Larry Conklin & Jochen Blum

Jackdaw

Image of Larry Conklin & Jochen Blum - Jackdaw
Record Label
Tompkins Square

About this item

The fourth LP in Tompkins Square's series of private press solo guitar reissues, all by artists featured on the compilation 'Imaginational Anthem vol 8 : The Private Press.' Previous releases include LPs by Rick Deitrick (2 LPs) and Tom Armstrong. Larry Conklin bought his first guitar, a Gibson J-45, in 1970, after he got out of the army. “I taught myself to play. I wrote songs and instrumentals (at that time Bert Jansch was my guiding light). I listened to a lot of people - Leo Kottke, John Renbourn, Django Reinhardt, Lonnie Johnson, Robert Johnson - and especially Rev. Gary Davis, who played only with his thumb and index finger as I did.” Larry’s first record, Jackdaw was self-released in 1980 and includes beautiful solo 12 string acoustic guitar tracks, as well as gentle acoustic duets with violinist, Jochen Blum.

Larry met Jochen in Florence, Italy, in 1980 and commented that “his violin playing put excitement into my music. It was special. I pressed 300 copies and sent them out into the world.” Larry wrote '”The Diamond Cutter” in 1978 while going to Seattle Community College, in a creative writing course. The inspiration for the song, according to Larry “was a girl who wrote a poem to a departing lover - You only deal with cut glass. I deal with diamonds. I introduced myself to her as the Diamond Cutter.” In 1985 while living in Berlin, Larry got a letter from a woman in Seattle who informed him that Charles Royer was running for a third term as Mayor of Seattle and that “The Diamond Cutter” was being used as a campaign song. Royer won, November 5th 1985. Post-Jackdaw, Larry moved to Europe and in 1987 began recording for Tukan Records. In the 21 years that he lived in Europe, Larry toured and recorded with John Renbourn as well as blues artist Sidney 'Guitar Crusher' Selby. Larry returned to the United States in 2002 and now lives in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. “My ambition these days is to work up the perfect set list, an evolving challenge, but on any night when I am playing in Hilo I will play “The Diamond Cutter”. It's on my set list. It somehow led me here.” 

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