The artist, John ‘The Yank' Harrington, was indeed a ‘local musician' as well as a legend. He was also 96 at the time of the recording, with a head full of Celtic and American tunes from 90 years worth of playing the button accordion. ‘The Yank' (nicknamed so over seven decades ago when he lived in Ireland) packs 36 crisply played tunes into the CD, which runs just under an hour. The songs average a minute and a half apiece, and each tune is preceded by an introduction by Harrington. Selections include Dear Old Donegal, The River Shannon, Maggie in the Woods, Boys of Blue Hill, Skibbereen, The Sidewalks of New York, Turkey in the Straw, and Yankee Doodle. The liner notes are a delight too, documenting The Yanks colorful life from his early childhood as a first-generation American born to Irish immigrants, to the loss of his father to miner's consumption and his mother's death from influenza in 1918, to his seven years in Ireland and his run-in with the British troops (the ‘Black and Tans' - they dismissed interrogating him because he was ‘a Yank'), and back to America where he finally settled in Butte (reputed to be the third most Irish county in the US).

If you're a fan of the button accordion and traditional Irish tunes, this is a hard-to-find gem that is well worth the search. The album is a wonderful archive of classic standards, and a perfect tutorial for button accordion players as well. Harrington passed away in 2002 at 99 years of age, but his music will live on for decades to come through this recording. So where did I get my copy? It was a gift...from my mother, who passed away in 2005. I found it this past October while sorting through her pictures and letters. Some gifts are very special. Thanks, Mom.

You should still be able to obtain a copy by contacting:

John ‘The Yank' Productions
108 South Montana Street, Butte, Montana 59701
406-723-5911 Toll Free 888-923-5911

The album is also available at