Streaming Audio: Joe Lamont Irish Music Recordings, Reel 6, Side 1

Photo of reel-to-reel tape recorderFor all our readers and researchers eager to learn of new resources in Irish music, the Joe Lamont collection (featured earlier on Burns Library’s blog) contains a treasure trove of audio. The open-reel analog audiotapes in Joe Lamont Irish Music Recordings are a mix of live instrumental music—much of it from New York City’s Irish music clubs of the 1950s and 1960s—along with dubs of both published and unpublished 78-rpm discs.  Compiled by fiddle player Joe Lamont (1905-1974), the collection is now digitized and is part of Burns Library’s Irish Music Archives.

This blog post presents the entire content of reel 6, side 1 in seven digital audio clips. The corresponding portion of Lamont’s typed tracklist appears below each audio clip.

Lamont's tracklist for reel 6 side 1, Joe Lamont Irish Music Recordings

Lamont’s tracklist for reel 6 side 1, Joe Lamont Irish music recordings, IM.M145.2005, John J. Burns Library, Boston College


Reel 6, side 1, audio clip 1 (00:00 to 05:45)

  • Michael Coleman, fiddle with Kathleen Brennan, piano
    • Kid on the Mountain (slip jig) (Decca 12067)
  • Michael Coleman, fiddle with Michael Andrews, guitar
    • Bonnie Kate; Jeannie’s Chickens (aka Jennie’s Chickens) (reels) (Decca 12015)

Portion of Lamont's tracklist for audio clip 1 of reel 6 side 1


Reel 6, side 1, audio clip 2 (05:45 to 06:18)

  • Unidentified musician, piano accordion
    • Gentle Maiden (waltz) 

Portion of Lamont's tracklist for audio clip 2 of reel 6 side 1


Reel 6, side 1, audio clip 3 (06:18 to 09:25)

  • James “Lad” O’Beirne, fiddle and Tom Cawley, fiddle
    • Nellie’s Night Out (aka Tailor’s Thimble); Lads of Leith (aka Lads of Laois) (reels) 

Portion of Lamont's tracklist for audio clip 3 of reel 6 side 1


Reel 6, side 1, audio clip 4 (09:25 to 10:56)

  • Denis Murphy, fiddle and unidentified musician, piano
    • The Wicklow (aka Sonny Murray’s) (hornpipe)

Portion of Lamont's tracklist for audio clip 4 of reel 6 side 1


Reel 6, side 1, audio clip 5 (10:56 to 14:55)

  • Michael Coleman, fiddle
    • Humours of Lissadell; Dowd’s Favourite (reels)
  • Michael Coleman, fiddle and probably James “Lad” O’Beirne, piano
    • Ownie Davis’ (aka Davy’s); The Collier’s (reels) 

Portion of Lamont's tracklist for audio clip 5 of reel 6 side 1


Reel 6, side 1, audio clip 6 (14:55 to 16:07)

  • Michael Coleman, fiddle and probably James “Lad” O’Beirne, piano
    • Paddy on the Turnpike (aka The Bunch of Keys) (reel)

Portion of Lamont's tracklist for audio clip 6 of reel 6 side 1


Reel 6, side 1, audio clip 7 (16:07 to 31:31)

  • Hugh Gillespie, fiddle with Mark Callahan, guitar
    • Mullingar Lea; Star of Munster (reels) (Decca 12112)
  • Hugh Gillespie, fiddle with Mark Callahan, guitar
    • Crowleys (aka Master Crowley’s); The Roscommon (reels) (Decca 12105)
  • Hugh Gillespie, fiddle with Jack McKenna, guitar
    • Paddy Finley (aka Paddy Finley’s Fancy, The Galway Rambler); Sheehan’s (aka Joe O’Connell’s Dream) (reels) (Decca 12192)
  • Hugh Gillespie, fiddle with Jack McKenna, guitar
    •  Jeannie’s Welcome (aka Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie) (reel) (Decca 12164)
  • Hugh Gillespie, fiddle with Jack McKenna, guitar 
    • Dowd’s Favourite (reel) (Decca 12171)
  • Hugh Gillespie, fiddle with Jack McKenna, guitar
    • Lawson’s (aka Farewell to Leitrim); Tom Steele (aka Hand Me Down the Tackle) (reels) (Decca 12186)

Portion of Lamont's tracklist for audio clip 7 of reel 6 side 1


About the Joe Lamont Collection

Each audio clip in this blog post is from Audio file 99567_0000 (reel 6), Joe Lamont Irish music recordings, IM.M145.2005, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

The seven audio clips above represent reel 6, side 1 from beginning to end. The side is 31 minutes and 31 seconds long and contains both published and unpublished music. Some of the music — for example, audio clips 5 and 6 — likely originated on homemade 78-rpm discs. The library-assigned reel number (in this case, “6”) is in the upper right corner of the tracklist.

Listeners may notice anomalies that originated on the tape: abrupt beginnings and endings, variation in sound quality and volume, and tempo/pitch aberrations.

An emigrant from Co. Derry, Lamont began working for the New York City Transit Authority in 1927. As a fiddle player he was actively involved in establishing clubs for Irish musicians in his adopted city. He brought his reel-to-reel tape recorder to live events; he also used it to dub sound discs onto reels. Lamont’s personal collection of 60 open-reel tapes was donated to Burns Library’s Irish Music Archives by his nephew James Lowney.  Boston College Libraries digitized and described the collection as part of a 2018 Recordings at Risk digitization grant project.

Further details about the collection can be viewed by downloading the collection’s finding aid and viewing the latest blog posts about the Joe Lamont collection. If you have questions, comments, or additional information to share with us, we invite you to contact the Library.

— Elizabeth Sweeney, Irish Music Librarian, Burns Library


Sources Consulted

  • Bradshaw, Harry. Liner notes. Michael Coleman, 1891-1945. Michael Coleman. Gael Linn/Viva Voce CEFCD 161. CD. 1992.
  • Discography of American Historical Recordings
  • Gillespie, Hugh. Classic Recordings of Irish Traditional Fiddle Music. Danbury, CT: Green Linnet, 1992.
  • Irish Traditional Music Archive
  • Irish Traditional Music Tune Index
  • Milestone at the Garden: Irish Fiddle Masters from the 78-rpm Era. Cambridge, MA: Rounder Records, 1996.
  • The Session
  • Spottswood, Richard K. Ethnic Music on Records: A Discography of Ethnic Recordings Produced in the United States, 1893-1942. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1990.
This entry was posted in Archives & Manuscripts, Digital Projects, Irish Music Archives, Irish Studies and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Streaming Audio: Joe Lamont Irish Music Recordings, Reel 6, Side 1

  1. Janine M Randall says:

    So enjoyed this Beth! To hear Michael Coleman playing is just amazing! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. Cathal Lennon says:

    Wonderful work Elizabeth. Coleman is an enigma and all of his music in so fascinating.
    Dr. Charlie Lennon

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s