Mick Moloney’s new album, McNally’s Row of Flats (Irish American Songs of Old New York, by Harrigan and Braham), pulls back the curtain on a forgotten era of Irish-American history and song. It centers on the work of actor/writer Ed Harrigan and musician David Braham, who were the toast of the Great White Way in an era when the intersection of minstrelsy and vaudeville were poised to give birth to what we now know as American Musical Theatre. Harrigan and his performing partner Tony Hart both began their careers in the minstrelsy circuit before collaborating on a series of satirical sketches based on the immigrant communities of New York City. In the 1870s, Harrigan parlayed their most popular sketches into a series of incredibly successful musical plays, for which he and pit-orchestra leader Braham wrote the songs Moloney revisits on McNally’s Row of Flats. Equally qualified as a musician and anthropologist, Mick Moloney brings to these songs the perfect balance of historical insight and musical relevance. Born in Ireland, Moloney came to America in 1973 and pursued a career that uniquely combines the roles of musician, folklorist, author, presenter, radio and television personality, and educator. He holds a Ph.D. in folklore, and teaches at New York University in their Irish Studies program.
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