Laois) in particular - came to work in the mills of Scovill, Benedict & Burnham, Chase and other companies. "Scovill's Rolling Mill" is a look into the hard life of industrial workers before unions and occupational safety laws.

"The half-past ten from Tralee town to Queenstown's on its way" refers to a journey on the Great Southern & Western Railway for connection to a transatlantic sailing.

Special thanks to Caroline Paton, from whom I first heard the song, and Jeremy Brecher, who collected it from Congressman John Monagan of Waterbury.

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