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

For all our readers and researchers eager to learn of new resources in Irish music, we continue a series of blog posts featuring audio from the Joe Lamont collection. The open-reel 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music—much of it from New York City’s Irish music clubs of the 1950s and 1960s—along with dubs of both published and unpublished 78-rpm discs.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.

Photo of reel-to-reel tape recorder

In nine audio clips, this blog post presents music digitized from reel 2, side 1. The corresponding portion of Lamont’s typed tracklist appears below each clip.

reel 2 side 1 tracklist

Lamont’s tracklist for reel 2 side 1, Joe Lamont Irish Music Recordings, IM.M145.2005, John J. Burns Library, Boston College

Reel 2, side 1, audio clip 1 (00:00 to 10:05)

  • Hugh Gillespie, fiddle
    • My love is in America (aka My Love is on the Ocean) ; Kitty in the Lane (reels)
    • Pretty Peg (aka Bill Clancy’s Delight) (reel)
    • The Flogging (aka The Flagon) (reel)
    • The Foxhunter’s (slip jig)
    • The Traveller (reel) 

Lamont tracklist: reel 2 side 1 track 1

Reel 2, side 1, audio clip 2 (10:05 to 13:01)

  • Probably Patrick Cawley, fiddle
    • The Laird of Drumblair (composed by James Scott Skinner) ; The Miller o’ Hirn (composed by James Scott Skinner) (strathspeys)


Reel 2, side 1, audio clip 3 (13:01 to 15:38)

  • Michael Coleman, fiddle; Michael Walsh, flute; Arthur P. Kenna, piano
    • The Beauty Spot (aka The Tempting Spot); The Sunny Banks (aka The Flowers of Ballymote) (reels) (New Republic 2333 at reduced pitch and speed) 


Reel 2, side 1, audio clip 4 (15:44 to 16:47)

  • Hugh Gillespie, fiddle
    • Out on the Ocean (aka Rose Ann) (jig)


Reel 2, side 1, audio clip 5 (16:47 to 23:44)

  • Probably Patrick Cawley, fiddle
    • The Stoney Steps (aka Rolling Stone) (reel)
    • Banish Misfortune ; Jackson’s Rambles (jigs)
    • The Star of Kilkenny (reel) 
    • The Traveller (B part) (reel)  


Reel 2, side 1, audio clip 6 (23:44 to 27:58)

  • Probably Tim Fitzpatrick, accordion; probably Patrick Cawley, fiddle
    • Miss Fahey’s Fancy (aka Frank Quinn’s) (reel)
    • The Providence Reel (aka Oats in the Bag) 


Reel 2, side 1, audio clip 7 (27:58 to 29:15) 

  • Probably Patrick Cawley, fiddle
    • The Reel of Bogie (reel)


Reel 2, side 1, audio clip 8 (29:24 to 30:57)

  • Probably Louis Quinn, fiddle; Paddy Reynolds, fiddle; James “Lad” O’Beirne, fiddle or piano; and possibly Andy McGann, fiddle
    • Bunker Hill (reel)


Reel 2, side 1, audio clip 9 (31:01 to 31:27)

  • Probably Andy McGann, fiddle; unidentified musician, piano
    • Imelda Roland’s (composed by Imelda Roland) (reel)


About the Joe Lamont Collection

Each audio clip in this blog post is from Audio file 99563_0000 (reel 2), Joe Lamont Irish music recordings, IM.M145.2005, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.

The nine audio clips above represent almost all of the musical content of reel 2, side 1. The library-assigned reel number (in this case, “2”) is in the upper right corner of the tracklist. The side is 31 minutes and 33 seconds long and primarily contains unpublished music. Some of the audio content was likely dubbed from unpublished 78-rpm acetate discs. 

Listeners may notice anomalies that originated on the tape: abrupt beginnings and endings, variation in sound quality and volume, and tempo/pitch alterations. The library made a few targeted edits to adjust volume and reduce noise.

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. His 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.

In this month’s blog post we are grateful for input received from Dan Neely and Séamus Connolly. Further details about the collection can be viewed by downloading the collection’s finding aid and by viewing more blog posts about the Joe Lamont collection, some of which are in this blog and others at the bcirishmusic blog. 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

Related Collections

Muise Family Collection of Cape Breton and Irish Music

James W. Smith Irish Music Recordings

This entry was posted in Archives & Manuscripts, Digital Projects, Irish Music Archives, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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