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TOMPKINS SQUARE

Charlie Poole & The Highlanders

The Complete Paramount & Brunswick Recordings, 1929

From 1926 to 1930 one of the most popular rural string bands on record was Charlie Poole & The North Carolina Ramblers. Through their 78 RPM discs and their various performances, Charlie Poole was second only to Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers. Poole's uniquely syncopated three finger banjo picking style coupled with his Piedmont vocal inflections eventually colored and defined much of what we consider "old-time" music. The classic configuration of banjo, fiddle and guitar with vocals was encouraged by the main label that promoted Poole but he also wanted to record instrumentals featuring twin-fiddle and piano. As renaming his group The Highlanders, Poole was able to actualize this musical vision. This collection contains all of the sides that Poole made with Roy Harvey, Lucy Terry, and twin-fiddlers Lonnie Austin & Odell Smith. Remastered in beautiful sound by Christopher King and with notes written by old-time musician and scholar Kinney Rorrer.

Daniel Bachman

Brother Green / Honeysuckle Reel

    Daniel Bachman is a 22 year old musician born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He has been playing what he describes as "psychedelic appalachia" since he was a teenager, releasing small run editions of tapes, CDs and LPs for the past three years, with a sound that evolved from drones and banjos to a now guitar centered focus.

    Touring off and on since the age of 17, Bachman has managed to cover thorough ground across the US, sharing stages with like minded folk such as fellow Fredericksburg native Jack Rose, for whom he fashioned the artwork for the posthumous release of 'Luck In The Valley'.

    His newest effort is the full length LP 'Seven Pines', sprung from a year living and working in the city of Philadelphia. The sound results in a combination of homesick worried blues and the ecstatic buzz of fresh experience and a new life in unknown territory. Familiar and known, but also seeking to access memories from lives past, dead and gone.

    This 7" was available only (until now!) on Bachman's Spring 2013 full US tour. Limited to 500 copies.


    Daniel Bachman

    Jesus I'm A Sinner

      Jesus I'm a Sinner is the 4th LP by Daniel Bachman. The album was recorded in Rappahannock County Virginia at Forrest Marquisee's studio inside his father's woodshop in May of 2013 after spending just around 8 months on the road. The first song Sarah Anne is a song for one of his best friends and sister Sarah Anne Bachman, and is also his first full song for the lap guitar. Honeysuckle Reel is a springtime tune. For that first day when the heat and humidity sets in and the smell of the honeysuckle bloom creeps in your open windows driving. Happy One Step is a guitar/fiddle duet with Sally Morgan of the Black Twig Pickers/The Freight Hoppers. It is a Cajun tune by Dennis McGee. Jesus I'm a Sinner is for cutting loose. Variation on Goose Chase is a version of Virgil Anderson's Goose Chase.

      Although attempted to adapt to the guitar, playing it on the banjo was the only way to keep the feel of the original version. Under the Shade of the Trees has the undertone and drone of the 17 year cicada hatch that hit Virginia summer of 2013. The title is taken from Stonewall Jackson's last words on his deathbed "Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees". Chattanooga is played by Sally Anne Morgan (fiddle) and Charlie Devine (banjo). This version was taken from Blaine Smith. Blenheim is the name of the Latané family's property in Westmorland Co. Virginia. Its a song for good food, drinks and solid company nestled on the banks of the Potomac River. Leaving Istanbul (4 AM) is a frustration song and the feeling of being very tired thousands and thousands of miles away from home.

      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'.

      Entourage

      Ceremony Of Dreams:Studio Sessions & Outtakes, 1972-77

        Sampled by Four Tet, their name whispered in reverence through the decades, Entourage forged bold musical ideas on their two rare ’70s Folkways LPs. Now, collected for the first time, 30 previously unreleased tracks from their archives. Notes by J.D Considine, and by sole surviving Entourage member, guitarist Wall Matthews. 

        Power's self-titled debut, released on Tompkins Square in 2016, received wide praise from UNCUT (9/10, "Masterpiece"), MOJO (4 stars), The Guardian (4 stars), Irish Times (4 stars) and was featured on NPR World Cafe, as well as several BBC programs. 'The Two Worlds' was produced by Peter Broderick and recorded at Analogue Catalogue in County Down, Ireland. Q Magazine listed the album as a "Top Tip" for 2018, stating "(The Two Worlds) is full of droning ballads laced with defiance." The sadly topical first single, "Don't Shut Me Up (Politely)", seems to express what's on the minds of many women right now.

        Tompkins Square's Josh Rosenthal noted on social media, "I don't usually have the opportunity to say something political about the music I put out, but in the case of Brigid Mae Power's new single, I think this song may resonate with any woman who's been gaslit, mansplained to, paid less, bullied, sexually harassed by a C-List celebrity or famous movie producer, had her birth control systematically taken away, or told she had to go to another country or across state lines to get an abortion."

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Power's haunting vocals soar atop a mind-melting psychedelic scree, rich with inferred melody and ambient atmosphere. Rich but subtly nuanced songwriting, beautiful production and a sure-fire future folk classic.

        Rick Deitrick

        River Sun River Moon

          Gentle Wilderness was released as a private press LP in 1978. River Sun River Moon consists of previously unreleased recordings from the same time period. Deitrick came to our attention via Brooks Rice and Michael Klausman, who compiled Imaginational Anthem Vol 8 : The Private Press, which features Rick's "Missy Christa" from Gentle Wilderness. Ohio-born Rick Deitrick took up the guitar at 16 and decided to approach his playing as if he was the only guy on an island and the instrument had just washed ashore one day. According to Rick, “I completely divorced my playing from any formal music knowledge, but it was very important to me to use original tuning. During those years, the sixties/seventies, there was a lot of acoustic guitar playing, often using open tuning as a base. I wanted to create whole tones without de-tuning and keep access to the complex sounds stock tuning provided.” Rick pressed 500 copies of his tranquil solo guitar record, Gentle Wilderness, in 1978 on Niodrara Records, and sold many at performances and directly to music shops who would pay for them. He gave copies to various libraries and left a few albums in the middle of the wilderness, next to trails, “so people would find them.” Rick sought inspiration in nature and in particular the various rivers scattered around the Western United States, often composing songs seated beside them —and even occasionally perched on boulders in them. He never played the songs the same way twice and did two passes on each composition in studio. Rick would sometimes literally come straight out of the mountains and rush to the studio to record the ideas he’d gathered. "Missy Christa" was recorded at Mount Olympus studio in Hollywood and was named after Rick’s daughter; it was originally composed right next to the Big Sur River where he had been camping. Rick currently resides in Los Angeles, “still strumming, waiting for the other shoe to drop.” 

          Rick Deitrick

          Gentle Wilderness

            Gentle Wilderness was released as a private press LP in 1978. River Sun River Moon consists of previously unreleased recordings from the same time period. Deitrick came to our attention via Brooks Rice and Michael Klausman, who compiled Imaginational Anthem Vol 8 : The Private Press, which features Rick's "Missy Christa" from Gentle Wilderness. Ohio-born Rick Deitrick took up the guitar at 16 and decided to approach his playing as if he was the only guy on an island and the instrument had just washed ashore one day. According to Rick, “I completely divorced my playing from any formal music knowledge, but it was very important to me to use original tuning. During those years, the sixties/seventies, there was a lot of acoustic guitar playing, often using open tuning as a base.

            I wanted to create whole tones without de-tuning and keep access to the complex sounds stock tuning provided.” Rick pressed 500 copies of his tranquil solo guitar record, Gentle Wilderness, in 1978 on Niodrara Records, and sold many at performances and directly to music shops who would pay for them. He gave copies to various libraries and left a few albums in the middle of the wilderness, next to trails, “so people would find them.” Rick sought inspiration in nature and in particular the various rivers scattered around the Western United States, often composing songs seated beside them —and even occasionally perched on boulders in them. He never played the songs the same way twice and did two passes on each composition in studio. Rick would sometimes literally come straight out of the mountains and rush to the studio to record the ideas he’d gathered. "Missy Christa" was recorded at Mount Olympus studio in Hollywood and was named after Rick’s daughter; it was originally composed right next to the Big Sur River where he had been camping. Rick currently resides in Los Angeles, “still strumming, waiting for the other shoe to drop.”



            Will Beeley

            Gallivantin'

              Tompkins Square reissue the self-released mega-rare (only 200 copies) private press LP Gallivantin' from 1971. Recorded in San Antonio, Gallivantin' shows Beeley's heartfelt, folky side - a wistful set of original tunes, plus a cover of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" and a spaced-out, 10 minute+ Eastern-influenced psych take on Buffy Sainte-Marie's "Little Wheel Spin & Spin / Co'Dine".

              Now a truck driver living in New Mexico, Will Beeley recently recorded his first new album since 1979's Passing Dream. Produced by Jerry David DeCicca of The Black Swans (who also produced Larry Jon Wilson's final album), the new one features Michael Guerra (The Mavericks), and is mixed by Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose, Cat Power's The Greatest). The album is slated for release on Tompkins Square sometime in 2018.

              Will Beeley

              Passing Dream

                Tompkins Square reissue Passing Dream, originally released by Malaco Records in 1979. Recorded in Jackson, Mississippi, Passing Dream reveals the shifting musical direction of opposite sides of the 70's - a tougher, huskier, more alt-country sound emerging, presaging modern day troubadours like Chris Stapleton and Jamey Johnson. Released by Malaco Records in 1979, the album features the very first studio credit by guitarist Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm), along with drummer James Stroud (Marshall Tucker Band, Eddie Rabbitt), keyboardist Carson Whitsett (Paul Simon, Tony Joe White) and other crack studio players.

                Now a truck driver living in New Mexico, Will Beeley recently recorded his first new album since 1979's Passing Dream. Produced by Jerry David DeCicca of The Black Swans (who also produced Larry Jon Wilson's final album), the new one features Michael Guerra (The Mavericks), and is mixed by Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose, Cat Power's The Greatest). The album is slated for release on Tompkins Square sometime in 2018.

                1975 Private-press LP now remastered from the original tapes. In his own words, today : I was once told that one should first write about one's own experiences, then, expand to documenting the observed experiences of those around, and, finally write about what one imagines. Am I Really Here All Alone?encompasses all of the above. Something else I realized in writing lyrics is that sometimes it is good to be transparent about the meaning and others times, not so much. "Unusual Day" is an example of me being honest struggling to develop and maintain a relationship, but ultimately realizing it was not going to succeed. "Watercolours" documents a crushing experience, but is couched in metaphor. I hope that listeners will relate through their own experiences, and because my reality is implied, not specified, will not be limited to mine. "Sweet Georgia" is an example of me, as a writer, leaving my personal space. I think of it as an attempt to clone William Faulkner to Bobbie Gentry. "The Magic Within You" is actually a commission where I was asked to write a song for a benefit to be performed by Doug Henning, the groundbreaking stage magician and friend. I once heard John Prine complain that there was no point in writing a 'train song' because Steve Goodman had already written the perfect one with "City of New Orleans". Naturally, I had to write "Back Home, To You", my idea of a train song where I tried to capture the movement of the train in the rhythm of the guitar. As for the other six songs, to me, they all reflect realities, experienced, observed and imagined. Descartes said, "I think, therefore I am." However my question is, "Am I Really Here All Alone?" -Philip Lewin, 2017 

                First-generation American Primitive guitarist Richard Osborn studied with Robbie Basho in the late 60's. 40 years later, Osborn finally recorded, appearing on Tompkins Square's 'Beyond Berkeley Guitar' comp in 2010. 'Endless' is his first widely available solo guitar album. "[Osborn has] an unhurried, quiet spirit of adventure, a love of ringing strings and slowly revelatory meditations on the natural world."- Acoustic Guitar "He's a student of mine and he's better technically than me or Fahey." - Robbie Basho

                8th volume of the acclaimed acoustic guitar series focuses on impossibly rare private press recordings 1968-1995. the guy who taught Bob Dylan how to fingerpick. A sitar gifted by Jimi Hendrix. Among other obscure tales. .Since 2005, the series has revived interest in old masters of the genre while also giving many folks their very first taste of artists like William Tyler, Steve Gunn, Chris Forsyth or Daniel Bachman. Volume 8, compiled by hardcore record collectors Michael Klausman (former used LP buyer for NYC's recently shuttered Other Music) and Brooks Rice, features some of the best and most obscure private press guitar records virtually no one has heard. In fact, so-called guitar soli expert, Tompkins Square owner Josh Rosenthal, had never heard of a single artist on the comp (except for Perry Lederman, whose track was Josh's sole contribution to the collection). "Just goes to show what a bottomless pit music discovery from the past continues to be. There's just no end to all the riches from past decades." Amidst the obscure entries are bits of rock-star lore; Joe Bethancourt was supposedly given a sitar by an admiring Jimi Hendrix, and Perry Lederman was reportedly responsible for teaching Bob Dylan how to fingerpick. But the true joy of this collection is derived from discovering incredible acoustic guitar performances completely lost to time. Until now. 

                The first legit reissues of these rare, stellar LP's by DC-based singer/songwriter Bob Brown. Richie Havens took Bob under his wing, produced both albums, and released them on his Stormy Forest label distributed by MGM. Although they failed to make a commercial impact at the time, cosmic-folk enthusiasts and vinyl-heads have long placed these albums in high esteem alongside the works of exploratory greats like Tim Hardin and Tim Buckley. 

                The first legit reissues of these rare, stellar LP's by DC-based singer/songwriter Bob Brown. Richie Havens took Bob under his wing, produced both albums, and released them on his Stormy Forest label distributed by MGM. Although they failed to make a commercial impact at the time, cosmic-folk enthusiasts and vinyl-heads have long placed these albums in high esteem alongside the works of exploratory greats like Tim Hardin and Tim Buckley. 

                Kid Millions Reworks Harry Taussig

                Beyond The Confession

                  Kid Millions is a musician, composer and writer best known as the drummer and founder of Brooklyn's experimental rock behemoth Oneida. For the last twenty years, Millions has been at the forefront of the NYC experimental music community collaborating with artists as varied as Laurie Anderson, Yo La Tengo, Boredoms, So Percussion and William Basinski. Enter his album-length conversation with the recordings of the unjustly obscure guitarist Harry Taussig, whose 1965 private-press album Fate Is Only Once was reissued by Tompkins Square in 2006. This strange gem was followed by two new Taussig recordings - Fate Is Only Twice(2012) and The Diamond of Lost Alphabets (2014). Tompkins Square proposed that Millions take this raw material and fashion something completely new. Millions took the material up to Kingston NY and through working with his engineer Matthew Cullen emerged with an album of rare beauty in keeping with the spirit of Taussig's work while suggesting directions previously unexplored in his oeuvre. To create this new work, Millions and Cullen overdubbed guitars, drums and organs onto the original tracks and sent the material into other damaged psychedelic dimensions only hinted at in the original works. Millions writes in the liner notes, "[Taussig is] not slavishly attended to technique but we also don't feel any boundaries to his expression. One of his classic tunes is subtitled "Fantasia in A" and in a way this term is a perfect label for his entire oeuvre. A fantasia is an improvisation that touches on many themes and styles. Some of his songs are very tight and tidy and I was drawn to some of them. But I also wanted to stretch these moments of loose revelation and turn a spotlight on Taussig's generous search." We're left with a kind of revelation - a so-called "remix" album which can actually stand on its own and illuminate both artists' work.

                  Michael Chapman

                  Fish

                    In recent years, the revered British guitarist and songwriter has seen his classic Harvest records from the 70's reissued by Light In the Attic, and he's toured with Bill Callahan, Kurt Vile, Thurston Moore and Bonnie "Prince" Billy. On the eve of the Fully Qualified Survivor's 75th birthday, 'Fish' finds Chapman vital as ever. Tompkins Square also released Chapman's 2010 double CD 'Trainsong : Guitar Compositions 1967-2010' and a tribute album, 'Oh Michael, Look What You've Done : Friends Play Michael Chapman' featuring Hiss Golden Messenger, William Tyler, Lucinda Williams and Thurston Moore among others.

                    "The footnotes and legends that line Chapman's 40-year career are the stuff of thick biographies and fireside storytelling sessions." – PITCHFORK 

                    Karen Dalton (1937-1993) recorded two studio albums during her lifetime, neither of which contain any songs she wrote. By the good graces of legendary guitarist Peter Walker, who oversees Karen's Estate, we are gifted with these lost lyrics, now given voice by other great women of song. 

                    In celebration of the centenary of Louis Feuillade’s Fantômas silent film series, James Blackshaw was invited by Yann Tiersen to perform a live score to the fifth and final film, Le Faux Magistrat, at the beautiful and prestigious surroundings of the Théâtre de Châtelet, Paris on October 31st 2013.Fantômas – a master of disguise and symbol of terror – is one of the most popular characters in French crime fiction, as well as a favourite with the avant-garde, particularly the surrealists.Tim Hecker, Amiina, Yann Tiersen and Loney Dear also performed during the event (which was broadcast live on the European ARTE channel) each bringing their own unique sonic perspective to the other installments in the series.Written during the course of a few months, Blackshaw drew influences from French impressionist composers, Brazillian guitar music, musique concrete and the works of other film composer such as David Shire and Pino Donaggio, to create a noirish score that is in turns sinister, quietly profound and thrilling.Personally invited by James Blackshaw, experimental musicians Duane Pitre and Simon Scott (also of Slowdive) contributed drums, electronics, synth, bowed guitar, bass and more to Blackshaw’s nylon string guitar and grand piano, with multi-instrumentalist Charlotte Glasson adding violin, vibraphone and several wind instruments to the 75 minute long work.

                    The essential contemporary guitar anthology series continues. Since 2005, Tompkins Square label's 'Imaginational Anthem' compilations have featured some of the greatest acoustic guitarists in the world, with recordings spanning five decades. More than mere samplers, these albums have served as state-of-the-art dispatches from the front lines of the art form. The first three volumes, available as a low-priced box set, intermingled generations of American Primitive players - lost, forgotten masters next to contemporary players. Volume 4 saw a departure from that formula, featuring only new jack players. Volume 5, available November 13, also features the current crop of younger players, but with a twist. This is the first volume not compiled by Tompkins Square's Josh Rosenthal. Instead, he recruited guitarist Sam Moss. "I felt I'd exhausted most of the older guys I wanted to dig up, and I wasn't hearing that much new guitar that I really liked. I sensed that Sam knew what was going on." The result is a gorgeous panoramic view of contemporary guitar, full of agile finger-style, and a few jagged detours.

                    Tyler Ramsey (Band Of Horses)

                    Raven Shadow / Black Pines

                    Two unreleased acoustic instrumental tracks from Tyler Ramsey (Band of Horses) on 78 rpm 10" vinyl. Ramsey is doing double Black Friday duty and can also be heard on 'Imaginational Anthem vol 4' on Tompkins Square.

                    "Imaginational Anthem Vols. 1-3" brings together all three volumes of the essential acoustic guitar series. Released in October 2005, "Imaginational Anthem" was featured on NPR's All Things Considered, and received 4 stars from Uncut ('Entrancing'), All Music Guide ('Masterful') and Mojo ('Groundbreaking'). Rolling Stone's David Fricke wrote, 'The history and beauty here speaks for themselves, at the perfect volume'. Jon Pareles wrote in The New York Times, 'Old and new, the music meditates on blues, Appalachian music, raga and ragtime, and traditions are transfigured by a deep love for the sonority of the acoustic guitar.' Released in June 2006, "Imaginational Anthem Volume 2" opened with the gorgeous "River of Heaven" by Tompkins Square recording artist James Blackshaw, and featured unreleased recordings by legends such as Michael Chapman, Fred Gerlach, Billy Faier, Peter Lang, and Robbie Basho. The album was supported by a national Arthur Magazine-sponsored U.S. tour with Blackshaw, Sharron Kraus and Sean Smith. Pitchfork wrote, '(IA2) pairs some of the leading lights of the current avant-folk subculture with unearthed vintage folk rarities.'

                    Released in October 2005, "Imaginational Anthem Volume One" featured two generations of important acoustic guitarists, from John Fahey and Sandy Bull to Jack Rose and Kaki King. Volume Two expands and builds on this theme with 70+ more minutes of guitar magic. 23-year old UK 12-string upstart James Blackshaw opens the record, while the late master Robbie Basho, a clear influence on Blackshaw's style, closes it. Basho's track is the only live recording by this groundbreaking guitarist ever released. Riches abound with new recordings by former Takoma roster alumni Peter Lang (who made an album with John Fahey and Leo Kottke), Billy Faier (an original Greenwich Village folkie who's late 50s Riverside records inspired a fellow crack banjo player, Steve Martin) and an archival home recording by Fred Gerlach (a favorite of Jimmy Page). The new breed is well-represented by fascinating figures of today - Smith, Christina Carter, Jesse Sparhawk, Sharron Kraus, Jack Rose and James Blackshaw. Legendary singer/songwriter Michael Chapman, whose first albums for the Harvest label in the 60s are now seeing the light again, contributes as well.


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