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Patrick Lynch - 1920s Irish American Accordion Player

We first became aware of accordion player Patrick Lynch during a concert here at the Milwaukee Irish Fest Center featuring Matt Cranitch and Jackie Daly. Jackie had gotten two great barn dances, “Green Mountain Boys” and “Light of the “Moon” from a 78rpm disc recorded in New York in 1925 by Lynch (they also recorded this set of tunes on their fantastic album, The Living Stream). Jackie didn't have any more information about his source for the tunes, which set our research in motion.

The recordings included here come from an earlier session for the Edison Laboratories recorded on October 27, 1924. These were issued (and transferred from) an Edison Diamond Disc, Edison's flat disc record. The sets include hornpipes (Gypsy/High Level/Royal Belfast) and jigs (Donnybrook Fair/Paddy's Favorite/Slasher's).

It turns out Patrick Lynch recorded several sides for the Okeh label in December of 1925 which included the barn dances that Jackie Daly learned. The flip side to the set of barn dances included two reels, "Bonnie Kate" and "Miss McLeods" (Okeh 21031). Another disc (Okeh 20128) featured the hornpipe “The High Level” and “In the Valley Near Slievenamon/Danny Boy.”

Patrick Lynch also recorded later in 1933 with Louis E. Quinn and His Shamrock Minstrels. Quinn's son, Sean, recalls Patrick Lynch being one of the many musicians who played with his father, although the Quinn family is not sure what became of Lynch later in his life. 

Sources: Ethnic Music on Records, Volume 5, Richard Spottswood. Email correspondence with Sean Quinn, 2011.

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