Real-to-Reel Records

Thousands of hours of international field recordings housed in the Alan Lomax Archive will now reach audiences through Real-to-Reel Records (formerly Global Jukebox Records), the Archive's first independent music imprint. Real-to-Reel will produce LPs, CDs and digital albums in partnership with other folkloric institutions, record labels, university presses, along with the global reach of the digital distributor Orchard. These releases will engage and inspire audiences around the world with the ever-vital work that Alan Lomax documented, and help fulfill Lomax's mission of "cultural equity," the right of every culture to express and develop its distinctive heritage of songs, dances and stories.

Our Latest Release

The New Demesne: Field Recordings by Alan Lomax, Ireland 1951

Available via: Bandcamp

In January 1951 the famous folk-song collector Alan Lomax, accompanied by American singer Robin Roberts, came to Ireland for the first time. The purpose of the visit was to make state-of-the-art reel-to-reel tape recordings of Irish traditional songs and instrumental music, and its outcome was to be the first of a commercial series of LPs—another new technology—in what would become the landmark World Library of Folk and Primitive Music, compiled by Lomax for Columbia Records.

Guided in Ireland by the uilleann piper and singer Seamus Ennis, who was working as a professional collector with Radio Éireann and who would feature prominently on the recordings, and assisted by the Irish Folklore Commission and Radio Éireann, Lomax and Roberts recorded for weeks in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Donegal.

Selections from the resulting tapes were issued on the Ireland volume of the Columbia series in 1955 and re-issued on CD by Rounder Records in 1998. "The New Demesne" is by far the most in-depth presentation of these historic recordings.

"Contrary to popular conceptions that Irish traditional music was on its knees in post-war Ireland, Lomax’s richly eclectic archive suggests a different reality." —Siobhan Long, Irish Times