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Washington Phillips

Washington Phillips And His Manzarene Dreams

    Our label’s inaugural release, 2003’s Goodbye, Babylon, included two recordings by a mysterious gospel musician from Texas named Washington Phillips, who died in 1954. After fielding inquires about the hauntingly beautiful songs from listeners around the world, in 2013, we checked in with Michael Corcoran, the leading researcher on Phillips, to see if any new information had been uncovered. Indeed, Michael had some leads, but he would need a working budget to track them down.

    Three years later, after combing through various archives and talking with the last surviving people from the Simsboro-area who remembered Phillips, we now know the name of Phillips’ homemade instrument (the Manzarene); when, where and how he died; and many anecdotes about what his life was like. We are excited to share this story in Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams, a new book by Corcoran accompanied by recordings made by Phillips between 1927-29. To ensure a superior listening experience, we tracked down the most pristine original copies of Phillips’ 78-rpm records, created high resolution transfers and had the audio expertly remastered for the best-sounding Phillips reissue to date. Hear the sublime, hypnotic and ethereal music of Washington Phillips in clarity like never before!


    CD & Book Info: 76-page hardcover book with never-before-published research complete with newly remastered audio from pristine, original 78-rpm discs

    Various Artists

    Folksongs Of Another America: Field Recordings From The Upper Midwest, 1937-46

      Folksongs from the Upper Midwest: a compilation of field recordings made in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin between 1937-1946.

      Armed with bulky microphones, blank disks, spare needles, and cumbersome disk-cutting machines, several folklorists had the foresight to document and preserve a significant but overlooked part of the nation’s musical heritage, made by immigrant, Native American, rural and working-class performers. Almost all of these dance tunes, ballads, lyric songs, hymns, laments, versified taunts, political anthems, street cries, and recitations are being issued for the very first time.

      This 5-CD set is filled with African-American, Austrian, Belgian, Cornish, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French Canadian, German, Ho-Chunk, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Irish, Italian, Luxemburger, Norwegian, Ojibwe, Oneida, Polish, Scots Gaelic, Serbian, Swedish, Swiss, and Welsh performers.

      Bonus DVD includes the new documentary film The Most Fertile Source: Alan Lomax Goes North with never-before-seen footage shot in Michigan in 1938. The accompanying book includes extensive liner notes, lyric transcriptions and translations by James P. Leary, co-founder of the Center for the Study
of Upper Midwestern Cultures at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 

      Various Artists

      Ola Belle Reed And Southern Mountain Music On The Mason-Dixon Line

        Dust-to-Digital is excited to present the first in-depth look at the life of Ola Belle Reed, a groundbreaking artist who is one of the all-time greatest performers of authentic, old-time music. Ola Belle Reed’s 1960s recordings, some of the earliest she ever made and available here for the very first time, are counter-balanced by a disc of modern-day field recordings of her descendants and those within her Appalachian community that she inspired. This deluxe edition highlights Ola Belle’s deep repertoire – folk ballads, minstrel songs, country standards, and originals – and traces the impact her music made and is still making today.

        Jim Linderman

        The Birth Of Rock And Roll

          Jim Linderman has arranged a storyboard of sorts that dramatizes the spirit, if not the chronology, of rock and roll. Poetically, the photos evoke without naming, and have little to do with conventional iconography of the birth of rock and roll. Instead they document, and celebrate, the pure but indefinable essence of rock. Wherever there is an urge to make acoustic or electric music—whether helping at a rent party, busking in front of a crowd, or testifying in the name of Jesus—there’s an uncredited photographer there to snap an image. Thankfully Jim Linderman has shared these one-of-a-kind photos from his collection so we can explore one of the most transformative times for American music.

          “We have this notion that rock ’n’ roll started in Memphis in 1955, and it really didn’t. Bob Wills was playing in the ’30s and ’40s in Oklahoma, and Chuck Berry modeled ‘Maybellene’ on a Bob Wills song. The roots of rock go back a lot further than we realize. It came from the church, from vaudeville, from the music played in after-hours clubs, from juke joints. Some of it came from Ireland. It’s such a conglomeration, and that diversity is the real back story of rock ’n’ roll. Without any trouble at all, I was able to include people of all races in this book. I was able to show the melting pot in America, which came together to create this phenomenon. I was especially happy to be able to include so many women performers, because they never got their due. Which is why we don’t know who they are now. I love being able to illustrate how broad the music used to be, because now it’s so narrow and pigeonholed. It seems we’ve lost some of the breadth that used to be there.” – Jim Linderman speaking to Lisa Hix, Collectors Weekly


          Hardback Book Info: Description: Photographs from the collection of Jim Linderman plus a conversation with Joe Bonomo
          Hardcover book with 134 photographs
          Size: 160 pages, 12″ x 9.75″ format

          Various Artists

          Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock And Roll (O.S.T.)

            40 years ago: April 17, 1975, Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge and Cambodian rock and roll was no more. Its star musicians were targeted and killed, record collections were destroyed, clubs were closed, and Western-style music-making, dancing, and clothes were outlawed. The deaths of approximately 2 million Cambodians and the horrors of the Killing Fields have been well-documented; add to this John Pirozzi’s fascinating tale of Cambodia’s vibrant pop music scene, beginning in the 1950s and ‘60s, influenced by France’s Johnny Hallyday and Britain’s Cliff Richard and the Shadows. The filmmaker has assembled rare archival footage, punctuating it with telling interviews with the few surviving musicians. Cambodian culture has long been synonymous with a love for the arts.

            DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN pays homage to the country’s rock legends who paid for their creativity with their lives. Through the eyes, words and songs of its popular music stars of the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll examines and unravels Cambodia's recent tragic past. Dust-to-Digital is excited to release the soundtrack to such an important film. Compiled by the film’s director, the album is very cinematic in nature. The sequencing and newly-remastered audio transport the listener through the rock and roll history of Cambodia in a similar fashion as John Pirozzi’s documentary film. It is both entertaining and essential to hear so many tracks that are available outside of Cambodia for the very first time.

            Various Artists

            Parchman Farm: Photographs And Field Recordings: 1947-1959 (2xCD + Book Box Set)

              In 1947, ’48 and ’59, renowned folklorist Alan Lomax went behind the barbed wire into the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. Armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck - and, in 1959, a camera - Lomax documented as best an outsider could the stark and savage conditions of the prison farm, where the black inmates labored “from can’t to can’t,” chopping timber, clearing ground, and picking cotton for the state. They sang as they worked, keeping time with axes or hoes, adapting to their condition the slavery-time hollers that sustained their forbears and creating a new body of American song. Theirs was music, as Lomax wrote, that “testified to the love of truth and beauty which is a universal human trait.” 

              “A few strands of wire were all that separated the prison from adjoining plantations. Only the sight of an occasional armed guard or a barred window in one of the frame dormitories made one realize that this was a prison. The land produced the same crop; there was the same work for blacks to do on both sides of the fence. And there was no Delta black who was not aware of how easy it was for him to find himself on the wrong side of those few strands of barbed wire…. These songs are a vivid reminder of a system of social control and forced labor that has endured in the South for centuries, and I do not believe that the pattern of Southern life can be fundamentally reshaped until what lies behind these roaring, ironic choruses is understood.” - Alan Lomax, 1958.

              “Black prisoners in all the Southern agricultural prisons in the years of these recordings participated in two distinct musical traditions: free world (the blues, hollers, spirituals and other songs they sang outside and, when the situation permitted, sang inside as well) and the work-songs, which were specific to the prison situation, and the recordings in this album represent that complete range of material, which is one of the reasons this set is so important: it doesn’t just show this or that tradition within Parchman, but the range of musical traditions performed by black prisoners. I know of no other album that does that.” — Bruce Jackson, 2013.


              CD Box Set Info: Super deluxe 124-page hardcover book with 2 CDs / 6.25 inches x 9.5 inches (landscape) / Includes die-cut slipcase and foil stamping / 44 audio recordings, 12 previously unreleased, all newly remastered; 77 photographs, many published here for the first time; Essays by Alan Lomax, Anna Lomax Wood, and Bruce Jackson. Produced by Lance Ledbetter, founder of Dust-to-Digital, and Nathan Salsburg, curator of the Alan Lomax Archive.

              Various Artists

              Lead Kindly Light: Pre-War Music And Photographs From The American South

                What happens when a 78 collector marries a collector of antique photographs? Lead Kindly Light. Recordings of Rural Southern Music: Old Time, String Band Music from Appalachia, extremely rare Country Blues and African American gospel singing from 1924-1939.

                159 Photographs from the Collection of Sarah Bryan reproduced in full color. 46 Audio Recordings from the 78RPM Record Collection of Peter Honig. 176-page hardcover book with 2 CDs. 8.5 inches x 6.5 inches. A portrait of the rural American South between the dawn of the twentieth century and World War II, Lead Kindly Light brings together two CDs of traditional music from early phonograph records and a fine hardcover book of never-before-published vernacular photography.

                North Carolina collectors Peter Honig and Sarah Bryan have spent years combing backroads, from deep in the Appalachian mountains to the cotton and tobacco lowlands, in search of the evocative music and images of the pre-War South. The music of Lead Kindly Light presents outstanding lesser-known recordings by early stars of recorded country music, as well as rarely- and never-reissued treasures by obscure country, blues, and gospel artists. The photographs, mainly images of the rural and small-town South, are richly textured depictions of family life, work, and fun, and the often accidental beauty of the vernacular snapshot.

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                2xCD Info: 2CD and hardcover book.

                Various Artists

                Never A Pal Like Mother: Vintage Songs & Photographs Of The One Who's Always True

                  65 antique photographs from such noted collectors as Sarah Bryan and Jim Linderman. 40 recordings from 1927-1956 from such esteemed 78 collectors as Joe Bussard.

                  The songs on the first disc describe mother’s activities on earth: kindness, discipline, teaching and love. The second disc’s songs deal with the coping involved with a mother’s death and the emptiness it creates. Foreword by Rosanne Cash Rosanne Cash (born May 24, 1955) is a Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter and author. She is the eldest daughter of the late country music singer Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin.

                  Essay by Sarah Bryan: Sarah Bryan is the Editor-in-Chief on The Old-Time Herald magazine. The magazine casts a wide net, highlighting the Southeastern tradition while opening its pages to kindred and comparable traditions and new directions. Sarah is an antique-photograph collector and contributed several images to "Never a Pal Like Mother".

                  Brother Claude Ely

                  Ain't No Grave: The Life And Legacy Of Brother Claude Ely

                    Recorded interviews of over 1,000 people in the Appalachian Mountains lay the foundation for this 360 page biography detailing the life of Brother Claude Ely, the religious singer-songwriter and Pentecostal-Holiness preacher from southwestern Virginia, perhaps best-known for his song, “There Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down”. While visiting a London record shop in 2001, Macel Ely II heard a familiar voice playing over the speakers. He learned that it was indeed the powerful chanting of his great-uncle and was amazed at the magnitude of the impact his music still maintained on people worldwide. He then embarked on what would become a 9-year journey to discover the true story of Brother Claude Ely as well as to investigate his legacy. Brother Claude Ely passed along a musical and spiritual influence which can still be heard today like a mountain echo in those long, winding hollows and impoverished coal fields. Authored by Brother Claude Ely’s nephew, Macel Ely II, the biography is supplemented by 290 sepia photographs along with a CD featuring rare and electrifying audio recordings of Pentecostal worship services in the mountains of Kentucky and Virginia accompanied by a fiery sermon preached by Brother Claude Ely himself.

                    360 page hardcover book with dust jacket in shrinkwrap - CD stored in back of book.

                    Various Artists

                    Art Of Field Recordings - Volume II

                      Art Rosenbaum is a folk revivalist of the old school. He believes that traditional ballads, blues, spirituals, and fiddle tunes are among the glories of American culture, and he wanted to help preserve and disseminate them. Ledbetter, forty years younger, was less interested in preservation than in inspiration: the songs on "Goodbye, Babylon" had influenced artists as diverse as Bob Dylan and Arcade Fire. The best he could do for folk music, Ledbetter seemed to feel, was to research, remaster, and repackage it as beautifully as possible-to make the old songs seem new again. From The New Yorker - 'The Last Verse: Is there any folk music still out there?' Last fall, Dust-to-Digital released "Art of Field Recording: Volume I," a four-CD retrospective of Rosenbaum's work. It contained everything from ring shouts and murder ballads to a song about twenty frogs going to school. It was full of throaty voices and clanging banjos and the incidental music of daily life-babies crying, bar glasses clinking, cicadas on a summer night. A critic at the Times had called it 'a gold mine, an ark . . . spooky and blindingly beautiful.'

                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                      Box set Info: A 4 CD box set; includes a 96 page oversized book in a 10"x10" full colour box. 107 Tracks in total over four CDs. ***LAST COPY***

                      Various Artists

                      Victrola Favorites: Artifacts From Bygone Days

                        Deluxe 144 page clothbound, full-color book with two CDs of recordings made between 1920s-50s compiled by Rob Millis and Jeffery Taylor of the band Climax Golden Twins from their collections of rare 78rpm records and design ephemera. 'Climax Golden Twins genre bending prowess alone would earn Rob Millis and Jeffery Taylor high regard in Seattle music circles. But Taylor also owns Wall of Sounds Records one of the first boutique record shops devoted primarily to independent and avant-garde music. 'All roads in the experimental community lead back to them,' says Eric Lanzillotta (of Anomalous Records and Ri Be Xibalba).. tireless curiosity has always driven the pair...' — Michaelangelo Matos, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. 'A beautifully decorated book of original label art and advertisements... more suggestive than descriptive, the book is representative of Millis and Taylor's overall aesthetic. 'The (original Victrola Favorites) cassettes had Xeroxed covers - no information, a pure listening experience,' says Millis. This time, the package makes the whole difference, says Taylor: 'You're getting two CDs to listen to, but here's the art of the artifact.' The book is full of rich images: a photograph of a young boy sitting next to a Victrola horn three times his size; a voluptuously beautiful assemblage of coloured tins containing record needles; a postcard with playable grooves...' — Michaelangelo Matos, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. '...few old timey collections range half as wide as "Victrola Favorites", which veers from Cantonese Opera to traditional Turkish songs, dirty blues to Indian raga, recordings of London traffic to Chinese Buddhist nun chants, comedy routines to country hoedowns... a peek through history's corridors...' — Michaelangelo Matos, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine. Influenced by Secret Museum of Mankind Yazoo releases, Harry Smith's Anthologly of American Folk Music, as well as record labels like Sublime Frequencies, Ethnic Folkways and Ocora. Also art and design books such as those published by Chronicle. Sounds like vintage music from around the globe.

                        Various Artists

                        How Low Can You Go? - Anthology Of The String Bass (1925-1941)

                          The first anthology ever of the string bass; A 3CD box set in a cardboard box; 96-page book. Original recordings from 1925-1941, from the legendary archival label Dust-To-Digital (that previously brought the world the beyond-elaborate Goodbye, Babylon and Fonotone Records boxsets). 'Not so long ago, the string bass stood tall and proud - roughly the length and breadth of a poor man's pine coffin - in every musical aggregation throughout the land from Bangor to Buenos Aires, from the highest high life to the lowest lowdown: From tuxedoed symphony ensembles to tipsy Calypso bands to honkytonkers in oilfield dives, from elegantly gelled tango orchestras to iozz. combos in unspeakable speak-easys to methed-out rockabilly trios right off some flatbed: you can be damned sure Johnny Cash wouldn't have been able to walk the line without bassist Marshall Grant keeping him honest. But somewhere along the line, the upright acoustic bass was snatched from its hallowed place atop the sedans (special carriage) and show-stages and relegated to the trash-heap of history in favor of Leo Fender's sleek electric cousin, plugged in to compete with amplified guitar and drums. Now the stand-up bass makes its appearance mostly in limousine-liberal Lincoln Center iazx benefits and hardcore bluegrass bands - or as a comical hayseed prop in retro hillbilly outfits. And yet in that span between the turn-of-the-century tuba blaring from an Edison cylinder and today's synthesized-bass loops heaving from every SUV on the pike, the hypnotic pull of the old-school string bass remains. A musical craft handed down by calloused, bandaged fingers, it wrought a mighty saga of bottom-heavy rhythms that rattled the walls of many a venue and anchored many an historic recording session. Without it, the revolutionary sound of American mongrel music of the last century would have been thin gruel indeed.' - Eddie Dean, from the liner notes.

                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                          Box set Info: Just found one copy of this. First come first served.

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