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MICHAEL COLEMAN - Irish fiddler

34 fiddle tracks accompanied on 6 by Michael Andrews on guitar, the rest by somewhat harmonically-unaccomplished studio pianists, recorded in New York between 1922 and about 1932, copied from deleted gramophone disks held in the FOLKTRAX Heritage Sound Archive. During his life, Coleman recorded over 80 sides for U.S.A. gramophone companies. For Irish fiddlers, on both sides of the Atlantic, Michael's playing set a standard, which has seldom been surpassed by succeeding generations of traditional fiddlers.

1. Two Hornpipes (guitar): (a) THE STACK OF BARLEY/ (b) THE STACK OF WHEAT - 3.06

2. Two Reels (piano): (a) THE SHASKEEN/ (b)THE BAG OF POTATOES - 2.38

3. Two Jigs (piano): (a) THE UNFORTUNATE RAKE/ (b) WHISKY AND BRANDY - 3.00

4. Two Reels (piano): (a) THE BLACKTHORN/ (b) GREEN GROVES OF ERIN - 2.49

5. Two Waltzes (guitar): (a) THE VICTORIA/ (b) THE MEN OF THE WEST - 3.03

6. Reel (piano): LORD WELLINGTON'S - 2.46

7. Two Jigs (piano): (a) THE MERRY MAIDEN/ (b) THE RAMBLING PITCHFORK - 2.56

8. Two Reels (piano): (a) TOM WARD'S DOWNFALL/ (b) MULLINAVAT - 3.16

9. Reel (guitar): LORD GORDON'S - 2.53

10. Three Reels (guitar): (a) TARBOLTON (LODGE)/ (b) THE LONGFORD COLLECTOR/ (c) THE SAILOR'S BONNET - 2.59

11. Two Jigs (piano): (a) DOHERTY'S/ (b) TELL HER I AM - 3.02

12. Two Reels (piano): (a) LORD MACDONALD'S/ (b) BALLINASLOE FAIR - 3.09

13. Two Hornpipes (piano): TOMMY HILL'S TWO FAVOURITES - 2.53

14. ThreeJigs (guitar): (a) MERRY MAIDEN/ (b) FASTEN THE LEGGIN'/ (c) THE UNFORTUNATE RAKE - 3.10

15. Two Reels (piano): (a) FARREL GARA/ (b) SLEEPY MOGGY 2.45

16. Set Dance (piano): THE BLACKBIRD - 3.25

17. Slip Jig (piano): THE FOXHUNTER'S - 3.30

18. Two Reels (guitar): (a) BONNY KATE/ (b) JENNY'S CHICKENS - 3.03

Recorded & edited by Peter Kennedy and first published on Folktrax Cassettes 1980.

MICHAEL COLEMAN (1889-1945) born at Knockgrania, Killavil, near Gurteen, Co. Sligo, he went to the U.S.A. during the First World War and settled in Manhattan, New York in 1917. On the boat going over his music was heard by a theatre agent and he toured Keith's Theatres, playing and sometimes dancing a Stage Hornpipe and providing his own accompaniment. He recorded over 80 sides (about 200 hours) on commercial gramophone disks, mostly with studio pianists accompanying him, but on a few, including the six here, he was backed by Welshman, "Whitey", Michael Andrews, so called because of his hair colouring.

According to Michael Gorman, he and Coleman both had the same fiddle teacher, James Gannon - see FTX-077 & FTX-174.

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