Paddy Cronin – Music in the Glen

LP produced in the late ’60s (with poor-to-middling sound quality, I’m afraid) by Fleetwood Records, a small Massachusetts record label not particularly focused on Irish traditional music. They were notable for their “Sounds of Auto racing” LP and other sports-related albums, as well as some drum and bugle corps recordings. Maybe this is a member of the corps adding a fairly bombastic snare drum to the fiddle, flute, and piano. Paddy seems to have mostly refused to record without accompaniment for reasons of his own, but it’s a shame that the backing generally adds nothing and only serves to obscure or even drown out the sound of the fiddle. On the flute, it’s Paddy himself double-tracking as he did on some later albums. Strangely, there are a couple of tracks that are repeated, first with just fiddle, and then with flute added. What?! The explosive drumwork is credited to George Shanley, and Edward Irwin on the piano manages to keep up and match tempo with Paddy, but the chord choices are often… creative? The two of them were stalwarts of the Boston ceili band scene. OK, I won’t say anything else about the backing, except to say that if you can ignore it, you’ll hear that Paddy is really bringing his A game on most of these tracks! This would’ve been his first 33 rpm LP, and first commercial recording since his 78 recordings for Copley. At this point he seems to have largely moved on from the Sliabh Luachra repertoire and is mostly playing well-known tunes from the general Sligo-influenced New York/Boston scene. He plays with tons of energy and creativity. I’d say this album doesn’t offer a lot to the average Sliabh Luachra polka-and-slide maniac, but fans of Paddy Cronin who can listen past the rest of the noise will find a lot to love on this record.

SAMPLE: Paddy scootched a little closer to the mic to record The Cuckoo’s Nest and you can hear him pretty well over “the noise.”

Paddy Cronin - Music in the Glen 1Paddy Cronin - Music in the Glen 2


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