The Public Records 3/8/19
Welcome back to McMarch here at The Public Records of Tellus360. For our ‘album of the week’ this week, we’re going to hop across the Atlantic to Newfoundland, CA and look into the music of the Irish diaspora.
Denis Ryan, Fergus O’Byrne, Dermot O’Reilly were all born to different families in different areas of Ireland and all happened to move to Toronto, Canada. They met though working with different groups and eventually formed the trio Ryan’s Fancy.
In 1971, the group left Toronto for Newfoundland to attend the Memorial University of Newfoundland. They were quickly absorbed into the local music scene and were met with much enthusiasm. They also proved to be quite photogenic and were picked up by CBC TV and had a series in which the Fancy would travel up and down the Atlantic coast of Canada performing in different locals. This series was followed by another short lived series called Ryan’s Fancy between January and April of 1972 and after that, they teamed up with Tommy Makem to host another short pub-themed series. They also starred in the CBC TV movie Pirate’s Gold (1980). In the early 80s they became a quarter when the Dublin accordionist James Keane joined them for a short time.
Ryan’s Fancy released twelve albums of traditional Irish and Canadian folk songs. Our album of the week is their fifth studio album ‘Times To Remember’ (Audat, 1973) This album features a collection of old and new world folk songs and even has ties to PA. The last track is the famous tune ‘Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream’ written by American folk singer Ed McCurdy who was born in…Willow Hill, Pennsylvania. How about that?
Ryan’s Fancy is best fancied with a Jameson’s IPA Edition and a good old glass of Guinness.