C or D: Robbie Basho, "Basho Sings"

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What is his voice like? Can anyone give me reference points or descriptors? I'm really into the other record of his I have, though it's one of da all instrumental ones. i am kinda kicking myself for not getting "voice of teh eagle" when i saw it a few months ago.

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Sunday, 18 December 2005 07:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think the "singing" Basho records are ... not so hot. kind of silly, really. and I am usually all in for all kinds of silly. I don't why I can't quite get with the Basho though. As a guitarist he is phenomenal, of course..

reference points / descriptors ? hmm.. maybe like Tim Buckley at his most yodelriffic except with a much thinner / weedier voice..

Stormy Davis (diamond), Sunday, 18 December 2005 07:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

eeeek. a downloader, then, not a buyer?

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Sunday, 18 December 2005 07:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I think Sings, Voice of the Eagle, and that one with the horse on the cover are the only three with singing, if I recall? he made so many great instrumental records that yeah, I'd say pick up the singing ones last, if you want to have everything. I'd definitely be more inclined to pull out one of the Windham Hill records he did before I go to something like Sings...

Stormy Davis (diamond), Sunday, 18 December 2005 07:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

keening banshee wail. i got it for free, though, so i'm not too disappointed.

el sabor de gene (yournullfame), Sunday, 18 December 2005 10:48 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i LOVE LOVE LOVE his singing voice. i have Visions of the Country (from 72 on windam hill) where he sings. it's like a lower, less crazy tim buckley.

jaxon (jaxon), Sunday, 18 December 2005 11:05 (eleven years ago) Permalink

It's more like Tim Buckley meets Tiny Tim (Tiny Tim Buckley?). I enjoy listening to him singing, but I find it hard not to laugh at the same time. Some of that is due to his lyrics though (capitalisations intact) :

"Waiting, in the Warm Golden Rain
The Sweet Silent Reign of the Sun
To come again
Are you ready, My Son
For to ride the Rainbow of His Light?
I am ready, My Father
For to ride this Rainbow of Your Light"

Plus several sections written in Sioux! Actually I love this stuff, but like I say it's for comedy reasons as much as for his amazing playing.

Matt #2 (Matt #2), Sunday, 18 December 2005 13:45 (eleven years ago) Permalink

singing = dud
whistling = CLASSIC!!!!

sweet earth flying (sweet earth flying), Sunday, 18 December 2005 14:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i know people that dig his voice but i can't stand it. and the lyrics do not help matters.

which record of his do you have, ian?

O RLY? (eman), Sunday, 18 December 2005 16:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

falconer's arm, vol. 1.

Special Agent Gene Krupa (orion), Sunday, 18 December 2005 17:01 (eleven years ago) Permalink

there's still other ones to get without his voice, like vol.2 and a couple before that with lotus in the title. his singing is kind of warbling and operatic.

O RLY? (eman), Sunday, 18 December 2005 17:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Venus in Cancer

detoxyDancer (sexyDancer), Sunday, 18 December 2005 19:26 (eleven years ago) Permalink

All Ive heard off it is his version of a song called "Salangadou", and that was a long time ago, but CLASSIC on that alone, says I.

NickB (NickB), Sunday, 18 December 2005 19:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I quite like Robbie Basho's singing. His voice is so rich and old-fashioned, and the lyrics so colourful, self-consciously exotic and bizarre it lends surreal charm to his playing. I've only heard Salanadou from Basho Sings as well, but that is excellent. Fahey rated it as Basho's best album I believe.

Ogmor Roundtrouser (Ogmor Roundtrouser), Monday, 19 December 2005 02:31 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Is it just me or does Basho sound a lot like Diamanda Galas on Salangadou?

I know, right?, Saturday, 12 May 2007 21:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

I LOVE LOVE LOVE his guitar playing. I can still remember finding the Takoma LP of "Seal of the Blue Lotus" and it just totally blew me away, such an incredibly rich tone, the playing is so brave and complex and righteous. His singing voice has its charms and can work well with some melodies, esp. "Salangadou" but in general, I'll always go for instrumental Basho over Basho w vox.

Drew Daniel, Saturday, 12 May 2007 22:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

Venus in Cancer

-- detoxyDancer (sexyDancer), Sunday, 18 December 2005 19:26 (1 year ago)

the reissue of this is great, i hope they have more planned. this album actually has warmed me to his voice somewhat. his singing on 'eagle sails the blue diamond waters' is awesome

am0n, Sunday, 13 May 2007 06:51 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

On iTunes there's a Vanguard Digital Vaults release of an unissued album, "Indian II"

Never seen or heard talk of this, but it seems it surfaced 2006. Downloaded and it's pretty solid Basho, though no highlight. I like that the opening track is a piano number. Still, would be worth Vanguard doing at least an actual, physical, limited release.

matinee, Saturday, 31 May 2008 16:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

I've been thinking without listening to this album for a while now. Very beautiful, strange music.

I know, right?, Sunday, 1 June 2008 22:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

I love how the melodies follow their own tails up surprising directions.

I know, right?, Sunday, 1 June 2008 22:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

unreleased live album?

http://static.boomkat.com/images/130055/333.jpg

Live at the Kulturforum, Bonn, Germany, November 24, 1980

eman, Monday, 13 October 2008 03:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

i remember someone or other on fmu talking about the situation regarding all the live tapes that exist - that they ended up with the, uhh, religious faction that he was involved with towards the end of his life, and that no-one knew where they were, how to get in touch, what was recorded, etc.

schlump, Monday, 13 October 2008 05:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

haha what religious faction was that? i gave this a listen and it's great. possibly the best album i've heard of his.

eman, Monday, 13 October 2008 13:28 (nine years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

listened to basho all day yesterday, it's been a long time since i just played the same records over and over. mostly 'Art of the Acoustic Steel String Guitar 6 & 12' but also some 'Rainbow Thunder'. i like his singing but i do prefer the instrumentals, i feel like his voice overshadows the guitar a bit too much when it comes in

6335, Wednesday, 8 April 2009 14:37 (eight years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

i have all these mislabeled basho mp3s but I've been listening to them over and over that one that's all "on my waaay, Colinda, lord, I'll catch the, westbound train" is slaying me lately.

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Sunday, 13 September 2009 20:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

who is this colinda chick anyway?

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Sunday, 13 September 2009 20:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

i once used a song from 'basho sings' in a skate video and most people really dug it in that context. i suspect most of them really would not have cared for it on its own. maybe basho's ready for the big screen. he'd sure add some intensity to a sequence.

matinee, Sunday, 13 September 2009 21:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

these make a great soundtrack to forrest bess paintings btw

❊❁❄❆❇❃✴❈plaxico❈✴❃❇❆❄❁❊ (I know, right?), Sunday, 13 September 2009 21:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

i've grown to like his vocal albums now except for voice of the eagle which is too cheesy

am0n, Sunday, 13 September 2009 21:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

crazy this is the only basho thread! anyone heard this "new" thing?
http://dustedmagazine.com/reviews/7065
sample sounds gorgeous.

tylerw, Thursday, 12 April 2012 14:52 (five years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

anyone see this? only know video footage of basho posted here:
http://robbiebasho.com/Home_Page.html
cool site overall too.

tylerw, Tuesday, 14 August 2012 17:41 (five years ago) Permalink

Holy smoke, those videos! They seem to confirm what I thought I heard in the music -- there is very little random in his playing -- when improvising, he might surprise the audience, but he seems to know precisely what he's doing at all times. Also his right hand tonal and dynamic control are phenomenal.

Three Word Username, Tuesday, 14 August 2012 19:59 (five years ago) Permalink

amazing! i knew his right hand wld be crazy but it looks so strange: floppy wrist, hand really far away playing loosely at the bridge. incredible to see.

ogmor, Wednesday, 15 August 2012 09:23 (five years ago) Permalink

yeah, the right hand was what was most interesting to me, don't know if i've seen anyone playing like that. hope there's more!

tylerw, Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:30 (five years ago) Permalink

Fuck, this rules! I too like how his right hand kinda curls around the guitar and the way he's almost bent over double so that his ear is right near the sound hole.

Love Basho so much but I've never explored his ouvre much beyond Bashovia and Guitar Soli. Guess I really should buy some more albums! He inspired me to play open tuned exclusively like 10 years ago when I was just starting out on guitar and I'm forever in his debt.

liam fennell, Wednesday, 15 August 2012 16:34 (five years ago) Permalink

Anyway, I am surprised that no one in this thread about Basho's singing mentioned Antony Hegarty.

Three Word Username, Wednesday, 15 August 2012 18:30 (five years ago) Permalink

Well, if people mostly know his singing from the 60s, it's not that much of a surprise, but he got really good through the 70s, and his best vocal tune -- man, wow:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYaGChm8RWw&feature=related

Three Word Username, Thursday, 16 August 2012 06:11 (five years ago) Permalink

holy cats

contenderizer, Thursday, 16 August 2012 06:31 (five years ago) Permalink

afterwards, it ask me if i want to listen to 15 minutes of pharoah sanders "the creator has a master plan"

um, yeah

contenderizer, Thursday, 16 August 2012 06:35 (five years ago) Permalink

I can't see youtubes at work but I really hope that's "Orphan's Lament".

cwkiii, Thursday, 16 August 2012 13:05 (five years ago) Permalink

Nah, it was "Blue Crystal Fire" from one year earlier -- but I do dig Orphan's Lament as well, so here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFjkdjb7WNs

Three Word Username, Thursday, 16 August 2012 14:45 (five years ago) Permalink

Actually, that's from the same record. Best thing Windham Hill ever put out, and it's not Windham Hilly at all.

Three Word Username, Thursday, 16 August 2012 14:46 (five years ago) Permalink

Excellent! Love "Blue Crystal Fire" too...Visions of the Country just kills me; I think it's probably his best record.

cwkiii, Thursday, 16 August 2012 15:13 (five years ago) Permalink

xp liam there have been a few great releases since the comps & Seal of the Blue Lotus reissue. Venus in Cancer has been reissued by tompkins square & is first-class basho imo, features both the tracks in the video footage, a surprisingly amazing piece w/ french horn & some great vocal stuff. bo'weavil also issued a nice live concert from 1980, Bonn ist Supreme, which has lots of good stuff which is otherwise OOP.

i've bitten the bullet and forked out for the reissue of Twilight Peaks which came out earlier this year - http://en.smalltownromanceblog.com/new-robbie-basho-reissue-twilight-peaks/ - some live&unreleased stuff, really good sound & quite a bit slower than versions floating around online, although idk what has gone on w/ the cover art, which imo should have been:

http://www.musikzimmer.ch/pics/covers/albums/20124.jpg

but yeah it's amazing, his technique has improved so much compared to the early recordings & it's an incredibly tender, gentle & calm record, mb my fav basho.

obv all his stuff should be reissued but Basho Sings!, Voice of the Eagle, Visions of the Country, & Rainbow Thunder especially. mb Zarthus too but it seems like his fruitiest record.

something i doubt will be reissued any time soon, at the other end of his career, is this lone track from a takoma comp, The Thousand Incarnations Of The Rose, which is an awesome instance of ambition carrying him through even if the technique is not 100% there & incredibly dramatic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFshZQYmLBY

ogmor, Thursday, 16 August 2012 16:28 (five years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

*listens to robbie basho instrumental song*

"OMG this guy is the greatest of all time"

*robbie basho singing song comes up*

"....oh dear god"

rap game klaus nomi (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 15 October 2012 19:56 (five years ago) Permalink

^ hahahah otm

global tetrahedron, Monday, 15 October 2012 21:36 (five years ago) Permalink

the worst is when it's like a sublime 9 minute track that you think is instrumental but then his vocals kick in around the five minute mark

global tetrahedron, Monday, 15 October 2012 21:37 (five years ago) Permalink

his singing rules fuiud

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJKhHY2OhEQ

(╯︵╰,) RIP (am0n), Monday, 15 October 2012 21:42 (five years ago) Permalink

i'm afraid i will be fu'd in this case

rap game klaus nomi (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 15 October 2012 21:51 (five years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYaGChm8RWw

not loving this does not compute imo

69, Monday, 15 October 2012 22:59 (five years ago) Permalink

the basho documentary is finished; the maker is looking at which festivals to premiere it at.

tessaract3@gmail.com, Thursday, 27 August 2015 20:44 (two years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

RobbieBasho.com
September 9 at 12:16pm · Edited ·
The Basho Renaissance begins! Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho will be screening at the 23rd Raindance Film Festival in London ...
raindancefestival.org

tessaract3@gmail.com, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 16:58 (two years ago) Permalink

tempted to try to go to this, anyone else considering it?

ogmor, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 17:51 (two years ago) Permalink

world premiere will take place on Saturday the 3rd of October at Vue Piccadilly in London.

tessaract3@gmail.com, Tuesday, 15 September 2015 19:31 (two years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

shoulda gotten this already, bummer

Our release of Portrait of Basho as a Young Dragoon has been suspended indefinitely due to the discovery of the original reel-to-reel tapes and the entity claiming ownership of this material. For those who were looking forward to this release, we sincerely apologize.

sleeve, Saturday, 19 December 2015 19:53 (one year ago) Permalink

mysterious entity wants its money

ogmor, Saturday, 19 December 2015 20:04 (one year ago) Permalink

Saw that -- total bummer! The music is incredible.

tylerw, Saturday, 19 December 2015 20:13 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

weirdness! at least they're getting the music out there... kyle and those grasstops guys are super nice, and i'm sure they haven't been doing anything shady with this music. someone must think they're sitting on a Basho goldmine or something.

tylerw, Tuesday, 23 February 2016 20:17 (one year ago) Permalink

I imagine it has something to do with why those Takoma records haven't been reissued. madness.

the 'major tom guy' (sleeve), Tuesday, 23 February 2016 20:19 (one year ago) Permalink

Thanks for the heads up! I love his singing, btw

albvivertine, Tuesday, 23 February 2016 20:22 (one year ago) Permalink

awesome

right now a woman is talking about the rainbow king while robbie "aaaahs" in the background. so good to visit a new bit of bashovia

ogmor, Tuesday, 23 February 2016 20:37 (one year ago) Permalink

lol at THE "PERFECT" CHRISTMAS GIFT!
https://40.media.tumblr.com/f826f2f6e864e10e2e959f7947951b53/tumblr_nxzhxkYfUl1rl3uofo1_500.jpg

tylerw, Tuesday, 23 February 2016 20:56 (one year ago) Permalink

love badly used quotation marks

global tetrahedron, Tuesday, 23 February 2016 21:12 (one year ago) Permalink

this record is sounding pretty solid! had never heard it before.

tylerw, Tuesday, 23 February 2016 21:24 (one year ago) Permalink

weirdness! at least they're getting the music out there... kyle and those grasstops guys are super nice, and i'm sure they haven't been doing anything shady with this music. someone must think they're sitting on a Basho goldmine or something.

― tylerw, Tuesday, February 23, 2016 2:17 PM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

yeah the whole thing is really dumb, grass tops just wants it available

i would say they are making an extremely modest amount if they are making anything doing these projects, they have a put a ton of work into them

uptown garfunkel (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 23 February 2016 22:14 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah, i mean, they're actually putting the work into it all -- getting the best sounding versions they can get, creating nice packages ... i mean, if someone else actually holds the rights to the recordings, they should work something out -- i agree that Basho would probably just want his music heard.

tylerw, Wednesday, 24 February 2016 16:25 (one year ago) Permalink

Is "The Entity" the Meher Baba Trust?

Three Word Username, Wednesday, 24 February 2016 17:12 (one year ago) Permalink

i don't think so

tylerw, Wednesday, 24 February 2016 17:15 (one year ago) Permalink

Why not?

Three Word Username, Wednesday, 24 February 2016 17:23 (one year ago) Permalink

ha well i *know* it's not -- kyle at grass-tops told me who was behind it all, but I don't think it's my place to put it out there in a public forum.

tylerw, Wednesday, 24 February 2016 17:24 (one year ago) Permalink

Fair enough. (I figured you had insider knowledge and understand if you can't spill.)

Three Word Username, Wednesday, 24 February 2016 18:19 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah don't mean to be mysterious, just don't want to potentially make things worse!

tylerw, Wednesday, 24 February 2016 18:24 (one year ago) Permalink

Someone shared this on Facebook and for some reason if put me in mind of Basho, something about the voice/guitar combo, only beamed in from a whole other world/tradition. Anyway, ver nice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7ICTX4MwRY

Chicamaw (Ward Fowler), Sunday, 6 March 2016 23:28 (one year ago) Permalink

more previously unreleased basho up via grass-tops: https://soundcloud.com/grasstopsrecording/robbie-basho-interview-performance-the-coffeehouse-program-wers-boston-ma-71383

tylerw, Monday, 7 March 2016 15:29 (one year ago) Permalink

that bonfa is exquisite, much tidier than basho could ever manage but the romance is there

ogmor, Monday, 7 March 2016 19:19 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

http://www.robbiebasho.com/ the new robbiebasho.com

tessaract3@gmail.com, Friday, 24 June 2016 23:39 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Anyone know if the documentary will get a DVD release? I'm very eager to see it, but it isn't playing anywhere near here I live.

Wimmels, Sunday, 21 August 2016 16:30 (one year ago) Permalink

i bet it'll get on youtube. the fahey one was off-and-on on there for awhile. probably not legal, but could give it a look

global tetrahedron, Sunday, 21 August 2016 16:44 (one year ago) Permalink

Hope so! But would gladly buy a DVD if one became available. I bought the Fahey DVD, and it'd almost have to be better than that.

Anyone see this btw?

Wimmels, Sunday, 21 August 2016 17:18 (one year ago) Permalink

Thanks to this wonderful forum, I have discovered the music of Robbie Basho - one of my favourite discoveries of the past few years. I took Visions of the Country to record club the other night.

https://devonrecordclub.com/2016/09/02/robbie-basho-visions-of-the-country-round-94-toms-selection/

Which album(s) should I get next?

yugi ex, Friday, 2 September 2016 12:02 (one year ago) Permalink

Visions Of The Country is a great one. Basho albums are pretty much divided (somewhat superficially) between vocal albums and instrumental albums. For years the prevailing logic was that the vocal ones were bad and the instrumental ones were good, but I think that consensus has changed a bit in recent years. I was a person who initially couldn't deal with the vocals, but at some point I realized how much a part of Basho's music / imagination / gift his vocals were, and that to truly appreciate him, you had to reckon with the singing (which I now find quite beautiful, though like I said, it took me years to come around). He held nothing back.

If you like Visions of the Country, you'll probably like any other of his vocal albums. Rainbow Thunder is a somewhat obscure one that was recently reissued and iirc this was from the same general period as VFTC.

Not sure you can go wrong with any Basho album though (some here may disagree). Good luck and enjoy the search!

Wimmels, Friday, 2 September 2016 12:35 (one year ago) Permalink

Oh, also, read this! www.elephantjournal.com/2011/07/robbie-basho-was-an-angel-i-dont-believe-he-was-terrestrial-jerome-burdi/

Wimmels, Friday, 2 September 2016 12:36 (one year ago) Permalink

that's a good article, though I think basho was playing steel string before he met fahey (fahey says they were introduced on the basis that they both had 12 strings) and it's worth noting that both his guitar and footage of him playing have turned up since it was published.

you'll probably want to stick to his guitar albums at first (there are some with piano and drumming and so on). the earliest are a bit rough technically but fiery and a lot of fun. I recommend going for his early-mid period where he's marking out his territory and is very much in full bloom, maybe the falconers arm I, venus in cancer or voice of the eagle

ogmor, Friday, 2 September 2016 13:18 (one year ago) Permalink

Thanks for the info. I'll try to find one of those three on vinyl. The other album that seems to be particularly rated is Zanthus...have you heard this one?

yugi ex, Saturday, 3 September 2016 06:45 (one year ago) Permalink

My mistake...Zarthus.

yugi ex, Saturday, 3 September 2016 06:46 (one year ago) Permalink

zarthus is very much basho at his celestial fruitiest, lots of piano etc, will revisit it at some point

ogmor, Saturday, 3 September 2016 09:32 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Shame the Grass-tops label that did the Bouquet reissue seems to have vanished.

Noel Emits, Wednesday, 23 November 2016 22:41 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Apparently closed up earlier in the year. Glad they put out what they did at least.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 24 November 2016 00:05 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Don't have any inside info, but really seemed from afar that this labor of love was cock-blocked at every turn

Wimmels, Thursday, 24 November 2016 00:22 (eleven months ago) Permalink

How would one track done that reissue at this point?

Evan, Thursday, 24 November 2016 03:08 (eleven months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

There will be a showing of the movie "Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho" at Coe College, Cedar Rapids Iowa, at Sinclair Auditorium where Robbie performed in 1978. Admission is free, and it is open to the general public.

tessaract3@gmail.com, Sunday, 5 February 2017 21:37 (nine months ago) Permalink

Time and date of the above movie showing:7:30 Sunday March 19th 2017

tessaract3@gmail.com, Sunday, 5 February 2017 21:39 (nine months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

https://obsoleterecordings.bandcamp.com/album/robbie-basho-live-in-forl-italy-1982

The samples sound great on this one. They're funding a short run vinyl.

andrew m., Tuesday, 23 May 2017 14:53 (five months ago) Permalink

https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a0098279777_16.jpg

great cover

ogmor, Tuesday, 23 May 2017 15:04 (five months ago) Permalink

is he throwing up?

henry s, Tuesday, 23 May 2017 21:58 (five months ago) Permalink

enjoying some fresh rocky mountain creek water

tylerw, Tuesday, 23 May 2017 22:04 (five months ago) Permalink

better to drink fresh rocky mountain creek water from your hands than...

ogmor, Tuesday, 23 May 2017 22:51 (five months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Hey everyone--

Just to let you all know, tessaract3 from this thread passed this morning in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was 67 years old.

As it happens, he was my wife's birth father. He had a rough go of it for many years, but it was neat to see him connect with people over music he loved over the past several years.

(As for me, I'm a San Francisco-based mostly-lurker who's been here for the fifteen years or so.)

fajita seas, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 19:39 (two months ago) Permalink

I'm sorry to hear that. I really love the community that built up around Fahey, Basho & Takoma, always seems to be really good, interesting people

ogmor, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 20:24 (two months ago) Permalink


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