John Francis Flynn is the latest Irish musician to find a home away from home on River Lea Records, Rough Trade’s folk music imprint. His debut solo album ‘I Would Not Live Always’ will be released on July 30th. Watch the video for ‘My Son Tim’ now.
John came to the label’s attention while supporting fellow Dublin band Lankum on their 2019 tour, where his commanding performances revealed him to be as much an experimental electronic artist as he is an interpreter of traditional song.
Singer, guitarist, flautist (and practitioner of the double tin whistle), John is also a member of celebrated traditional group Skipper’s Alley and is joined here by bandmate Ultan O’Brien (also of Slow Moving Clouds). Also contributing to the record are singer Consuelo Breschi of the duo Varo, sean nós singer Saileog Ní Ceannabháin, Phil Christie (O Emperor / The Bonk) on keyboards, and drummer & composer Ross Chaney who created many of the Tascam tape-loop drones that bind the album together. The record was produced, engineered and mixed by Brendan Jenkinson (Villagers / Cloud Castle Lake) who also joins in on a host of instruments for the record. It was recorded and mixed at Oxford Lane and Sonic Studios, Dublin.
The material John Francis Flynn has chosen to record includes songs learned from recordings of Shirley Collins, Frank Harte and settled Traveller Paddy Quilligan, two songs written by activist and folk revivalist Ewan MacColl, and a West Indies halyard shanty published by “Last Working Shantyman” Stan Hugill, alongside in-studio improvisations and tunes picked up by John along the way.
‘I Would Not Live Always’ is the fourth album to be released by River Lea, following 5-star reviewed and award-winning records by Lisa O’Neill, Brìghde Chaimbeul and Ye Vagabonds. John Francis Flynn personifies the boundless approach to traditional music the label was set up to champion.