"Whether you’re young or old, this is a perfect John Fahey comp, chronicling his final, fruitful years. Playing with versatility and a fierce imagination, Fahey expanded the boundaries of the guitar, and his contribution to American music is immense. Here is his trademark American Primitive sound at its most harrowing and resolute. Featuring Skip James-influenced vignettes, deep-sea string bendings, sonic collages, oaken reverberations, and lengthy, impressionistic suites, these recordings, made between 1996 and 1998, comprise a major portion of Fahey’s canon. Undiluted, uncompromised, starkly honest, pure of vision and innovative. The 2XCD and 4XLP sets include over two hours of music, a 64-page book (CD), 12-page libretto (LP), new essays by Byron Coley, David Fricke, and David Grubbs, an interview with and original text by Fahey, plus previously unreleased photos"
"The late Karen Dalton has been the muse for countless folk rock geniuses, from Bob Dylan to Devendra Banhart, from Lucinda Williams to Joanna Newsom. Legendary singer Lacy J. Dalton actually adopted her hero's surname as her own when she started her career in country music. Karen Dalton had that affect on people - her timeless, aching, blues-soaked, Native American spirit inspired both Dylan & The Band's "Katie's Been Gone" (on 'The Basement Tapes') and Nick Cave's "When I First Came To Town" (from 'Henry's Dream').
Recorded over a six month period in 1970/71 at Bearsville, 'In My Own Time' was Dalton's only fully planned and realized studio album. The material was carefully selected and crafted for her by producer/musician Harvey Brooks, the Renaissance man of rock-jazz who played bass on Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" and Miles' "Bitches Brew". It features ten songs that reflected Dalton's incredible ability to break just about anybody's heart - from her spectral evocation of Joe Tate's "One Night of Love," to the dark tragedy of the traditional "Katie Cruel." Known as a great interpreter of choice material, Dalton could master both country and soul genres with hauntingly pining covers of George Jones' "Take Me" and Holland-Dozier-Holland's "How Sweet It Is."
si el folk tuviera otro nombre, ése sería el de Karen Dalton. grande, grande
In My Own Dream (mp3)
‘Still Valentine’s Day 1969’ is the highly anticipated live recording which was recorded at the same night as John Fahey’s seminal release ‘The Great Santa Barbara Oil Slick’ by influential solo guitarist Sandy Bull. Bull took elements of so many different kinds of music (Arabic, folk, jazz and Indian just for starters) and combined them to forge his characteristic style which would see him garner rabid fans with only a handful of releases. This particular recording was taken from a live show at The Matric in San Francisco and sees the musician experiment with guitar and electronics to create some of the most endearing solo guitar music you’re likely to come across. Strangely emotional and personal in the same way as Fahey’s best - this is a crucial release for fans of Takoma and of course the great Fahey himself.'
"Another killer release from the Finders Keepers camp, this was never before properly released – apparently the label thought Susan Christie was a liability, too experimental for their mainstream sensibilities, and only three privately pressed vinyls ended up leaking out into the world. One of those ended up being the ‘mother’ from which this release was procured, and listening to it today it’s easy to see why the label became so worried when they heard it. The cover has a nice quote from Stones Throw man Egon who says it sounds like a dusty old folk LP as produced by Madlib, and he’s not wrong – there’s something deep and totally smoked out about the record which sets it apart from other folk records at the time. Delving into the murky world of psychedelia we find Christie in a drugs haze on the nine-minute ‘Yesterday, Where’s my Mind?’ or lazy hotwired funk on ‘Ghost Riders of the Sky’ – it’s quite simply breathtaking the foresight of the woman as she crafted a record which seems so intrinsically connected with the sounds the hip hop/crate digging world fetishises so much now. Not only this though, but the album is frankly a darn fine listen – with enough narrative to hold your enjoyment for the entire ride. Really it shocks me that with all the current psych/folk music coming out we very rarely have anything that reaches such dizzy heights as this, we very rarely have albums that just seem to, well, get it right – here Susan Christie does exactly that, and all we have to do is lie back and take it in slowly. Beautiful!"
Ghost Riders In The Sky (mp3)
Paint a Lady (mp3)
"We begin by saying that this is an album unlike any other. A bold statement, perhaps. Yet look in the Scented Gardens of the Mind book and you will see this description: 'a revelation of a folk album, with songs of incredible beauty and innovative arrangements. It features traditional instruments you've hardly ever heard before and touches of the avant-garde. Play this album directly after that of another randomly chosen female folk album, and you will notice the difference! This is one of the best!' Parrenin had been part of a traditional 'antique folk' movement in France in the late 1960s (she was in many ways a French equivalent to Sandy Denny or Mandy Morton); indeed, she had recorded eight albums with musicians from this scene before Maison Rose -- her best, and last album, recorded in 1976 and released the following year. The record seems to alternate between a cosmic take on an ancient Breton sound, and delicate, multi-tracked ballads -- ranging from sounds that would not be out of place on an Ash Ra Tempel album to elements of traditional French folk music (including home-made instruments) that are just as exotic. Certainly, the avant-garde edge lurking beneath the simple folkiness of Maison Rose puts in mind the explorations of Brigitte Fontaine with her sometime musical voyager Areski; there are also suggestions of the pastoral aesthetic of Vashti Bunyan, as well as the multi-track sensuality of Linda Perhacs (to name two much-touted singers who seem to have a similar ability to enchant). But Parrenin has her own style, her music has its own deeply ethereal quality, and the album itself has its own magic spell to cast that renders comparison with other albums unimportant in the end. Magnificent... we say."
"Robbie Basho released Venus in Cancer in 1969 on the Blue Thumb label. After five albums for the Takoma label in the 60's, Basho had cemented his reputation alongside John Fahey and Leo Kottke as one of the most brilliant guitarists of his generation. His wide range of musical influences from around the globe set him apart from other blues-based players, incorporat- ing Arabic, Himalayan and Indian themes; Japanese and Chinese scales, and classical and European folk music. All are on magnificent display on this sprawling, spiritually-charged album.
Released on CD for the very first time, the album has been remastered from the original tapes. The package includes original album artwork and new appreciations from Windham Hill label founder Will Ackerman, Basho college friend and fellow Takoma recording artist Max Ochs and german guitarist Steffen Basho-Junghans"
"Originally released in 1978, this was a private-press album from an experimental stringed instrument builder (the photos of said instruments in this booket are mindblowing). First time re-issue on CD."
"Here is a beautiful fairytale. Sibylle Baier is a German singer-songwriter who just turned sixty and lives in a little town somewhere in Massachusetts. Her first record Colour Green was just released this year in February. But where the story is beautiful is that the fourteen songs included in Colour Green were recorded in Germany in the early 70’s before Sibylle moved to the States. At that time Sibylle Baier kept the tapes with her and preferred to take care of her family and her friends instead of looking for fame. Only in 2004, her son Robbie transferred those old songs in a cd that slowly arrived to a producer.Colour Green is devastatingly-beautiful folk recordings, a real gem. Sibylle Baier's soft vocals, foreboding lyrics, and cozy guitar picking create an intimate atmosphere. But, why those gorgeous songs are so dark? What happened to that young German girl? And also, why her writing is so alive 30 years later?"
colour green (mp3)
"Quite possibly one of the nicest lp packages we have seen. Definitely top 10. Hard to even know how to describe it. You sort of have to hold int and unfold it and feel the texture and the heft. Wow. Thick textured cardstock, fastened all over with black rivets, the whole thing embossed and letterpressed with black ink, abstract designs and very classy looking calligraphy, the back is die cut about half way down, so it opens like a barn door, split down the middle, held shut by black string, once opened, it reveals the 180 gram lp nestled inside as well as still more embossed design and text. So gorgeous. And the music is definitely deserving of such over the top extra attention. A reissue of a long out of print cd-r, Hush Arbors explore a dark murky side of their soul, a drifting cloudy otherworld of soft freefolk bliss, flecked with all manner of detuned guitars, warped melodies, creaking percussive clatter, shimmery effervescence, but with a definite ominous edge, a lo-fi Third eye Foundation recording for Siltbreeze maybe? But with more twang, and more shuffle, and more delicate dreaminess. So nice. An essential dreamfolk / free folk / folknoise / dronetwang artifact beautifully preserved and offered up again for a very limited time."
since we have fallen (mp3)
10. john jacob niles - my precarious life in the public domain (rev-ola)
"The first time ever on CD for the works of this almost too-legendary American folk singer, arhcivist and writer (1892-1980) whose career began so early on that he could even have been said to have influenced Woody Guthrie!! Dark, brooding, mysterious, steeped in the folklore of his native region (the Appalachians), and hammering away on a series of homespun dulcimers and lutes, Niles first came to the attention of the public in the first of Scorsese's documentaries on Dylan back in the Seventies; this bought him a new audience that he was grateful for in the last years of his life, as everyone asked who the strange man with the disembodied otherworldly voice was. If truth be known, he was one of the true characters of American folk, and American life- he served in the US Air Force in WW1, befriened Gertrude Stein, studied music in Paris and Lyon, travelled the mountain regions of the States collecting and publishing their folksongs, some of which are included here alongside some of his own, slightly disturbing compositions. Sumptuously packaged with sleevenotes by Guardian critic David Pescheck- thisis a truly unmissable release. Jandek? Who he?"
"Water Records continues to display pysch-folk’s enormous influence on the modern music scene by reissuing this almost forgotten treasure from 1969. Most well know for her song “Windy,” which became a hit in 1967 when performed by The Association, Ruthann Friedman struck real gold with her single solo album “Constant Companion.” Companion veers between the gentle folk melodies and fairy tales of Vashti Bunyan and the dark ruminations of Bill Fay, creating a singular album peopled with pipers and magic men. Friedman’s songs, some written when she was very young, reflect a child’s world seen through adult eyes; its magic dampened by a slowly growing realization of time and endless change. "
"Tiliqua Records is psyched about being able to present a whole new audience and generation with the lysergic beauty of the Tree People's sole recorded artifact, a privately released acid folk gem out of 1979. In times when people are all getting excited about media-created scenes like “New Weird America” and “Freak Folk”, they seem to overlook the fact that such music was already being created decades ago. The Tree People is evidence of such a splash of creativity that sadly enough was doomed to disappear within the cracks of obscurity. Until now. Tiliqua was granted the opportunity to restore this gem and with the kind collaboration of Mr. Cohen of the Tree People, who provided me with the master tapes and a seemingly unlimited support, Tiliqua was able to prepare this reissue. To me, this album is one of the singular most beautiful gems to have crossed my path and words always fall short in an attempt to describe the aural sensation it unleashes..."