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  • Writer's pictureianmooreplaysfiddle

Green Fields

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

So this is excellent! --> I've been working on learning my Irish tunes as sets, it's difficult for me: playing one tune and successfully remembering a totally different tune and slipping into that second tune without missing a beat or fouling up the entrance, it's tough. Plus some tunes are too similar to each other really, I'll wind up just sort of easing back into the first tune by accident. I really like a lot of the sets that the old masters played -- by this I mean the guys from County Sligo, the fiddlers who came to New York at the beginning of the 20th century and got in at the start of recorded Irish traditional, the first recording artists.

Today is Michael Coleman's birthday (born in Ireland, January 31st, 1891), so I thought I'd have a go at recording one of his sets, two reels: the Green Fields of America and the Swallow's Tail. I played them pretty straight, but you can still hear my hillbilly twang, they're kinda slouchy and not as tight and intricate as the Sligo style would have them.

I'm pretty satisfied with the playing, but the recording process was difficult because I'm trying very hard not to be excessive with my accompaniment, trying to be a good little folk player and not go all psychedelic and extreme, cuz, well, I like slammin' beats and glittering ambiances but that's not what sells the Americana these days...

So what to my wondering eyes should appear but a version of that first tune, the Greenfields of America, which I did back in 2016, similarly in the depths of winter, and it's every bit as trip-hop/ psych-rock as I could hope for, please enjoy:

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