80 Years in the Making - Ted McGraw Button Accordion
The music on this CD is from Ireland, Scotland, and the Maritime provinces of the East Coast. It is played on the button accordion in a straightforward, uncomplicated manner learned from Irish emigrants who came to the US in the 1940's and 1950's. The musicians of that time played primarily for dances so you will not only jigs and reels, but hornpipes, flings, polkas, slides, and waltzes. The cd would not be possible without the help of Ted's good friend Seamus Connolly who appears on several tracks with his fiddle, and the talented multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Donohue who provides beautiful backing on several tracks.
Here's what reviewer Dan Neeley has to say: " McGraw is a stalwart of Rochester, New York’s Irish community. A button accordion player whose influences include Frank Murphy (Mayo & Rochester, N.Y.), Jim Finucane (Kerry & Rochester), and Jimmy Shand (Scotland), he was the host of the well-loved “Irish Party House” radio show from 1974-2017, and is a very knowledgeable person about Irish music in general. At 80 years of age he decided (with a bit of perhaps not-so-gentle prodding from fiddle legend Seamus Connolly) it was high time to make a CD and the result is a sweet, unfussy album of straight accordion music.
The loveliest tracks here are those McGraw delivers without accompaniment, including the hornpipes “The Cliff” and “Bantry Bay / Cronin’s”; the polkas “Open House / Denis Doody’s / Dan Mac’s”; and the air (played in hornpipe time) “The Bonnie Lass of Head Lake.” Gabriel Donohue plays keyboard, guitar, banjo, and/or bodhrán on most tracks, lifting the music in the way fans of his fans will recognize and appreciate. Connolly also appears on a couple of the album’s tracks, including “Gan Ainm / She Hadn’t the Thing She Thought She Had / Brosna” and “Fairy Queen,” adding nice depth to an altogether pleasing album.