This Week in Vinyl: Tommy Flanagan – Ballads & Blues

Shortly after acquiring this humble phonograph, I took a ride to my parents house to pilfer their vinyl collection. Now, I’m a child of the 80s, which means they were parents in the 80s and much to my chagrin the record collection I found neatly tucked away in the basement reflected that. I mean seriously, I ask you, how many copies of Barbara Streisand and Barry Gibb does one house need? In my parents case, apparently it was two. I don’t know why.

But I digress. As I flipped through their collection of the good, bad and ugly (yeah they had that too) I stumbled on this gem which I think may have belonged to my grandparents. Some years back my piano instructor told me to look up a Tommy Flanagan tune to listen to for context on something we were working on. I can’t recall which one. Every now and then something would pop up in a Spotify playlist, I’d hear it and go,”hey that’s good,” but I never really payed attention. Then I found this. I got it home, cleaned it up and listened intently. I was hooked. While the record was spinning away I did a little research and found Mr. Flanagan’s fingerprints on so many albums I had heard before and never noticed.

I submit to you that this is how it should be. You find a record tucked away and forgotten, and it opens your eyes and mind to something you hadn’t heard before. Shortly after, I bought a reissue of his Overseas record from the sessions in Stockholm, which is equally enjoyable. The original pressing of that session is rare and expensive and I actually do have limits.

Who knew?


    1. I just introduced The Dude to Maceo. I may be making other questionable parenting choices but I’ve got this music thing wired up 🤣

      1. Parenting is, by definition, a series of questionable choices. My oldest is in high school next year. I’ve gotten to the point where any choices that have an end result of “He’s fed, clean and has done his homework” are good enough.

        How old is your boy?

      2. Oh man isn’t that the truth. Everyday, literally everyday, that I don’t teach him “that’s what she said” is a parental victory. I will eventually concede defeat but not for a while. High school?! Damn. Where did time go? He’s 4 this year. In preschool and all that. Being over 40 with a 4 year old is no joke but all in all I’d say we’re having a pretty good time.

      3. That’s a great age. I do love that picture of you guys. Yeah, high school. He’s taller than I am, which isn’t hard. Hairier, too, which, sadly, is. I don’t get it either, seeing as I still think of myself as 22.

        How you doing, man? I know airlines got clobbered. You make it through OK?

      4. He’s a pretty good dude. Has a lost to say. About a lot of things 🤣 we’re pretty lucky.
        Aside from being tired pretty much all the time, mostly due to the small person that lives here, I don’t feel 44. The numbers, however, say otherwise. My wife and I did the math last night and I think I’m onto 12th midlife crisis. We had to do some algebra but I think it’s proving out.

        Yeah, we weathered the storm ok. I’ve been around this place a while so the extra seniority helps. I’m luckier than some others but it’s already starting to show improvement and we’re all breathing a little easier these days. The industry usually runs in 10 year cycles, so you could say we were due. I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re starting to come out the other side.

      5. That’s good. I’ve been wondering and rooting for you. I take M’s job security for granted. What airline are you on, anyway? I have a feeling it’ll boom soon enough. If lazy assed people like me are itching like hell to travel, everyone is. As for coming out the other side, M works with two of the best vaccine researchers on earth, so I’ve been hearing way too much about things since day one. M’s utterly certain we’ll be OK if people just get the damn shots.

        She’s also been so busy that between comp time and all the vacation time she bought back, we got central air.

        Only 12 midlife crises? You’re doing OK. I’d’ve had more but these damn kids make me too tired. If you’re only as old as you feel, most days I’m 92.

      6. Thanks dude. It can be a pretty unforgiving industry at times and the last time this kinda thing happened I found myself without a chair when the music stopped. Life was lot different back then though. We were lucky this time around. Only 21 more years until I can stop worrying about it. I’ve definitely noticed in the last month the planes getting fuller and the schedule getting busier. People want to travel (God knows why lol) and after a year of shenanigans they’re starting to show up again. For the most part everyone shows up with their masks and Fonzie cool in check and right now that’s keeping the doors open. On the one hand, it’s great for business and my career and retirement, but on the other having to go to work regularly is putting a pretty big damper on my social calendar 🤣 What with all the social media policies and such Im hesitant to say publicly where I’m at, but it’s a pretty big company out of Boston.

        I don’t know how people have more than one kid. My hats off to you. He’s a good man, but some days he’s got 40 years more energy than I do. Especially in the morning. I mean I ask you, How do you go 0-60 right after waking up? Im getting up early to preload coffee to compensate. It’s a strategy that I’m not sure is working. Still, I wouldn’t change it for the world though.

        I’m definitely working on lucky number 13. It’ll have to be a big one though. I’m not known for under doing things.

      7. Ha! No, you are not known for that.

        0-60? Dude, I haven’t gone 60 since before the middle one was born. I can pack snacks and drive to the school on autopilot. If you flew a plane in the condition that I drive the kids to school in, you’d go to jail. At least they’re all boys, because I can just say “BOYS!” when I’m too tired to remember which one I’m talking to. I did that once when a friend’s daughter was over. She was confused.

        They get more energetic. Just wait until he stays up later than you want to stay up. And he wants to talk and play later than you want to stay up.

        Eventually you get to the point where you just go to the bus stop in whatever you slept in (if it’s decent enough) and you just don’t care. Not sorry.

        Hey, Mike is 42 and has a….wait for it….two WEEK old baby. And a kid about as old as yours. On one hand I’m all “Congrats, man!” on the other hand I’m all “I weep for you.” All that in a three room apartment. At least I have a big yard and a house big enough that they all have their own bedrooms and stuff.

        Weep. Weep for my brother.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s