folk . americana . blues . r&b . rock&roll


Genre pick of the week Cover of Sings Christmas Carols by Mark Kozelek.
All songs performed by Mark Kozelek November / Decemeber 2013 in San Francisco.


Ltd LP Info: BLACK VINYL COPIES!! Super limited!

Album Cover Frame

Black - 4 Pack

    A clear plastic fronted black wooden album frame. Just like a standard picture frame, with the sleeve held in place via metal clips on the back.

    Accomodates single record sleeves to the size of 31.5cm x 31.5cm (please note; does NOT hold gatefold sleeves).

    Perfect for all your favourite record sleeves.

    £12.99 for one frame, so buying 4 saves £8.

    Album Cover Frame

    White - 4 Pack

      A clear plastic fronted black wooden album frame. Just like a standard picture frame, with the sleeve held in place via metal clips on the back.

      Accomodates single record sleeves to the size of 31.5cm x 31.5cm (please note; does NOT hold gatefold sleeves).

      Perfect for all your favourite record sleeves.

      £12.99 for one frame, so buying 4 saves £8.

      Limited 7" from Bloodshot Records (produced for Black Friday in the USA).

      1000 copies worldwide.

      Andrew Bird & Nora O'Connor cover Robbie Fulks' "I'll Trade You Money For Wine" from his 2013 album "Gone Away Backwards".

      Robbie Fulks returns the favour with a cover of Bird's "Core & Rind" from his "Swimming Hour" album of 2011

      Shirley Collins / Davy Graham

      Folk Roots, New Roots

        Reissue of previously deleted classic Folk album - Back to Black.

        Link Wray

        Ace Of Spades

          It will surely come as no surprise that Quentin Tarantino picked up on Link Wray’s ‘Rumble’ and ‘Ace of Spades’ for the movie ‘Pulp Fiction’. The brooding guitar man; born in North Carolina in 1929, as Fred Lincoln Wray Jnr, hails from pulp territory, the mythic Americana of rock n’ roll. Wray’s mother from whom he inherited his striking appearance was a Shawnee Indian, Pop was a street corner preacher and grandpa did some jail time. It’s hard to know where legend overlaps fact in the Wray mythology but the poverty of his early years was all too real. Talking of his contemporary, Elvis, over in Tupelo, Wray quipped ‘He grew up white man poor, I was growing up Shawnee poor.’

          Over the course of his long life, Wray had four wives who begat him four sons and five daughters with names steeped in black leather lore, including Link Elvis Wray, Mona Kay Wray and Ramona Wray. One of Link’s key strengths was his pared down aesthetic s – from his playing, a culmination of reflex, strength and rhythm, to song titles such as ‘Radar’, ‘The Swag’ and the ‘The Outlaw’, which had the immediacy of signposts. It’s been said that Link invented the power chord but this righteous accolade doesn’t convey the distorted, stripped down excitement of his craft. As an 8 year old, young Link was taught the basics of guitar by an elderly black circus worker called Hambone. The circus used to pitch up across the street from the Wray family home. One can only wonder if the combination of Hambone’s brief tutelage somehow fused with the heady atmosphere of the circus, the screams, the thrills and the sudden dips into danger, creating a spark that Link was to carry for the rest of his life.

          The flash point was ‘Rumble’, released in 1958. Link was never better than when he tapped into delinquent themes. It doesn’t matter whether this was innate or via creative osmosis, the result was the same; the stark distillation of rebellion. It got you in the hips and the soul. Despite being banned on several US radio stations for fear of stirring up youthful unrest and boosting gang membership, ‘Rumble’ went on to to be a million seller. However, Cadence Records, who had signed Link and his brothers, Vernon and Doug, a.k.a ‘The W/Ray Men’, chickened out of releasing any further rabble rousing tracks. When the label suggested that Link tone it down, The Wray’s took a stroll to Epic and continued a run of exhilarating instrumentals including ‘Rawhide’, ‘Comanche’ and ‘Slinky.’

          Whilst having contracted tuberculosis when serving in the Korean war affected Wray’s vocals, his guitar playing mostly did the singing for him but he wasn’t always volatile, ‘Lillian’ and ‘Alone’ revealing the heart beneath the tough exterior. Fiercely independent, when the rock n’ roll boom burst, Wray fashioned a 3 track home studio from a chicken shack and largely extricated himself from the music business although he would continue to record and play, stating ‘Money don’t rule me, record companies don’t own me.’ Nothing owned Link Wray but he owned rock n roll. Though the era of monochrome had ended, Link cast a long shadow, drawing admiration from the likes of Neil Young, Keith Moon and Pete Townshend who noted of Wray ‘He is the king, if it hadn’t been for Link Wray and ‘Rumble’, I would never have picked up a guitar.’

          Though often marginalised throughout his career, Wray was like the night, an unquantifiable influence on successive generations of guitarists who sought to scorch rather than soothe. In the late ‘90’s I caught him in London playing to a hazardously packed house. Wray, who had effortlessly surpassed the boundaries of age, conveyed the vicarious dexterity of his craft with a pagan assurance. It was a joyful event, the audience a breathless crush of leather and crinoline, as Link performed the majority of tracks that comprise this here platter. In November, 2005, Bob Dylan was just about to step out on stage at the Royal Hall Albert, when he learned that Link had struck his final chord. In tribute to the great man, Dylan commenced his set with ‘Rumble.’

          Wreckless Eric

          Wreckless Eric Presents : The Hitsville Houseband's '12 O'Clock Stereo'

          12 O’Clock Stereo is Wreckelss Eric’s town and country album, a strange and at times uneasy mix of garage, pop, country and old time rhythm ‘n’ blues. Urban songs set in a grim, concrete world where the beer is flowing like piss, and abandoned lovers cry themselves to sleep between nylon bed sheets, Kilburn Lane, Camden Girl, Murder In My Mind, Palace Of Tears.

          Tales of ne’er do wells and country hicks, The Guitar-Shaped Swimming Pool, Friends On The Floor, a ramshackle and nightmarish world, the village band play on raggedy and tuneless as the residents of a local retirement home zone out on valium (The Twilight Home). Creepiness and social dysfunction – life in remote rural France where dissatisfaction and incomprehension rule supreme and a trip to the doctors is a day out, You Can’t See The Woods (For The Trees); and in The Marginal the neighbours ask him in to laugh at him as they get drunk with backing provided by a showband on hallucinogens.

          And meanwhile, back on the home front the Camden Girl juggles forming a band with self-help, astrology and Tai Chi.

          Eric had initially formed The Hitsville House Band with drummer Denis Baudrillart and bassist Fabrice Lombardo, two trash and garage virtuosos, bad boys from the south suburbs of Paris, as a backing band for ex Action, Mighty Baby and 101ers guitarist Martin Stone. They didn’t last long as a backing group – Eric had songs and then Fabrice and Denis wanted to record them.

          “I was asked to record a track for a love-themed compilation album with a lifebelt on the cover – love and a lifeline, some foggy and fuzzy half thought out concept to do with love. The lifebelt looked for all the world like a toilet seat to me. We did the track for hard cash and used the money to buy tape to record an album.”

          The album was recorded at Eric’s home, a dilapidated village dance hall seventy miles west of Paris, in the heart of rural France. Since his last album the Donovan Of Trash, Eric had upgraded his studio with the addition of a 1” Studer eight track tape machine. The stereo possibilities were limited by the further addition of an all-valve Telfunken one track 1/4” mono mastering machine which had apparently previously been used in a jungle expedition, as borne out by the carcasses of large and weird looking insects reclining in the machinery.

          On its release in 1996, 12 o’clock Stereo was championed by the few, including John Peel and Mark Radcliffe who both played tracks. In spite of constant touring throughout Europe and the UK, 12 o’clock Stereo soon found its place in the pantheon of obscure and uncompromising post-Stiff Records Wreckless Eric releases. The title fooled some of Eric’s detractors into thinking he’d finally caught up with the modern world and made a stereo record. The clues were all there – the word STEREO flanked by inward facing arrows…a lino cut illustration of a mixing desk with all the pan controls in the centre position… that’s right: MONO – the title, 12 o’clock Stereo, means mono.

          Containing 5 extra tracks, including 3 radio session, Lawrence Of Arabia On Ice, a b-side from ‘The Girl With The Wandering Eye’ CD single, and ‘Ugly & Old’, the first track ever recorded by The Hitsville Houseband, specfically for a Love Song Compilation.


          LP Info: 12 track Vinyl LP with download card including bonus tracks.

          Various Artists

          A Distant Invitation: Street & Ceremonial Recordings From Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia And Thailand

            - Music, happenings, and modern psychedelic atmospherics from the streets of SE Asia.
            - Field recordings, radio segments, street musicians and gorgeous ambience.
            - Recorded by Jesse Paul Miller on location in Southeast Asia.
            - This limited LP edition comes in a full-color tip-on jacket with a two-sided insert.

            A hallucinogenic splatter-drift audio meltdown through the streets and back alleys of Southeast Asia recorded and assembled by Seattle-based multi-sword-wielding artist Jesse Paul Miller (Factums/Secret Records/Liver & Bacon/Big Tribal Balls).

            This limited edition LP includes street and folk music, situational ambience, radio excerpts, and psychedelic atmospheres from Burma, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. "We heard them from a distance, bells in the back alleys of Surakarta ... Then, one day, two weeks later, we walked around a corner and there they were, a troupe of roving gamelan musicians and a monkey with a mask ...

            If one wanders the streets of Southeast Asia, they will undoubtedly hear a variety of fascinating sounds; those created by street musicians, sellers in markets, horns from temples and mosques, woven with insect songs, birds, dogs, motorcycles. Intended to engage and entertain a host of spirits and gods, festivals and processions are frequent in certain regions. They can be extremely vibrant and overwhelmingly powerful energy situations. In rituals, the use of random multiple layers or instrumental vibrations can be intended to confuse or scare off bad spirits, and this can be very disorienting for the living listener also. Street musicians combine older instruments with electrical delivery systems in the form of genius portable battery-operated-waist-pack mini-horns connected to keyboards, karaoke machines, and folk instruments -- sometimes with effects.

            These musicians sit roadside; in some places they hop on buses between stops. In markets and along roadsides, sellers manipulate their voices to advertise using delay effects. Food cart proprietors use an incredible array of sonic methods to attract customers. They tap on objects, use steam whistles; sing like birds, use bits of Western jingles (and much more). Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim broadcasts can be heard blasting through loudspeakers. With the addition of amplification, there is usually some form of distortion inherent to the speaker systems, often magically enhancing the voices, mixing in with the urban or rural soundtrack. The sonic tapestry of any space can reveal poetic insights. There is the perspective that all audio events in an environment, regardless of their form, can be heard musically. The vitality and depth of human expression, whether awe-inspiring or minute in all of its multitudinous manifestations, is for now, intact in Southeast Asia, and very much alive." - Jesse Paul Miller.

            Among the most powerful music to be captured on 78 rpm in America during the 1920s & 1930s are those recordings of black sanctified and gospel singing. Ranging from plaintive mourning to unbridled ecstasy, the sacred music from this time period represents a flowering of diverse and idiosyncratic rural songs styles. At no time was their a wider panorama of religious songs in America.

            Selected exclusively from Christopher King’s private collection, the 78s included here represent the most unhinged, the most compelling survey of pre-war black gospel. Of the 42 tracks in this 3CD/3LP collection, 34 have never been reissued until now. The complete recorded output of the Primitive Baptist Choir of North Carolina is also included in this collection for the first time. Several rare & previously unissued photographs are also contained within. Lovingly and respectfully designed by Susan Archie and firmly grounded in Scripture by Christopher King. Tompkins Square has been steadily mining the history of black gospel through previous collections - the Grammynominated 'He Is My Story : The Sanctified Soul of Arizona Dranes'; 'Fire In My Bones : Raw, Rare & Otherworldly African- American Gospel, 1944-2007'; 'This May Be My Last Time Singing : Raw African-American Gospel on 45RPM, 1957-1982' ; Bessie Jones - 'Get In Union'; and 'I Heard The Angels Singing : Electrifying Black Gospel from the Nashboro Label, 1951- 1983'.

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