Thursday, August 12, 2010

Patrick Street - "Music for a Found Harmonium"

This delightful tune was one I first heard performed by The Penguin Cafe Orchestra. It's done here by the group "Patrick Street" and is featured in their album "Irish Times". If you feel like doing a "riverdance" while listening to this, be sure your home-office or work station is clear of obstacles like children, small pets or diminutive supervisory personnel.

A bit of Wikipedia:
"The band was formed in Dublin in 1986 with Kevin Burke (formerly of The Bothy Band) on fiddle, Jackie Daly (De Dannan) on button accordion, Andy Irvine (Sweeney's Men, Planxty) on bouzouki and vocals, and Arty McGlynn (Van Morrison, Planxty) on guitar. McGlynn later left the group, and other members were added: Ged Foley (The House Band, Battlefield Band) on guitar, and Declan Masterson on uilleann pipes and keyboards. They have also played with Donal Lunny, Bill Whelan and Enda Walsh. Jackie Daly left shortly after recording "On the Fly". On this album John Carty joined the band.

"In 2008, the furniture company MFI used Patrick Street's cover of "Music for a Found Harmonium" (originally composed by Simon Jeffes from The Penguin Cafe Orchestra), in the background of a TV advertisement[1]. The same track was used near the end of the movie Napoleon Dynamite, as well as in the movie It's All Gone Pete Tong."


  1. Such a magnificent tune - there are hundreds of indie groups like Patrick Street, which most have never heard. I'd never heard this one until today.

    Thank you for this.

  2. Interesting I know this tune but didn't know what it was called...'Music for a Found Harmonium' is an apt title and as it happens a synchronous one, given our recent discussion of 'beatniks' and that doyen of both the beat movement and the New York harmonium revival.... Allen Ginsberg.

    The performers here certainly come with impressive CVs from playing in such bands as Planxty, The Bothy Band and the Battlefield Band, all headliners on the British/Irish folk scene.... not to mention Van Morrison's backing group too.

    I have not come across the enchantingly named Penguin Cafe Orchestra nor Patrick Street so thanks for the heads up on those Doug, I'll keep an eye (and ear) out for them.

    I will be attending several major folk events next month so maybe I'll find them at one of those festivals, that would indeed be synchronous (if that is the correct term?) thanks for sharing the clip Doug.

  3. Hi doug, sorry there isn't a video showing to me only the write up. I'll check back. if it still isn't there I'll pop over to utube.

  4. I like this Doug. I got a bit distracted looking at the clocks in the window there. :-)

    This is more my style of accordion playing along with French Cafe music. I can picture the finger movement taking a few hours of practice.

    Thank you, what fun!

  5. You're welcome AA.

    Yes, I didn't even know whaty a narrow degree of seperation we were dealing with in your other blog on voices from the folk and Beat movements. Ginsberg had his hand in so many things, painting as well. I believe he was with Dylan in at least one of the latter's British tours.

    Thanks also for filling in some of the background on these Irish performers.

  6. It is a wonderful piece of music, Cassandra, and proof positive that there is more to the accordion then the "Strictly Polka" sound Americans so often associate this instrument with.

    Glad you could get the link. I think Multiply is doing some maintenance or something because I couldn't post any replies for a couple hours. :-(