Like many musicians throughout Greater Boston – and beyond – Flynn Cohen feels he owes a lot to the late guitarist-mandolinist John McGann, a much-beloved figure in the area’s Irish music community. Along with considerable amounts of advice, inspiration, and wisdom that he bequeathed to Cohen over the years, McGann had a key role in planting the seed for a fascinating music project that has now borne fruit.
That project would be Cohen’s Deadstring Ensemble, which explores the connections between various acoustic genres, principally Irish and old-time Appalachian, but also bluegrass, folk-rock, and even early music. They’ve just released their first CD, “The Lazy Farmer” (Wepecket Island Records), and will mark the occasion with a concert at Club Passim in Harvard Square on May 5.
McGann was an original member of the band, whose ranks also include Matt Heaton and Danny Noveck. His death in April of 2012 came about a year after the Deadstring Ensemble’s founding; their album is dedicated to McGann, described as “mentor, friend, bandmate, plucked-string virtuoso, musical and comic genius.” But as Cohen relates, McGann’s contribution to Deadstring goes back a few years before it actually came together. Read more