Country/Folk/Blues

Amos Lee “Amos Lee” (Analogue Productions)

2020-05-21T20:49:55+00:00May 21st, 2020|

Singer-songwriter Amos Lee draws inspiration from soul music, contemporary jazz and 1970s folk artists such as James Taylor. The Philadelphia native honed his songwriting skills while waiting tables and bartending after graduating from the University of South Carolina with a degree in English. He eventually landed some high-profile gigs as an opening act, including an extended tour with pianist/vocalist Norah Jones, whose bassist, Lee Alexander, agreed to produce Lee’s first album.

With Alexander’s help, Amos Lee released his self-titled debut on Blue Note in 2005. The album won Lee a small following for his blend of acoustic funk, folk, and light jazz. Norah Jones herself plays the piano on two tracks; “Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight” and “Colors.”

A notable debut like Amos Lee deserves the Analogue Productions reissue treatment. This beauty was cut by Bernie Grundman in Los Angeles from the master tape, and is now pressed at 45 RPM on two glorious sides of 200-gram vinyl by Quality Record Pressings. QRP is noted for deep-black backgrounds and pristine clarity. If you’re already familiar with Amos Lee, get ready — you’ve never experienced it with such lifelike sonics and premium richness. This is how all vinyl should sound.

The songs on the album incorporate themes of folk, soul, gospel and jazz. Amos’s style is a mix of Bill Withers, Arthur Lee, and James Taylor. Amos has recently toured with Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Adele, Dave Matthews and many others.

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Steve Earle and The Dukes “Ghosts Of West Virgina” (New West)

2020-05-14T23:35:57+00:00May 14th, 2020|

Ghosts of West Virginia centers on the Upper Big Branch coal mine explosion that killed twenty-nine men in that state in 2010, making it one of the worst mining disasters in American history.  When asked about what drove him to craft his deeply evocative new album, Steve Earle says, “I thought that, given the way things are now, it was maybe my responsibility to make a record that spoke to and for people who didn’t vote the way that I did,” he says. “One of the dangers that we’re in is if people like me keep thinking that everybody who voted for Trump is a racist or an asshole, then we’re fucked, because it’s simply not true. So this is one move toward something that might take a generation to change. I wanted to do something where that dialogue could begin.”

In ten deftly drawn, roughly eloquent, powerfully conveyed sonic portraits, Earle and his long-time band the Dukes explore the historical role of coal in rural communities. More than merely a question of jobs and income, mining has provided a sense of unity and meaning, patriotic pride and purpose.

“I said I wanted to speak to people that didn’t necessarily vote the way that I did,” he says, “but that doesn’t mean we don’t have anything in common. We need to learn how to communicate with each other. My involvement in this project is my little contribution to that effort. And the way to do that – and to do it impeccably – is simply to honor those guys who died at Upper Big Branch.”

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Frazey Ford “U Kin B The Sun” (Arts + Crafts)

2020-04-16T20:20:02+00:00April 16th, 2020|

On her third album U kin B the Sun, Vancouver-based singer/songwriter Frazey Ford inhabits an entire world of shapeshifting rhythm, elevating every beat and groove with the subtle magnetism of her mesmerizing voice. At turns ecstatic and heavy-hearted, gloriously shambolic and deeply purifying, U kin B the Sun is the outcome of a certain personal transformation that Ford has experienced in recent years. With its graceful collision of soul and psychedelia and sometimes ’70s funk, it’s a body of work that invites both self-reflection and wildly joyful movement, and ultimately sparks a quiet transcendence.

A departure from the guitar-driven and largely solitary songwriting that’s defined Ford’s previous work, both in her folk bluegrass trio The Be Good Tanyas and her solo albums Obadiah (2011) and Indian Ocean (2014), much of U kin B the Sun took shape from spontaneous collaboration with her longtime bassist Darren Parris and drummer Leon Power. Over the course of several late-night sessions in the thick of summer 2019, the three musicians joined producer John Raham (Destroyer, Stars, Dan Mangan, Said The Whale) in dreaming up a brilliantly untethered sound, recording as they improvised and continually tapping into their potent camaraderie.

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Blaze Foley “Clay Pigeons” (Lost Art)

2020-04-16T20:19:57+00:00April 16th, 2020|

Reissue of the 2011 vinyl-only collection of 12 Blaze tracks released by Secret Seven Records. Compiled from home, studio and intimate live recordings between 1976 – 1988, this ‘Best of Blaze’ sampler features Blaze’s renditions of songs since covered by Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and John Prine. Culled from posthumous CDs released by Lost Art Records and Fat Possum, Clay Pigeons’ 2011 release marked the first available vinyl LP from one of Texas’ most unique and soulful singer-songwriters.

Widespread recognition eluded Blaze during his lifetime. Murdered in an early morning altercation just days following the recording sessions for his Live at the Austin Outhouse release, Blaze was just 39 years old. Two tracks from those sessions appear on this LP. Blaze’s reputation as a singer-songwriter has exploded in recent years. Lucinda Williams’ “Drunken Angel,” and Townes Van Zandt’s “Blaze’s Blues,” both heartfelt personal tributes to their good friend Foley, have added to a legacy once nearly forgotten.

Lost Art Records previously released five Foley albums including the soundtrack CD to the acclaimed documentary, Duct Tape Messiah by filmmaker Kevin Triplett. BLAZE, a major motion picture on Blaze’s career directed by Ethan Hawke was released in 2018.

“Blaze is one of the most spiritual cats I’ve ever met; an ace finger picker; a writer who never shirks the truth and never fails to rhyme,” – Townes Van Zandt.

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Chet Baker “Angel Eyes” (Cinevox)

2020-04-16T20:19:57+00:00April 16th, 2020|

The lyricism of Chet Baker cannot be doubted because Chet in his musical expressions remains as singer and musicians essentially romantic. He fits beautifully into a context created around him and for him, a context that finds in the sonority of his trumpet or in the opacity of his voice a leading element, dominator and at the same time attractive and fascinating.

The songs on this record are aimed to everyone: jazz fans and those who are not very familiar with jazz. For music arrangers Ezio Leoni and Giulio Libano the work ground with Chet has been smoothed out: there was no need to build beyond the measure, it was important to expand, enhance, galvanize what Chet wanted to express. They have alternated lyrical songs with more stringent and alive tracks. With the continuous alternation of times, expressions and atmospheres they made sure to avoid any monotony.

The orchestra that recorded the album was consisted of 16 violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos, a flute, a bass clarinet, an oboe, a French horn, a harp which matched with Glauco Massetti’s alto sax, Fausto Papetti’s baritone sax, Mario Pezzotta’s trombone, Gianni Basso’s tenor sax, Franco Cerri’s double bass, Gene Victory’s drums. An imposing orchestra that was able to mix perfectly and alternate purely jazzy instruments with strings during the performances.

The repertoire included in the album ranges a lot: from well-known motifs such as “Angel Eyes”, “When I Fall In Love” or “I Should Care”, to others less known but very pleasant tracks as “The Song Is You” or “Forgetful”. Other tracks lend themselves perfectly to a wider orchestration such as “Autumn In New York”, “Violets for Your Fur” or “Deep in A Dream”. Another theme was treated with a thrifty intervention of the strings, almost a crown of the whole performance, represented by the recording “Street of Dreams”. In the last track “Good-bye” of Side “A” Chet expresses an exceptional sadness in a very valid and unusual way.

The tracks were recorded on September 28, 1958 and October 5, 1959 at the Guertler Bros. recording studio.

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Robbie Basho “Songs of the Great Mystery–The Lost Vanguard Sessions” (Real Gone)

2020-03-27T02:29:26+00:00March 27th, 2020|

Robbie Basho was one of the big three American acoustic guitar innovators, John Fahey and Leo Kottke being the other two. Basho was the least commercially successful of the three, but his influence and reputation has steadily grown since his untimely death in 1986 at the age of 45. And with good reason; for Basho’s deeply spiritual approach, intellectual rigor, and formal explorations (among his goals was the creation of a raga system for American music), present a deeply compelling, multi-faceted artist. Basho was actually a college friend of John Fahey, and his early recordings (like Kottke’s) were for Fahey’s Takoma label. Following Fahey ‘s move to Vanguard, Basho followed suit, and released Voice of the Eagle and Zarthus for the label in 1972 and 1974, respectively (his most commercially successful records were made for the Windham Hill label later in the decade). Flash forward to 2009: Vanguard contacted guitarist (and long-time Basho champion) Glenn Jones with the intriguing news that an unreleased Robbie Basho album session had recently been found, on a tape that, alas, lacked any real documentation. It was only 12 years later, when Jones, in the process of researching the liner notes for this release, discovered the truth: that not just the mysterious tape but both Voice of the Eagle and Zarthus were the result of one marathon session in 1971 or 1972 recorded in New York City by Vanguard staff engineer Jeffrey Zaraya. Songs of the Great Mystery—The Lost Vanguard Sessions, then, takes its place as the third of the triumvirat of albums Basho recorded for the label, and it is their equal in every way, exploring, in particular, some of the same Native American themes found on Voice of the Eagle. Some of the tunes showed up on later albums in much different forms; 1978’s Visions of the Country featured “A Day in the Life of Lemuria” (re-titled “Leaf in the Wind”) and “Night Way,” and “Laughing Thunder, Crawling Thunder” went through various permutations before appearing on 1981’s Rainbow Thunder as “Crashing Thunder.” But for Basho fans, the originals will probably steal the show, particularly “Song of the Great Mystery,” which, unlike some of the songs here that showcase Basho’s singing and piano-playing, brings to the fore his amazing six-string guitar technique and touch. Vanguard briefly put these sessions up digitally when they were located, but Real Gone Music’s release represents the first time they have come out in any physical form (and the alternate take of “A Day in the Life of Lemuria,” also discovered by Jones, has never been heard anywhere). Featuring track-by-track annotation, rare photos (including Basho’s own handwritten notes found in the tape box), and remastering by Mike Milchner of SonicVision, Songs of the Great Mystery—The Lost Vanguard Sessions is a timely release heralding the release of a new documentary and an upcoming Basho box set. Available on a double-LP set pressed in clear vinyl limited to 1000 copies at Gotta Groove Records and housed inside a gatefold jacket. A great American artist, finally getting his due!

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Daniel Romano “Okay Now” (You’ve Changed)

2020-03-27T02:29:25+00:00March 27th, 2020|

In a shocking turn of events, Daniel Romano has decided to give you exactly what you asked for–– He and his unparalleled live band, The Outfit, have decided that you deserved it, that it is in fact already yours––and they want to say “you’re welcome.” The record is called “OKAY WOW”. Which is probably what you’ll say when you listen to it. It’s all your favourite songs except superior in every way to the versions you’ve exhausted. “OKAY WOW” also features several rarities previously heard only on two albums which received brief, momentary release via Bandcamp before being deleted forever. “OKAY WOW” was RECORDED LIVE by Kenneth Roy Meehan the 1st while on tour across Scandinavia.

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Arbouretum ‎”Let It All In” (Thrill Jockey)

2020-03-27T02:29:25+00:00March 27th, 2020|

Arbouretum’s mystic folk-rock uses English folk, country blues, Americana and 70s psychedelia as touchpoints in their singular and distinctive sound and they’ve perfected the craft of storytelling, using a delicate interplay of melodies and prosaic lyrics. Let It All In is their most accomplished and evocative album yet. Guitarist and vocalist Dave Heumann’s melodies and solos remain a central focus bolstered by the hypnotic rhythms of bassist Corey Allender and drummer Brian Carey, enhanced by Matthew Pierce’s substantial yet understated keyboard figures. Each song a vivid scene or tale; Heumann’s deep sense of spirituality and command of storytelling through myth and metaphor transports the listener to another world and time.

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Levee Camp Moan “Levee Camp Moan” (Sommor)

2020-03-20T19:40:44+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Sommor Records present the first legitimate reissue one of the rarest private blues-rock albums from the UK, Levee Camp Moan’s self-titled release, originally released in 1969. In 1969, Bracknell-based blues rock outfit Levee Camp Moan released what was destined to become one of the most sought-after UK private pressings of the period on the County Recording Services label. This LP marked their status as one of the most exciting bands to emerge out of the thriving local underground scene in the Bracknell Delta. The group had taken their name from the old blues number and the band members, manager and assorted roadies took up residence in a local farmhouse known as Peacock Farm. It was there that LCM would rehearse into the small hours, thumping out a mixture of blues standards as well as their own compositions until they had become a tight unit ready to “take on the world”. Influences ranged from the urban blues of Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, and Junior Wells to Muddy Waters, Skip James, and beyond. The more or less contemporary white blues of the time, Canned Heat, Savoy Brown, and Paul Butterfield also served as a major source of inspiration. From their humble roots LCM quickly built up a following on the British Blues circuit, frequenting the likes of the Marquee, Crawdaddy, Klooks Kleek, Eel Pie Island, and Rikki Tik club. On the college circuit they toured extensively with Chickenshack, Canned Heat, and Muddy Waters with performances being of a high enough standard to generate record company interest. Unable to secure a record deal, they had no other choice but to do it themselves. And so, in the winter months of early ’69 that LCM entered Virgin Sound in nearby Windsor to lay down eight tracks recorded on a four-track machine. With no record company interference, the archetypal private pressing, raw, under-produced, and thrillingly primitive. The project successfully captured the spirit and aggression of an exciting new band and the original artefact is now a zeitgeist of that remarkable era. After Levee Camp Moan, Ian Campbell went on to carve out a busy musical career performing with, amongst many others, the Nashville Teens, Arthur Brown’s band and Mungo Jerry. Bassist Dave Stubbs played with a host of notables, including Eric Clapton’s band and Uli Jon Roth (ex-Scorpions). Original artwork. Includes insert with rare photos and full band history by Pete Sarfas.

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Myrkur “Folkesange” (Relapse)

2020-03-20T19:54:34+00:00March 19th, 2020|

Amalie Bruun has always paved her own path, challenging underground preconceptions of heavy metal ever since the release of her debut Myrkur EP in 2014. Her first two full-length studio albums, 2015’s M and 2017’s Mareridt, recast black metal in the most personal yet expansive of terms, their blending of Amalie’s Danish folk roots with tempestuous internal struggles breathing new life into a subgenre whose followers can be rigidly possessive.

With the release of her new album, Folkesange, Amalie Bruun has set out to journey into the very heart of the Scandinavian culture that marked her childhood. Folkesange relinquishes black metal for a refined yet far-reaching evocation of traditional folk, combining songs ancient and new to sublimely resonant effect.

After the nightmare-induced visions that wrought themselves throughout Mareridt, Folkesange offers an emotional sanctuary, a means to reconnect to something permanent and nature-aligned. It’s an awareness that’s become deeply bound to the album’s organic, regenerative spirit, from the opening track Ella’s heartbeat, frame-drum percussion and crystalline vocals that become the grounding for a rapt, richly textured awakening, to the gentle carousel of the closing Vinter, with its nostalgia-steeped connotations of seasonal, snowfall-bewitched awe.

Storytelling, rites of passage, and the invocation of a continuity that passes through time and generation are all part of folk music’s tapestry, and Folkesange taps into all these currents in their most essential form. In part a purist’s approach to the genre, free from over-interpretation and fusion, the use of traditional instruments throughout, such as nyckelharpa, lyre, and mandola offer a deeper, more tactile connection to their source, an unbroken line of communication back to the past.

But the album is no museum piece; it resonates in the here and now, aided by the spacious production of Heilung member and musical collaborator Christopher Juul. Cinematic yet intimate, Folkesange exists in a state of boundless reverie, bourne by string-led drones, cyclical, elegiac rhythms and Amalie’s frictionless voice, all carrier signals for deep-rooted, ancestral memories, and associations felt on an elemental level.

An immersive experience in its own right, but also belonging to a wider, pagan folk-based renaissance that has attracted a devoted following worldwide, Folkesange answers a need that has become ever more pressing in turbulent times. A zeroing in on a resonance that is both intrinsic and enduring, it’s a rediscovery of personal grounding, and an experience that reaches beyond culture to remind us of a shared, deeply rooted inheritance. A tuning fork that binds the personal and the universal, Folkesange is a reminder that the most transcendent experiences are those closest to home.

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Fiends And Angels

2020-03-19T20:32:58+00:00March 12th, 2020|

In Stock March 17, 2020

Talk about an album that shoulda/coulda/woulda been a hit ‘1969’s Fiends & Angels paired the powerful pipes of American singer Martha Veléz with the crème de la crème of the British blues-rock scene. And when we say ‘the cream’ we mean it literally: Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton are both on this record! Not to mention Brian Auger, Johnny Almond, Jim Capaldi, Paul Kossoff, Christine McVie, Mitch Mitchell, Stan Webb, Chris Wood’the mind boggles. All were assembled by producer Mike Vernon, upon whose Blue Horizon label Fiends & Angels came out in Britain, while it was released Stateside on the Sire label. Which may explain why the album didn’t become a bigger hit; at this early point in its existence Sire was a small imprint basically dedicated to importing the best of British blues and progressive rock, several years away from its Ramones/Talking Heads heyday. So perhaps the marketing resources weren’t there’how else to explain how Fiends & Angels (so named by Veléz in honor of her backing musicians, who, to paraphrase her words, were fiends when playing and angels when not) didn’t make a bigger splash, especially when you consider that her voice rivaled Janis Joplin’s in its range and power. We at Real Gone Music are thrilled to present the first American vinyl reissue (and the first LP reissue in nearly 50 years) of this blues-rock cult classic, with its original Sire gatefold album jacket art housing a limited pressing of 700 copies in purple vinyl.

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Ever Isles “Cocoon” (Touchtheplants)

2020-03-13T20:33:46+00:00March 5th, 2020|

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is an American composer, performer and producer, originally from Orcas Island and currently based in Los Angeles. After several self-released albums, Smith was signed to independent record label Western Vinyl in 2015, who released her first official album, Euclid, in January 2015. Tides: Music for the Meditation and Yoga, was released in January 2019. Smith grew up and was home-educated on Orcas Island, Northwestern Washington. She left the island to study composition and sound engineering at Berklee College of Music in Boston, before returning to the island after her graduation. It was after returning home that Smith discovered synthesizers, when a neighbor introduced her to the Buchla 100 Synthesizer. Having originally intended to use her voice as her primary instrument, and then moving to classical guitar and piano, Smith switched to the use of synthesizer after being leant and experimenting with the Buchla 100 for a year. Smith formed indie-folk band Ever Isles whilst still at Berklee but left the project after discovering the Buchla 100, explaining, “I got so distracted and enamored with the process of making sounds with [the Buchla’s potential] that I abandoned the next Ever Isles album.” When developing her composition skills, Smith used visual aid as inspiration for her music. She has said that she is always composing to a visual in her head, explaining, “Sometimes I let the sound create the image for me and then I build off that. Or vice versa: I come up with imagery that is inspiring to me, or I see something that is inspiring, and then create sounds that I feel match it.” Recorded in 2009, Ever Isles’ Cocoon is an experimental folk album made by Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith and Jeremy Harris on Orcas Island in an improvised recording studio built from bed mattresses. Smith and Harris, longtime friends, first met in 2004 while attending Berklee College of Music. Cocoon is the only remaining document of the Ever Isles project and offers a unique glimpse at the early work of Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith — an era predating her discovery of synthesis when she was still playing classical guitar. Jeremy Harris, a multi-instrumentalist and neo-classical composer, engineered and co-produced the record with Smith. In 2016, Harris released Ages via Gnome Life Records.

Rory Gallagher “Check Shirt Wizard – Live In ’77” (Universal)

2020-03-13T20:33:48+00:00March 5th, 2020|

Rory Gallagher’s most successful albums are his live ones, such as Live! In Europe and Irish Tour ’74. He was an artist that came alive when onstage and this album covers a previously undocumented live period. This 20 songs, previously unreleased, set is culled from an early 1977 tour across the UK in support of his then latest album Calling Card. Featuring fantastic live versions of tracks from that album as well as songs from the 1975 Against The Grain album and other career favourites. This new album has been mastered at Abbey Road. The cover painting is by a young Irish graffiti artist Vincent Zara who has stenciled Rory’s image across his home country.

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Espers “Espers” (Drag City)

2020-03-13T20:33:49+00:00March 5th, 2020|

REISSUED!!! ESPERS’ self-titled first release appeared in 2004, heralding an era in which there was a perception of back-to-the-roots in the underground; kids making new music that spoke strongly of folk traditions and psychedelia, in the process setting themselves apart from latter-day sounds and approaches. Espers didn’t shy away from this image, projecting a collective air, almost like a rural outpost, out of time and place in the urban environs of Philadelphia. The staid harmonies of MEG BAIRD and GREG WEEKS, the 6- and 12-string guitars and percussion of BROOKE SIETINSONS, the full-bodied arrangements rife with traditional and classical details and the regular intervention of acid-toned guitar leads formed, along with the mystic and melancholy cast to their songwriting, a galvanizing identity for them among other like-minded music players of the day. The second Espers album, The Weed Tree was released in 2005. It was a nearly inevitable endeavor for the group, made almost entirely of cover material, but the traditional folk songs—“Rosemary Lane” and “Black Is the Color”—were paired with songs by Nico, Michael Hurley, and even Blue Oyster Cult, making for an oblique run through eclectic aspects of the past that succeeded due to Espers’ thorough re-imagining of the material in their own image. The addition of current members HELENA ESPVALL on cello and OTTO HAUSER on drums and percussion upped the alchemy of the band to its most potent, making music that drew from tradition, but making it new at the same time. Espers, existing in between places, were a part of a flow of ideation that has as much to do with revelations from the ’70s or ’60s—with all the decades of the last century, really—as it does with the current expressions in favor of selfhood and safety that are struggled over today. Their music has retained a mysterious, unknowable vitality that, in the name of their original intention, continues to express Espers’ individualism, optimism and deeply empathetic soul.

Espers “The Weed Tree” (Drag City)

2020-03-13T20:33:50+00:00March 5th, 2020|

REISSUED!!! ESPERS’ self-titled first release appeared in 2004, heralding an era in which there was a perception of back-to-the-roots in the underground; kids making new music that spoke strongly of folk traditions and psychedelia, in the process setting themselves apart from latter-day sounds and approaches. Espers didn’t shy away from this image, projecting a collective air, almost like a rural outpost, out of time and place in the urban environs of Philadelphia. The staid harmonies of MEG BAIRD and GREG WEEKS, the 6- and 12-string guitars and percussion of BROOKE SIETINSONS, the full-bodied arrangements rife with traditional and classical details and the regular intervention of acid-toned guitar leads formed, along with the mystic and melancholy cast to their songwriting, a galvanizing identity for them among other like-minded music players of the day. The second Espers album, The Weed Tree was released in 2005. It was a nearly inevitable endeavor for the group, made almost entirely of cover material, but the traditional folk songs—“Rosemary Lane” and “Black Is the Color”—were paired with songs by Nico, Michael Hurley, and even Blue Oyster Cult, making for an oblique run through eclectic aspects of the past that succeeded due to Espers’ thorough re-imagining of the material in their own image. The addition of current members HELENA ESPVALL on cello and OTTO HAUSER on drums and percussion upped the alchemy of the band to its most potent, making music that drew from tradition, but making it new at the same time. Espers, existing in between places, were a part of a flow of ideation that has as much to do with revelations from the ’70s or ’60s—with all the decades of the last century, really—as it does with the current expressions in favor of selfhood and safety that are struggled over today. Their music has retained a mysterious, unknowable vitality that, in the name of their original intention, continues to express Espers’ individualism, optimism and deeply empathetic soul.

Forest “Forest” (Timeless)

2020-03-13T20:34:10+00:00February 28th, 2020|

New grey-area LP reissue label, based in Luxembourg. All LPs say they are editions of 500, which I suppose you could believe if you wanted to… Gatefold sleeve on this first Forest LP, originally released on Harvest in 1969. “A really nice album of trippy rock tracks with lots of nice folksy touches! These songs are filled with so much imagination, color, charm, and melancholy solitude that they just transport you to a place between worlds! Deep into a forest between consciousness and vivid dreamscape — that’s where this will take you. The group’s a trio, all of whom sing lead vocals from time to time, and instrumentation includes organ, harmonium, piano, percussion, guitars, electric harpsichord, mandolin, and cello: all swirling around in a style that’s got traces of late work by Tim Hardin, Love, Nico, and early Roy Wood. Titles include ‘Bad Penny,’ ‘Fading Light,’ ‘A Fantasy You,’ ‘While You’re Gone,’ ‘Do You Want Some Smoke,’ and ‘Rain Is On My Balcony.’ Excellent!”

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Shelagh McDonald “Album” (Music On Vinyl)

2020-03-13T20:34:11+00:00February 28th, 2020|

Shelagh McDonald is a Scottish folk singer who mysteriously disappeared in 1971, after she recorded two albums. Her debut ‘Album’ from 1970 is an incredible hidden treasure, showing her wispy and emotive style of folk-rock playing and singing. The arrangements are beautiful and McDonald’s soprano voice can be compared with that of Sandy Denny and Joni Mitchell. Nothing was heard of her until she made contact with the newspaper Scottish Daily Mail in 2005. Comes on 180 gram vinyl.

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John Fahey “Live In Sausalito Sept. 9, 1973” (Alternative Fox)

2020-03-13T20:34:13+00:00February 20th, 2020|

The finger-picking guitarist and blues enthusiast John Fahey enjoyed a long, influential and distinguished career. Born in Washington DC in 1939 and raised in Takoma Park, Maryland, he launched his own Takoma label to issue self-produced work in the late 1950s and then delivered his master’s theses on the blues of Charlie Patton at UCLA. Then, while based in the radical town of Berkeley, California in the San Francisco Bay area, began issuing filed recordings of forgotten blues legends, such as Bukka White. With his own work, Fahey began borrowing from eastern elements such as Indonesian gamelan and Tibetan vocal chanting, reflecting his interest in esoteric eastern religion, as well as birdsong, animal calls, and other naturalistic elements. This beautiful 1973 performance, delivered in the sleepy town of Sausalito, California, comprises most of Fahey’s Fare Forward Voyagers LP (1973), as well as earlier material, including “Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Philip XIV Of Spain”, from his 1964 release, Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes.

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Jake Holmes “The Above Ground Sound Of Jake Holmes” (Magic Box)

2020-03-13T20:34:13+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Magic Box presents a reissue of Jake Holmes’ debut album, The Above Ground Sound Of Jake Holmes. Having honed his craft in the folk clubs of New York, Holmes released his debut album in July 1967. Best-known for including the original version of “Dazed and Confused” (later immortalized by Led Zeppelin), it’s an early singer-songwriter landmark, packed with inventive songs featuring notable electric guitar parts. It makes a long-awaited return to vinyl here, together with background notes and a CD version of the full album with two rare bonus tracks.

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Jan Dukes De Grey “Mice And Rats In The Loft” (Trading Places)

2020-03-13T20:34:14+00:00February 20th, 2020|

Trading Places present a reissue of Jan Dukes de Grey’s Mice And Rats In The Loft, originally released in 1971. Led by the inscrutably gnomic Derek Noy, Yorkshire-based outfit Jan Dukes de Grey briefly emerged in the late ’60s to deliver two of the rarest, most sought-after albums in the British acid folk lexicon, their 1969 debut Sorcerers and the extraordinary Mice And Rats In The Loft, here represented in all its beauty. One of the most mysterious and iconoclastic albums of the whole hippie era. Licensed from BMG.

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Abner Jay “Man Walked On The Moon” (Mississippi)

2020-03-13T20:34:34+00:00February 20th, 2020|

A serious bevy of stomping, outsider blues by one-man band and “last ole minstrel man” Abner Jay, including an early version of his anthem ‘I’m So Depressed’ on vinyl for first time

Collected by the ever-reliable Mississippi Records, ‘Man Walked On The Moon’ takes its title from Abner’s paean to the Moon (this should have been on the Voyager Golden Record) and also includes the aforementioned anthem ‘I’m So Depressed’, which really, really gives some gravity and relativity in the modern age – especially with the chuckles at the end! – while the B-side showcases the remarkable range of Abner’s voice in some of his final recordings, in the switch from fluttering upper registers to his signature deep lows in ‘I Cried’, to the hollering urgency and playfulness of ‘My Middle Name Is The Blues’, and the devastating hush of ‘Cocaine Blues’, all accompanied on a banjo that dates back to 1748, harmonica, and drums played by his feet.

All tracks are fully licensed from Brandie Jay, Abner’s daughter, and packaged with loving text tribute by Jack Teague. An unmissable introduction to one of the Blues greatest and legendary players!

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Frank & His Sisters “Frank & His Sisters” (Mississippi)

2020-03-13T20:34:34+00:00February 20th, 2020|

The world’s first collection of gorgeous pop songs from Frank and His Sisters, a family band from Moshi, Tanzania. Formed in the early 1950s by Frank Humplick, Thecla Clara and Maria Regina, the trio recorded and toured throughout East Africa and issued a string of instant classics, capturing fans with their beautifully harmonized singing, clever lyrics, and Frank’s stunning guitar work. Imagine the fingerstyle finesse of John Fahey with a pure pop melodicism, combined with the family harmony of groups like The Carter Family, The Roches, and The Beach Boys, set in the golden age of Tanzanian music!

Frank composed many of his songs while working the land on his beloved tractor (really), and once instigated a house-to-house search to destroy all copies of his record “Yes/No” due to its politically subversive lyrics. He went on to record and tour with the Jambo Boys band before retiring from the music industry in the early 1960s, to focus on his passion for agriculture. But his favorite songs were always the ones he created with his sisters, and we are proud to present 12 of their best.

Previously only heard on extremely rare 78 rpm discs and Tanzanian oldies radio, this album collects the trio’s finest songs, lovingly restored and remastered. We love this music so much that in late 2018 we traveled to Tanzania to meet Frank’s family and collaborate on this album. The result is a colorful 8-page booklet featuring complete lyrics in English, Swahili and Chaga, as well as previously unpublished photographs, extensive interviews and anecdotes, and a biography by Tanzanian musician and radio host John Kitime. All tracks fully licensed from the Humplick family.

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Ask Me No Questions

2020-03-20T19:32:15+00:00February 19th, 2020|

Trading Places present a reissue of Bridget St. John’s Ask Me No Questions, originally released in 1969. Blessed with a distinctive voice largely defined by a rich, cello-like timbre, the English singer and guitarist Bridget St. John was brought to the attention of the adventurous guitarist John Martyn by fellow singer Robin Frederick and after being introduced to him by Martyn’s poet friend, Pete Roch, was championed by BBC Radio disc jockey John Peel, who formed the Dandelion label in 1969 (with Elektra record-plugger Clive Selwood) specifically to issue St. John’s music. Recorded in a brief session that lasted for some nine or ten hours, debut album Ask Me No Questions features Martyn on second guitar on opener “To Be Without A Hitch” and the equally chilling “Curl Your Toes”, as well as the haunting title track, while future Fairport Convention and Soft Machine member Ric Sanders appears on “Lizard Tongue Boy” and “Many Happy Returns”. Licensed by Cherry Red.

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