Folk / Roots

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Patty Waters - You Loved Me (LP)Patty Waters - You Loved Me (LP)
Patty Waters - You Loved Me (LP)cortizona
First time release on vinyl of the breathtaking songs Patty Waters recorded with engineer Steve Atkins in 1970 at the Coast Recordings studio, together with the unreleased single ‘My One And Only Love’ and a recorded live session at Lone Mountain College in 1974. The album ‘You Loved Me’ is the missing link between her two groundbreaking pioneering and highly acclaimed ESP-Disk records from the end of the 60’s and her post 90’s releases. The missing link between the radical ingenue of the 1960s and her late 90’s songs wherein she expressed the resolution of all of her life’s moments through mature readings of traditional songs and jazz standards. This album aims to provide that missing link and to finally complete the picture of her storied recording career. In what would have been her third LP, the ‘You Loved Me’ album serves as the inverse of Patty’s debut. While her debut “Sings” concerned itself with themes of heartbreak, loneliness and yearning, there’s an abundance of love, joy and togetherness on “You Loved Me”. Or in Patty’s own words: “I was a young girl alone at age 19, I was longing for love and dreaming of how wonderful love could be“ On ‘You Loved Me’ Patty Waters velvet voice captures this longing for love, straight from her soul to your heart. Crossing the border of avant garde jazz entering a strange zone, somewhere between spiritual jazz, early folk vibes on the songs on the A-side while the 14 minute composition ‘Touched By Rodin In A Paris Museum’ on the B-side is (dixit David Stubbs for Uncut in 2004) a brilliant extended showcase for the uneasy Cageian minimalism of her piano playing. 'You Loved Me’ proves also again why Albert Ayler introduced her to ESP-Disk president Bernard Stollman, why Miles Davis was impressed by her and why she can count Patti Smith and Yoko Ono (to name a few) amongst her fans.
Carcascara - Carcascara II (LP)Carcascara - Carcascara II (LP)
Carcascara - Carcascara II (LP)Hegoa Records
"Applying elements of minimalism or electronic music to their compositions, Carcascara's second studio album is deeply rooted in folk, blues or jazz. Borrowing from American primitivism, this acoustic guitar trio based half way between London and Zumaia, stretch the boundaries of tradition with a fluid and developed command of the string instrument. Coming out 14 years after their self-titled debut, highly recommended for fans of Robbie Basho, Steve Reich or John Fahey."
Gustavo Yashimura - Living Legend Of The Ayacucho Guitar (CS)Gustavo Yashimura - Living Legend Of The Ayacucho Guitar (CS)
Gustavo Yashimura - Living Legend Of The Ayacucho Guitar (CS)Hive Mind Records
Gustavo Yashimura-Arce comes from humble origins in the Ayacucho region of the Peruvian Andes. He started playing guitar in 1987 and 2 years later he travelled to Montevideo in Uruguay to study music at La Casa de la Guitarra. After spending some years playing classical guitar in Japan, Gustavo returned to Peru in 2004 and began his intense studies of the Andean guitar styles of the Ayacucho region. Later, in 2008 he found the perfect teacher – 80 year old veteran guitarist Don Alberto Juscamaita Gastelú, known locally as Rahtako. Through Don Alberto, Gustavo was able to learn songs and styles from across the Andes, though the main focus remained on the traditional styles of the Ayacucho region. The Ayacucho Province of Peru is mountainous and remote and mainly populated by indigenous people of Quechuan descent, with the main language remaining Quechua, or Runasimi ('the People's Language'). The Quechuan people of the Andes remained resistant to Spanish colonisation and fierce in their preservation of their culture but on this album you will hear one of those strange, hybrid artefacts that can arise when cultures meet. The Spanish guitar was taken by the Quechuan people of the Ayacucho region and employed as a new means to convey their traditional music. The melodies you hear are versions of the traditional Huayno melodies usually played on harps, Andean pipes, charango and mandolin. Gustavo is joined by Luis Sulca Galindo on second guitar and Greys Berrocal Huaya on vocals on 4 tracks on the album. We've been extremely happy to work with Henkel Bellido (Sounds of the Andes) to bring this beautiful music to light.
Betty Lou Landreth - Betty Lou (LP)
Betty Lou Landreth - Betty Lou (LP)Outernational Sounds
A mega-rare album is reissued. This is a tremendous property from the famous "Outernational Sounds", which has been conducting ambitious excavation releases across spiritual jazz, jazz funk, and Indo jazz, including rare works related to Nimbus. This is a reissue of a legendary independent album released in 1979 by Betty Lou Landreth, a female jazz singer from Oklahoma who also performed at clubs and worked as a backup singer in studios. This is the only album that features talented session players such as The Funk Brothers, a Motown session group, and Marcus Belgrave of Detroit's Tribe Collective. This is a cult album of jazz vocals with a fierce blend of unfathomable mysteriousness and excessive energy that engulfs all kinds of audiences into another dimension.
Maki Asakawa (2LP)
Maki Asakawa (2LP)Honest Jon's Records

A stunning survey of the 1970s heyday of great Japanese singer and countercultural icon Maki Asakawa (1942-2010). Deep-indigo, dead-of-night enka, folk, and blues, inhaling Billie Holiday and Nina Simone down to the bone. A traditional waltz abuts Nico-style incantation; defamiliarized versions of Oscar Brown Jr. and Bessie Smith collide with big-band experiments alongside poet Shūji Terayama; a sitar-led psychedelic wig-out runs into a killer excursion in modal, spiritual jazz. Existentialism and noir, mystery and allure, hurt and hauteur. With excellent notes by Alan Cummings and the fabulous photographs of Hitoshi Jin Tamura. "Japan's answer to Scott Walker, with a visual aesthetic and a death-decadent appeal that is straight out of the Keiji Haino songbook." --Volcanic Tongue

Karen Dalton - In My Own Time (LP)
Karen Dalton - In My Own Time (LP)LIGHT IN THE ATTIC

Karen Dalton’s 1971 album, In My Own Time, stands as a true masterpiece by one of music’s most mysterious, enigmatic, and enduringly influential artists. Celebrating the album’s 50th anniversary, Light in the Attic is honored to present a newly remastered (2021) edition of the album on LP, CD, cassette, and 8-Track.

The LITA Anniversary LP edition features the original 10-track album, pressed on clear wax at Record Technology Inc. (RTI) and housed in an expanded gatefold LP jacket, while the album makes its long-overdue return on the almighty 8-Track format.

Both the CD and cassette editions feature 9 bonus tracks, including 3 alternate takes from the In My Own Time album sessions, along with 6 previously unreleased tracks captured during Karen’s 1971 European tour, including live at The Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival and Germany’s Beat Club.

All audio has been newly remastered by Dave Cooley, while lacquers were cut by Phil Rodriguez at Elysian Masters.

A newly expanded booklet—featuring rarely seen photos, liner notes from musician and writer Lenny Kaye, and contributions from Nick Cave and Devendra Banhart—rounds out the CD (32-pgs) and LP (20-pgs) packages. 

The Oklahoma-raised Karen Dalton (1937-1993) brought a range of influences to her work. As Lenny Kaye writes in the liner notes, one can hear “the jazz of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, the immersion of Nina Simone, the Appalachian keen of Jean Ritchie, [and] the R&B and country that had to seep in as she made her way to New York."

Armed with a long-necked banjo and a 12-stringed guitar, Dalton set herself apart from her peers with her distinctive, world-weary vocals. In the early ‘60s, she became a fixture in the Greenwich Village folk scene, interpreting traditional material, blues standards, and the songs of her contemporaries, including Tim Hardin, Fred Neil, and Richard Tucker, whom she later married. Bob Dylan, meanwhile, was instantly taken with her artistry. “My favorite singer in the place was Karen Dalton,” he recalled in Chronicles: Volume One (Simon & Schuster, 2004). “Karen had a voice like Billie Holiday and played the guitar like Jimmy Reed.”

Those who knew Dalton understood that she was not interested in bowing to the whims of the record industry. On stage, she rarely interacted with audience members. In the studio, she was equally as uncomfortable with the recording process. Her 1969 debut, It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best, reissued by Light in the Attic in 2009, was captured on the sly when Dalton assumed that she was rehearsing songs. When Woodstock co-promoter Michael Lang approached Dalton about recording a follow-up for his new imprint, Just Sunshine, she was dubious, to say the least. The album would have to be made on her own terms, in her own time. That turned out to be a six-month period at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, NY.

Producing the album was bassist Harvey Brooks, who played alongside Dalton on It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best. Brooks, who prided himself on being “simple, solid and supportive,” understood Dalton’s process, but was also willing to offer gentle encouragement, and challenge the artist to push her creative bounds. “I tried to present her with a flexible situation,” he told Kaye. “I left the decisions to her, to determine the tempo, feel. She was very quiet, and I brought all of it to her; if she needed more, I’d present options. Everyone was sensitive to her. She was the leader.”

Dalton, who rarely performed her own compositions, selected a range of material to interpret—from traditionals like “Katie Cruel” and “Same Old Man” to Paul Butterfield’s “In My Own Dream” and Richard Tucker’s “Are You Leaving For The Country.” She also expanded upon her typical repertoire, peppering in such R&B hits as “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “How Sweet It Is.” In a departure from her previous LP, Dalton’s new recording offered fuller, more pop-forward arrangements, featuring a slew of talented studio musicians.

While ‘70s audiences may not have been ready for Dalton’s music, a new generation was about to discover her work. In the decades following her death, a slew of artists would name Karen Dalton as an influence, including Lucinda Williams, Joanna Newsom, Nick Cave, Angel Olsen, Devendra Banhart, Sharon Van Etten, Courtney Barnett, and Adele. In the recent acclaimed film documentary Karen Dalton: In My Own Time, Cave muses on Dalton’s unique appeal: “There’s a sort of demand made upon the listener,” he explains. “Whether you like it or not, you have to enter her world. And it’s a despairing world.” Peter Walker, who also appears in the film, elaborates on this idea: “If she can feel a certain way in her music and play it in such a way that you feel that way, then that’s really the most magical thing [one] can do.” He adds, “She had a deep and profound and loving soul…you can hear it in her music.”

Julia Reidy - World in World (LP)
Julia Reidy - World in World (LP)Black Truffle
Black Truffle announce World in World, the latest solo offering from prolific Berlin-based guitarist-composer Julia Reidy. Where the recent trilogy of LP releases -- brace, brace (Slip, 2019), In Real Life (BT 051LP, 2019), and Vanish (EMEGO 288LP, 2020) -- focused on increasingly lush electronic settings for Reidy's propulsive fingerpicking and auto-tuned vocals, arranged into wide-ranging side-long epics, World in World finds Reidy refocusing on the core elements of their approach while simultaneously pushing into challenging new areas. Comprising nine pieces ranging between two and seven minutes in length, the album's opening title track promptly introduces the distinctive palette of just-intoned electric guitars, subtle electronic processing, and voice that is rigorously explored throughout. Where much of Reidy's guitar work on previous recordings explored rapidly pulsed cycling figures, here, notes often hang in the air in a more spacious, lyrical fashion. The elasticity of rhythm and non-linear repetition of pitches initially suggests improvisation until the listener becomes aware of the precise arrangements of spatialized lines. At times, World in World suggests classic bedroom electric guitar works of the 1990s such as Loren Connors's Airs (2015) or Roy Montgomery's Scenes from the South Island (1995); like those works, Reidy's possesses a wonderfully live ambience, with frequent pedal clicks adding to the music's powerful sense of intimacy. In Reidy's case, however, the yearning, melancholic mood of Connors or Montgomery is tempered by the unorthodox guitar tuning, which at points produces a unique and uncomfortable effect somewhere between the hyper-precision of Harry Partch or Lou Harrison and Jandek's slack-stringed descent into the void. While World in World plots out its terrain with a bold single-mindedness that allows some pieces to appear almost as variations on a common theme, subtle changes in emphasis distinguish each track. Tactile percussive interjections skitter across the tremolo tones of "Paradise in Unrecognisable Colours", while "Ajar" ramps up the role played by the electronics, with glitching pitch-shifted and back-masked textures threaded through the guitars and thickly harmonized vocal layers. Ranging from autotuned melodic lines to buried murmurs, Reidy's voice is a frequent presence throughout these nine pieces, at times creating the impression that a more conventional series of songs lurks underneath the chiming microtonal guitars. On the stunning "Poised", whispers and distant, ghostly wails surround the layers of guitars, at times suggesting the foggiest outer reaches of Liz Harris's Grouper. Both rigorously experimental and emotive, World in World
Shin Sasakubo - Chichibu (LP)Shin Sasakubo - Chichibu (LP)
Shin Sasakubo - Chichibu (LP)Studio Mule
After a small nap, Tokyo’s finest Studio Mule is back on the scene, bringing the world some deeply composed guitar music from Japan, crafted by Shin Sasakubo. Since almost 20 years the guitarist is specialized in classic and contemporary Andean and Peruvian music. a knowledge that he deepened through a three-year stint in Peru between 2004 and 2007. During his time in Latin America, he played live in Argentina, Chile, or Bolivia and researched in the works of Peruvian novelist, poet, and anthropologist José María Ar-Guedas, as Shin Sasakubo’s take on art is not one-dimensional. He also loves movies, painting, photography, writing, and theater - artforms that con-stantly influence his music on many different layers. since his return to his hometown Chichibu City in the japanese Saitama Prefecture, he launched the "Chichibu Avant-Garde School”, a college that looks through art and lectures on the Chichibu region, and his en-vironmental and folkloristic history. As sincerely driven composer, he released three guitar leaning albums in the past ten years. his latest sensation “Chichibu”, originally only released in Japan, now travels the globe via Studio Mule, making his fantastique listening voyage available for all those souls that seek joy through the sound of guitar strings.
Jonny Nash & Ana Stamp - There Up, Behind The Moon (LP)Jonny Nash & Ana Stamp - There Up, Behind The Moon (LP)
Jonny Nash & Ana Stamp - There Up, Behind The Moon (LP)Melody As Truth

Melody As Truth is proud to announce ‘There Up, Behind the Moon’, a collaborative album from Romanian musician Ana Stamp and Jonny Nash. For this collaboration, the pair spent over two years researching, arranging and recording Romanian folklore songs, aiming to give new context to these traditional, forgotten melodies.Throughout the album Ana’s vocals sit in delicate balance with Nash’s signature minimalist arrangements, accompanied with cimbalom, piano, double bass and guitar.

‘Bright Girl’, ‘For You I Am Missing’, ‘On a Mountain Realm’, ‘Sacred Conversations’, ‘Noble Tree’ are arrangements from traditional Romanian “star songs” and carols, usually sung in connection to various rituals that take place throughout the year. ‘Clouds Passing By’ is a cover of a traditional song, covered by Oșoianu Sisters.

In addition the album contains two classical piano compositions by Romanian composer Sigismund Toduță’, ’Upwards’ and ‘There Up, Behind The Moon’ to complete the atmosphere. Ana’s contemplative, thoughtfully paced re-interpretation and performance of these pieces reflects feelings of waiting and longing over time.

In describing her first album ‘There Up, Behind The Moon, Ana says “it represents an important element of my connection with Romanian folklore and the country landscape that encompasses many feelings, ranging from longing to joy or melancholy at times. Rituals and traditions are part of our roots that we take with us wherever we go.”

John Ondolo - Hypnotic Guitar of John Ondolo (LP)
John Ondolo - Hypnotic Guitar of John Ondolo (LP)Mississippi Records
John Ondolo spent his life traveling between Tanzania, where he was born, and Kenya, where he recorded a string of singles for independent labels in the late 1950s and early 60s. Unlike most guitarists from the region, Ondolo used open tuning (a favorite of American blues guitarists), creating a hypnotic drone over which he laid down endless rhythmic variations on his main themes. Inspired by the exploding pop music scene in Nairobi, the newest rock and roll imports from the US, and the Abakuria tribal music of his youth, Ondolo transposed traditional instruments and rhythms to his guitar, playing it more like a traditional harp at times, and inventing a sound totally unique in the recorded history of African guitar. This album brings together John Ondolo’s rare early 78rpm recordings in the first-ever overview of this innovative but overlooked artist. The music traces Ondolo’s creative output, from the resonant acoustic guitar masterpiece Tumshukuru Mungu to the relentless guitar and flute (!) interplay of Kenya Style to his later electric guitar, bass, and drum recordings with the Jolly Trio, all tied together by Ondolo’s unique rhythmic sense and vocal style. The breadth and variety of Ondolo’s recordings may be a result of his sporadic recording history. Unlike more famous artists, Ondolo wasn’t sucked into the Nairobi nightlife scene of the early 60s, instead traveling from his farm in the foothills of Kilimanjaro on occasion to record. An outsider and devout Catholic whose music was sometimes at odds with the style of the times, he later left music entirely, shifting to film and driving a mobile cinema van for the Tanzanian government, introducing socialist and Pan-African films to the countryside. An accident in his mobile cinema led to the loss of his left arm, though he continued his travels. He died in 2008 in Dar Es Salaam, leaving behind two wives and 11 children. Over a decade in the works, Hypnotic Guitar of… includes an insert with lyrics and translations, as well as notes by Tanzanian musician and historian John Kitime. Expertly restored and mastered by Michael Keiffer and pressed on 160gm black vinyl at Smashed Plastic in Chicago. Licensed from the Ondolo family in Tanzania.
Makoto Kubota - まちぼうけ (LP)
Makoto Kubota - まちぼうけ (LP)Universal Music
This world-famous acid folk classic features performances by Matsutoya, Katsuo Ohno (PYG), Hiroki Komazawa (Honey Pai), Hiromasa Fujita (Sunset Band), Tsugitoshi Goto, Hiroshi Segawa in the chorus and Shin Otowa, who is currently undergoing a reevaluation. 1973 release.
Bill Fay - Still Some Light: Part 2 (2LP)
Bill Fay - Still Some Light: Part 2 (2LP)Dead Oceans
Bill Fay has always sung about attempting to understand the most universal questions: those of nature, spirituality, humanity. His songs are “calming hymns for another chaotic time”, he says. His influence can be traced through many artist’s work, and so it only seemed right to celebrate this with a collection of newer voices interpreting his timeless tracks. Originally released in 2010 by David Tibet (Current 93), Still Some Light was released as a double CD, made up of 70’s album demos (Disc One) and 2009 home recordings (Disc Two). This year, for the first time, this collection of recordings will be pressed to vinyl and released digitally, presented alongside contemporary reimaginings of the tracks by Kevin Morby, Steve Gunn, Julia Jacklin and Mary Lattimore. Bill Fay’s words and melodies remain unaffected by the passing of time and changing trends; and here alongside the original recordings, these reinvented versions still calmly guide us through another moment of chaos.
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell (LP)
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell (LP)Asthmatic Kitty Records
In "Carrie and Lowell," Sufjan Stevens is a child again or, more specifically, the child character in the family of man drama that often but not always centers on the story of love given, or love forsaken, but isn't that the same thing to the poet? That the love Stevens sings about having left or given or been born to--thank you, Carrie--is a perceptible wound not only on the singer's throat, but his sleeve: he wears love's incomprehensibility, and the deep incomprehensibility of being a son, like a backing vocal on "Carrie and Lowell," which is also filled with colors, hearts, trees, conclusions, and beginnings, all adding up to the kind of intimacy that caught my eye the morning I sat in the diner waiting for the sun to get stronger as I saw intimacy pass by while going about it's business, like something sung and felt by Sufjan Stevens on his new beautiful solitary and rich record filled with faith and disbelief and the resurrection of trust and dreams. - HILTON ALS
V.A. - Driftless Dreamers: In Cuca Country (2LP)
V.A. - Driftless Dreamers: In Cuca Country (2LP)Numero
Jim Kirchstein founded Cuca Records in 1959 to capture the undocumented musical talent of rural Wisconsin. Originally a tiny recording studio in the corner of a record store, the independent label quickly expanded in response to the success of its early releases. Despite its remote location in the hills of Wisconsin’s Driftless Area, the label’s growing popularity attracted a diverse group of artists and performers from Wisconsin, Michigan, and the Chicago area. The combination of the label’s remote location and the area’s cultural diversity created a unique catalogue that was often divergent from the current music trends. The country music that Kirchstein recorded is best described as “outsider country”—lo-fi, dreamy, and just a little too weird to make the charts. Driftless Dreamers tells the story of these artists and their takes on the term “country.” Driftless Dreamers takes its name after the Driftless Area, a geological region of the American Midwest untouched by the last continental glacial movement. The majority of the Driftless Area lies in southwest Wisconsin, but extends into the corners of Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. The area’s lack of glacial drift is what preserved the land’s rugged terrain of forested ridges, inhabited caves, carved river valleys, and some of North America’s last true prairies. As a preserved area, the Driftless is home to many species of rare wildlife species, unknown to the rest of the country. The area’s black, fertile earth is also very suitable for farming. In the 19th century European immigrants poured into Wisconsin and began to farm. Small agrarian communities dotted the hills of the Wisconsin Driftless. Agriculture was, and still is, the lifeblood of these communities, as is music. The mainly German and Irish immigrants established community bands to carry on the musical traditions that they carried with them from their homelands. The domination of farming as the main industry in the Driftless area encouraged these musical styles to develop into the country music that Jim Kirchstein would record in the 1960s. After a stint in the Navy, Jim Kirchstein returned home to the Driftless Area to pursue an electrical engineering degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kirchstein lived on the eastern boundary of the Driftless in the sleepy town of Sauk City, close to his school in Madison. To support his new family, Kirchstein started selling records out of the basement of his brother’s hobby shop, located next to their family’s grocery store. Through his work at the record store Kirchstein soon recognized a need for a recording studio for the area’s local musicians. In 1959 Kirchstein founded the original Cuca recording studio in his basement record shop. Despite its remote location, the studio drew in a variety of artists from across the Midwest. The studio was also popular with local communities, whose mixed heritages produced a variety of folk and country genres. Jim Kirchstein intended for his recording studio to serve the local population’s need for both a creative outlet and historical documentation of their music traditions. As the label grew, Kirchstein created genre-specific sublabels, including Top Gun Country. The Driftless Dreamers series is a glimpse into this trove of recordings, focusing on the isolated interpretations of popular country music and the lonesome twang of outsiders. Driftless Dreamers in Cuca Country Volume 1 is a survey of the range of Wisconsin’s country music. This volume starts with a regional hit and ends with an echoing ballad from an untrained voice. Along the way we visit some family band bluegrass, teenage Nashville sound, rockabilly, and improvised bar tunes.
Frank and His Sisters - Frank & His Sisters (LP)
Frank and His Sisters - Frank & His Sisters (LP)Mississippi Records
Frank and His Sisters is a family band formed by Frank Humplick, Thecla Clara, and Maria Regina in the early 1950s in Moshi, a Tanzanian city located in the rolling hills of the southern foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Frank and His Sisters, a family band formed by Frank Humplick, Thecla Clara, and Maria Regina in the early 1950s, is known for their tours and recordings throughout East Africa with their fans. The album is a dreamy fusion of John Fahey's fingerstyle, The Carter Family, The Beach Boys, and Tanzanian music from the golden age. It's an idyllic sound to listen to on a sunny afternoon with the windows open!
Tia Blake And Her Folk-Group - Folksongs & Ballads (LP)Tia Blake And Her Folk-Group - Folksongs & Ballads (LP)
Tia Blake And Her Folk-Group - Folksongs & Ballads (LP)Ici Bientôt
Folksongs and Ballads by Tia Blake & Her Folk-Group, is more than just a “lost classic”. As clear and honest as can be, Folksongs and Ballads is a magnetic record, a refuge like only Nick Drake, Nico, and a few others have been able to create. A graceful, delicately minimalist approach to classic Appalachian and British folk songs.The perfect balance between melancholy and daydream. Originally released only in France in 1971, Ici Bientôt is very pleased to present the first-ever reissue on vinyl. When she recorded her only album, Tia Blake was nineteen years old and had just arrived in Paris a year and a half beforehand. She spent most of her time at Disco’Thé, a record shop in the Latin Quarter, a free space, peaceful and inspiring, a hub for students as well as the local artistic community. There, Tia would occasionally sing—when she managed to overcome her shyness. Two young guitarists who were passionate fans of folk music and regulars at the shop began to accompany her, forming “Her Folk Group.” One year later, they cut 11 tracks at Pierre Barouh’s Studios Saravah. Folksongs and Ballads is composed of traditional tunes that have been covered many times, but they’re not the best-known folk standards. A collection of stories ranging from the Middle Ages to the 1960s, bringing together sublimely doleful ballads, lamentations for a lost lover, and an unexpected, brilliant version of the road anthem “Plastic Jesus.” Tia Blake's haunting, unaffected voice captivates and comforts us, wrapping us in its cool embrace. Meanwhile, the tasteful, stripped-down, mellow acoustic arrangements provided by the guitarists, reminiscent of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, occasionally supported by a kena flute, have created the space Tia Blake needed to reinvent these traditional songs. Folksongs and Ballads is a timeless record, deep and unique, a longtime companion for repeated listening, in the vein of works by Sibylle Baier, Bridget St. John and Vashti Bunyan.
The Manson Family - The Manson Family Sings The Songs Of Charles Manson (LP)
The Manson Family - The Manson Family Sings The Songs Of Charles Manson (LP)SURVIVAL RESEARCH
Recorded at the infamous Spahn Ranch in 1970, while their leader Charles Manson was facing trial for the murder of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, The Manson Family Sings is a highly disconcerting listen. Beneath the harmonic brilliance and folksy innocence of these campfire-styled recordings are the hallmarks of Manson's twisted worldview, rendering a dystopian edge to what is otherwise compelling singalongs. Squeaky Frome, Brenda Gold, Gypsy Share and Sandra Blue all feature, with Clem Grogan fronting the beast, the end result being some of the freakiest and troubling songs you are ever likely to encounter.
Thurston Moore - Screen Time (Clear Vinyl LP)Thurston Moore - Screen Time (Clear Vinyl LP)
Thurston Moore - Screen Time (Clear Vinyl LP)Southern Lord
Screen Time is a series of instrumental guitar pieces recorded during the summer of 2021 as the world confronted the pandemic shutdown and as the people of good conscious stood up against the oppression of racist police oppression and murder. How much screen time does a parent allow a child? How much screen time does a child need to realise a world which has the means to coexist as a community in shared exchange? The cover image of Screen Time is of a youngster curled into a book, the pages vibratory with text radiating through the skin, blood and bone – an aspect entirely missing from digital media, though the actuality of transparency in our daily lives through streaming etc we can only leads to the awareness of fairness. Screen Time is in reflection to dream time, a state of meditation, hypnagogia and pillow talk. credits
V.A. - Quilted Flowers: 1940s Albanian & Epirot Recordings from the Balkan Label (LP)
V.A. - Quilted Flowers: 1940s Albanian & Epirot Recordings from the Balkan Label (LP)Canary Records
Ajdin Asllan was born in Leskovik near the present-day southern border of Albania on March 12, 1895. At the age of 30, on July 12, 1925, he married a girl named Emverije, who was one month shy of her 16th birthday, in her native town Korçë, about 80 miles north. He arrived in New York by himself less than a year later on September 20, 1926, and when he filed his Declaration of Intent to become an American citizen in 1928 as a resident of Detroit, he gave his occupation as "musician." Emverije joined him in New York City on July 27, 1931. Asllan appears to have made his first recordings in November 1931 as a clarinetist on four songs issued as 12” discs by Columbia sung in Albanian by K. Duro N. Gerati. In January 1932 he recorded again, this time singing and playing oud on three Columbia 12”s along with several Albanian singers and the violinist Nicola Doneff (born March 21, 1891 Dichin, Bulgaria; died July 19, 1961 New York). In 30s Asllan launched an independent label called Mi-Re (roughly “With New” in Albanian) Rekord primarily to release his own recordings, but it stalled out after about 6 releases. In October 1941 he accompanied a Greek singer and songwriter named G.K. Xenopoulos as an oudist along with the beloved Greek clarinetist Kostas Gadinis and accordionist John Gianaros for the Orthophonic subsidiary of Victor Records run by Tetos Demetriades. The trio of Gadinis, Asllan, and Gianaros cut another four sides for Orthophonic May 1, 1942. Shortly thereafter, Asllan relaunched his label as Me Re with the help of Doneff and then quickly renamed it, more generically, Balkan. Gianaros came in as a business partner, and Balkan released scores of records, some of them seemingly selling thousands of copies in the mid-40s, but Gianaros split angrily with Asllan after just a few years over money problems. By 1947, Doneff had trademarked the Kaliphon label, which drew from much of the same roster of New York musicians of the Greek- and Turkish-speaking performers as Balkan and apparently collaborated in distribution, marketing, and manufacturing into the 1950s, but some business distinction had been drawn. A third label, Metropolitan, was launched and became at catchall for further Greek, Turkish, Armenian, and Ladino material by New York players, but it's not clear who was in charge or how things were divided up. Maybe Metropolitan was started by Asllan as a separate business to dodge the taxman or old creditors? We don’t know. All three labels shared a standard black-on-red color scheme that, it would seem reasonable to guess, was based on the Albanian flag and Asslan’s original, core purpose as an artist and impresario. Adjin and Emverije lived during the 1930s into the 50s first at 143 Norfolk St. and then at 42 Rivington St. (where Asllan opened a record shop), in Manhattan's Lower East Side, where Eastern European Jewish immigrants surrounded the small Albanian community and Turkish-speaking Sephardic Jews, and abutting Little Italy and a strip of Greek coffee houses on Mulberry Street. He worked within a network of primarily Turkish- and Greek-speaking performers in New York and released recordings prolifically made both locally and overseas through the 40s and 50s. He corresponded with his brother Selim (who sings on track 1, side A, later worked on the radio in Tirana and co-founded the National Ensemble of Folk Songs and Dances) back home, who was able to secure masters of Albanian performers recorded in Istanbul and Athens along with performances by Turkish- and Greek-speaking stars including Rosa Eskenazi and Udi Hrant (both of whom subsequently made extended visits to the U.S.) Greeks and Armenians had, even at the low ebb of immigration during the 1940s-50s, substantial immigrant populations in New York and around the country - Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and many other cities. Those markets kept the Balkan label afloat for nearly 20 years. But Asllan also issued about 40 discs for the Albanian-language market ca. 1945-50 (at which point he retained a 500-series numbering scheme for them, picking up where he’d left off with his Me Ri label a decade earlier), including both folk music of southern Albania and choral music, much of the latter anti-Fascist Communist songs. In addition, three discs were issued as part of Balkan’s Greek series of uncredited musicians from Pogoni and Konitsa, towns about 30 miles south as the crow flies from where Asllan was born. The total Albanian-speaking population in the U.S. at the time was less than 10,000, and many couldn’t afford record players. But despite the small market for Albanian-language songs, he made sure to release discs for his countrymen. It was a time of immense political and social turbulence in both Albania and Greece, and the sense of duty to music is palpable in his work. Balkan’s business model was haphazard. Its numbering system, if one can call it that, indicates a tendency to start a series, then add to it - or not - sporadically, driven largely the question, “can we sell 500 of these? (And if so, can we sell 1000?)” The last Balkan 78s were issued around 1959; a few LP releases appeared around 1960, more than 20 years after Asllan released his first discs. We know he visited his native home and family in 1951, 25 years after having become American. He died in New York in October 1976. He had no children, save the records. ========= We have so far been able to trace a biographical narrative of only one of the other immigrant performer among those who play on this collection, Chaban Arif, who apparently sings on track 9. He was born May 22, 1899 in Berat, Albania, attended school through the second grade, and arrived alone at Ellis Island on November 2, 1920 at the age of 19 under the name Aril Shaban. His intention upon arrival was to meet up with a cousin, Mahomet Hajrules (who, in turn, had arrived only six months earlier under the name Mehemet Airula) in Southbridge, Massachusetts. However, there was a family of four from Shaban’s hometown on the same steamship who were headed to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (via a stop first at the south Philadelphia home of a relative), so Shaban wound up in Pittsburgh. He filed his first papers to become a U.S. citizen in Canton, Ohio in 1925, but he had returned to Albania in June of 1928, where he married an 18 year old woman named Nadire, and by 1931 had returned to Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, where he was working at the Duquesne, Pennsylvania Carnegie steel mill. (When his cousin Mehmet Hajrulla filed his Declaration of Intent to naturalize as a U.S. citizen in 1937, he was a widower living on Braddock Ave. in Pittsburgh and working as a painter.) The 1940 census found Shaban Arif relocated to 55 Clinton St. on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, about seven blocks from Adjin Asllan’s place on Rivington. Arif told the census enumerator that he worked 60 hours a week, 52 weeks a year for $916 a year (about $17,000 a year in today’s money) at the counter of of a restaurant. The man he listed on his WWII draft registration card as his closest contact was named Kardi Braim, who gave his country of origin either as Albania and Macedonia on different documents, had himself worked for a brick manufacturer in Erie County, Pennsylvania in addition to a string of other laboring jobs and worked at the time at Stewart’s Restaurant. It would seem reasonable to guess that both Shaban Arif and Kardi Braim were in Adjin Asllan’s limited social circle of Albanians in the neighborhood in the early 1940s when he recorded on this song. The $1 that the disc cost could have represented three and a half hours of labor at the restaurant. We know nothing else of Shaban Arif’s life except that he died in New York City in September, 1971. (Kardi Braim died in 1978.)
Zabelle Panosian - I Am Servant of Your Voice: March 1917 - June 1918 (CD+BOOK)Zabelle Panosian - I Am Servant of Your Voice: March 1917 - June 1918 (CD+BOOK)
Zabelle Panosian - I Am Servant of Your Voice: March 1917 - June 1918 (CD+BOOK)Canary Records
80 page book with over 50 photos and a 21 track CD. Printed in Belgium by die Keure. Designed by John Hubbard. "Zabelle Panosian sang one of the most amazing notes I've ever heard - so much humanity, sorrow, promise, infinite longing. When I write my novel the main character will be Zabelle's note." -David Harrington, Kronos Quartet "Please listen to the Armenian singer, Zabelle Panosian. [Her ‘Groung'] is a secret song that steals away the breath of those who are fortunate enough to hear it." -Nick Cave "A carefully crafted and detailed, yet succinct biography. Many of us were introduced to Armenian-American singer Zabelle Panosian’s soul-jolting rendition of “Groung” via the 2011 release of To What Strange Place, but here, in Zabelle Panosian: I Am Your Servant, for the first time, we travel with Panosian from her birthplace in Bardizag to her home in New York. We are there in the studio with her at Columbia Records for her historic recordings in lower Manhattan, and we stand with her in the radio studios of WEAF. We become readers of reviews of Panosian’s concerts both celebrated and scathing. We accompany her on performances, minuscule and grand from Waterford to Providence and San Francisco to Fresno, eventually recrossing the Atlantic with her to sing in France, Italy, and Egypt. More than a singer or performer, we learn of Zabelle, the estranged sister, the loving aunt, and the mother who passes the baton to her daughter, Adrina Otero, completing what will be the starting point for future historians or ethnomusicologists wishing to explore Zabelle Panosian and her legacy.” -Richard Breaux, Associate Professor of Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Among the most significant Armenian singers in the early twentieth century, Zabelle Panosian made a small group of recordings in New York City in 1917-’18. Unaccountably, she was then largely neglected as an artist for more than half a century. This volume by three dedicated researchers is the first effort to reconstruct the life and work of a woman who had an exceptional and cultivated voice — who toured the world as a performer and made a significant contribution to the cultural lives of the Armenian diaspora, the elevation of Armenian art song, and the relief of survivors of the Armenian genocide. Panosian’s music is derived from a syncretic experience of the Western Armenian village near the sea of Marmara where she was born and a passion for the coloratura sopranos she encountered in Boston. As an immigrant carrying the traumas of dislocation and the loss of her home, she transformed her grief into action, dedicated her life to an expression of the greatest art she could imagine, both from her former life and her new life in America, and she created a path in her wake for her daughter to become a renowned dancer. Tracing her story from the Ottoman Empire to New England, from the concert halls of Italy, Egypt, and France to California, Florida, and South America through two World Wars, the story of Zabelle Panosian is that of a serious talent recognized and celebrated, dismissed and forgotten, year by year, waiting only to be known and loved again.
Daisaku Yoshino - Lamp Seizōkōjō (LP)
Daisaku Yoshino - Lamp Seizōkōjō (LP)Super Fuji Discs

Jacks meets Makoto Kubota & The Sunset Gang! Yokohama Rock guru Daisaku Yoshino's early masterpiece "Lamp Factory" (self-produced in 1974) is being released on LP for the first time in 48 years! Produced by Makoto Otowa, this album is known as a brother album to "Wasagetami".

Daisaku Yoshino has been performing live mainly in Yokohama since the early 70's. His musical style is diverse and elusive, from the folk rock period of the 70's to the post-punk/free form period of the 80's. Although he has never received a solid reputation, his early work "Daisaku Yoshino Lamp Manufacturing Factory" ( Although his music has never been well received, his early work, "Yoshino Daisaku Lamp Factory" (released in 1974), is well known and popular in later years, mainly in Europe, as a masterpiece of acid folk. The band's philosophical and modern poetry was expressed in straight American rock, dynamic and thirsty country rock, and acid folk style, and was regarded as "Jacks meets the Sunset Band". The band was praised by Makoto Kubota for their performance at the Hibiya Nohe rock festival, where they outclassed Tokyo bands. The bluesy, weeping electric guitar sounds are reminiscent of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush," a superb world. The hidden masterpiece that will remain in the history of Japanese rock music is now being released in its original format for the first time in 48 years. The strength of the music is so pure that it has not wavered at all, and it is an album that must be listened to now more than ever.

Shin Otowa - Wasuregatami (LP)
Shin Otowa - Wasuregatami (LP)Super Fuji Discs

Shin Otowa, is a legendary Japanese psychedelic musician who is coveted by psychedelic enthusiasts around the world.
Makoto Kubota and the Sunset Sunset Orchestra participated in the release of his acid masterpiece "Wasuretami" (self-produced in 1974) on LP for the first time in 48 years!

Self-produced album (1974) by a singer/songwriter known for having contributed lyrics to Makoto Kubota's first solo album "Machiboke" (1973).
Makoto Kubota, who made full use of his 12-string guitar and contributed so much to the overall sound that it could be said that he almost produced the album, Yoma Fujita, who created a fantastic space with his slide guitar, and Takashi Onzo, who played the bass guitar in a lighthearted and eerie manner. The members of the Yuyake Gakudan (Sunset Sunset Band), including Makoto Kubota, who contributed to the overall sound, Yoma Fujita, who creates a fantastic space with his slide guitar, and Takashi Onzo, who plays a nice and light bass, all played on this simple but richly expanded world of Otowa's songs, inviting our consciousness into a world that extends far "beyond", but gives a mysterious sense of peacefulness. In other words, it is a masterpiece of acid folk. In this era of rock, this album is a pure and miraculous album of intense rock that abandons any superficial rock sound in order to be rock. Therefore, it has been enthusiastically supported by psychedelic enthusiasts around the world and has been talked about for a long time in Japan, although only a small portion of the Japanese public has heard of it. In 1976, just after the release of this album, Otowa suddenly left for Ibiza, Spain, and is said to have returned to Japan in the mid-1980s.

Batteaux (LP)
Batteaux (LP)Be With Records
Like a forgotten piece of baroque folk caught in 1973, Batteaux's eponymous album somehow sounds magically timeless. A full 45 years after the fact, it remains a mystery as to why they weren't better known. The lush production and virtuoso playing conforms with the ruling aesthetic of the time - well-crafted, melodic songs performed with precision and balance - whilst the shimmering AOR atmosphere and sun-dappled vocal washes align neatly with the best Crosby, Stills & Nash records. Throughout, the beautifully penned tracks hold traces of Jimmie Spheeris, America and Seals & Crofts. The immaculately orchestrated percussion and additional instrumentation (electric piano and fiddle to name a few) are performed by perennially celebrated West-Coast cats including Tom Scott, John Guerin and Andy Newmark. It's no surprise that the heavenly "High Tide" is such a Balearic touchstone. A free soul aqua-space groover, its sophisticated rhythms predict the swing of CSN's canonical "Dark Star" by a full four years. An alternative measure of its enduring magnificence can be gauged by MF Doom sampling Paul Horn's wonderful version, subsequently used by Ghostface Killah. The highlights are many and memorable. Gorgeous opener "Tell Her She's Lovely" is the perfect example of the addictive, melody-driven songwriting which really should have earned them stardom. Moody ballad "Living's Worth Loving" is nothing short of heartbreaking whilst the chugging elegance of "Wake Me In The Morning" showcases their bewitching harmonies. The hypnotic yearning of "Lady Of The Lake" is an exquisitely string-drenched, piano-laced favourite that achieves a peculiar strutting-funk. It's that good. This lovingly curated reissue enables a long overdue reappraisal of the hitherto buried genius of Batteaux. The serene aqua artwork which adorned the original jacket - their father worked on a dolphin-human communication project in Hawaii, hence the infamous design - and sumptuous inner sleeve have been faithfully restored. Whilst, with access to the original tapes, Simon Francis' sensitive mastering elevates the sound throughout and, as ever, it has been pressed at a reassuringly weighty 180g.
Reiko Kudo and Tori Kudo - Tangerine (LP)Reiko Kudo and Tori Kudo - Tangerine (LP)
Reiko Kudo and Tori Kudo - Tangerine (LP)A Colourful Storm
A Colourful Storm presents Tangerine, a collection of songs by Reiko and Tori Kudo. Recorded at Village Hototoguiss, Japan, during autumn, winter and spring 2011 and 2012, the makeup of Tangerine is the culmination of over thirty years of experimentation, improvisation and intimacy between Reiko Kudo and Tori Kudo. Beginning their collaborative musical activities in the late 1970s and documenting their movements as Noise, it would be an earlier Les Rallizes Dénudés gig that would prove influential in shaping the duo’s lifelong impulse for collaboration and free play - it was, after all, where they first met. Over the course of a decade, they became associated with Hideo Ikeezumi’s seminal PSF (Psychedelic Speed Freaks) scene, Tori playing with the likes of Ché-SHIZU and Fushitsusha and self-releasing cassettes before forming the first incarnation of Maher Shalal Hash Baz. Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Tori’s storied musical ensemble of an ever-rotating cast of contributors, would perhaps find difficulty with Tori if called his own. First surfacing in 1985 on a Shinichi Satoh-released cassette compilation, the group would spend the next thirty years playing live and recording, their sound finding solace with labels as far-reaching as Geographic and K. Tori would welcome local amateur and professional musicians, neighbourhood children, friends and passersby on stage, while in the studio, the likes of Ikuro Takahashi (LSD March) and Takashi Ueno (Tenniscoats) have joined him and Reiko on seminal sides such as Return Visit To Rock Mass and Blues Du Jour. A deeply human, deeply romantic recording, Tangerine shines as a touchstone of contemporary Japanese folk minimalism and is significantly the last recorded appearance of Reiko and Tori Kudo as a duo. Reiko's voice, plaintive yet playful, quietly commands centre stage and resonates perfectly with Tori's crystalline instrumentation: bass guitar, euphonium, violin and piano evoking echoes of Enka blues. Glacial soliloquies ’The Deep Valley of Shadow’ and ‘When Seeing the Setting Sun Alone’ bare isolation and restlessness before evolving into profoundly welcoming works. A dedication to playwright and former collaborator Jacob Wren, ‘The Swallow II’ struts confidently while ‘Homeless’, delicately adorned and desirous, addresses themes of universal vulnerability: “Will you give me bread when I’m hungry? / Please stay by me like my mother”. A beautiful accompaniment to the intoxicating swirl of ’We May Be’, recorded live by John Chantler at a Cafe Oto concert in 2009. Originally released on CD by Hyotan in 2013, Tangerine is presented for the first time on vinyl by A Colourful Storm with an exclusive alternate digital version of ‘Homeless’. It stands as the final documented interplay of this enchanting, invigorating duo.

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