S/D: Tompkins Square Records

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Cannot believe this fantastic label doesn't have a thread yet. I'm still digging, but here's what I've discovered and been spinning to date. No doubt there is more amazing stuff on the label, if you have any pointers or praise, let's hear it!!

Imaginational Anthem parts I-IV :: thoroughly engaging folk/weird/experimental/etc. guitar sets from old and new faces, i've discovered a bunch of amazing players just spinning these over and over.

Shawn David McMillen - Catfish :: Charalambides/Jandek collaborator from Austin TX, very good.

James Blackshaw - everything :: tough to pick a favorite he's got so many great albums. the Sunshrine repressing is lovely (originally on Digitalis), Litany of Echoes is amazing, The Cloud of Unknowing probably the most consistent... but i like them all.

Tim Buckley - Live At The Folklore Center, NYC - March 6,1967 :: amazing, intimate sounding live set from '67 with a handful of songs that never saw release on his studio albums

Fire In My Bones: Raw + Rare + Otherworldly African-American Gospel 1944-2007 :: 3 discs packed with incredible gospel/soul finds, free of pretension and commercial considerations, put together by Mik3 McGon1gal of YETI magazine.

This May Be My Last Time Singing: Raw African-American Gospel on 45RPM 1957-1982 :: sequel to the above comp.... nuff said.

People Take Warning ! Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs, 1913-1938 :: folk songs from the Great Depression era. still just starting to play this one, it's fresh...

William Tyler - Behold The Spirit :: flat out incredible guitarist's debut album (as far as i know) is waaaaayy better than it has any right to be.

Michael Chapman - Trainsong: Guitar Compositions, 1967-2010 :: 2 disc retrospective from a nearly forgotten guitarist. thanks for the heads up Thurston..!

ilxor, Monday, 11 June 2012 05:13 (seven years ago) link

fire in my bones is incredible

polyphonic, Monday, 11 June 2012 05:20 (seven years ago) link

To What Strange Place : The Music Of The Ottoman-American Diaspora, 1916-1929

Before the Golden Age of Americana on Record, immigrants from the dissolving Ottoman Empire were singing their joys and sorrows to disc in New York City. The virtuosic musicians from Anatolia, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Levant living in the U.S. who recorded between WWI and the Depression are presented here across two discs, along with a third disc of masterpieces they imported as memories on shellac-and-stone. The intermingled lives and musics of Christians, Jews, and Muslims represent Middle Eastern culture as it existed within the U.S. a century ago.

A fascinating, new view of American Folk Music. Compiled by IAN NAGOSKI. Designed by Susan Archie.

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Monday, 11 June 2012 06:13 (seven years ago) link

really a great label! those imaginational anthem things are fantastic.

tylerw, Monday, 11 June 2012 15:03 (seven years ago) link

they reissued Harry Taussig's "Fate Is Only Once" which is a FANTASTIC acoustic guitar record.
william tyler has a track on the recent three-lobed comp, "Eight Trails, One Path" and it's stellar. He also re-issues records via his label Sebastian Speaks. great dude doing god's work.

one dis leads to another (ian), Monday, 11 June 2012 15:10 (seven years ago) link

William Tyler - Behold The Spirit :: flat out incredible guitarist's debut album (as far as i know) is waaaaayy better than it has any right to be.

^^listening now this is amazing

wack nerd zinging in the dead of night (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 11 June 2012 20:11 (seven years ago) link

yeah he is a great player -- i want more!

tylerw, Monday, 11 June 2012 20:17 (seven years ago) link

mentioned on the takoma thread, but the forthcoming mark fosson thing T Sq. is putting out is amaaaaazing. www.fretboardjournal.com/audio/mark-fosson-digging-dust-exclusive-stream
and the Michael Chapman trib they just put out is pretty solid as far as tributes go. bridget st. john track is a+++++++++. they need to put out one of her albums. she sounds better than ever.

tylerw, Monday, 11 June 2012 20:25 (seven years ago) link

i have to admit i find a lot of these post-fahey guitarists pretty snoozeworthy. and michael chapman just doesn't really do anything for me. but taste is taste.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 11 June 2012 22:03 (seven years ago) link

huh would've thought michael chapman would be right up your alley. and i know what you mean about some post-Fahey guitarists -- that's sort of what I think when I get another one of these Imaginational Anthem comps, but I always end up enjoying the hell out of them. guess it's some kind of musical comfort food for me at this point.

tylerw, Monday, 11 June 2012 22:09 (seven years ago) link

there's something too tasteful about chapman, or maybe it's just that few of his compositions engage me.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Monday, 11 June 2012 22:12 (seven years ago) link

Tim Buckley - Live At The Folklore Center, NYC - March 6,1967 :: amazing, intimate sounding live set from '67 with a handful of songs that never saw release on his studio albums

i realize i am replying to my own post here, but was playing this again today and HOLY SHIT it is so so so good

ilxor, Tuesday, 12 June 2012 03:44 (seven years ago) link

first thing in the thread shouldve been


am0n, Tuesday, 12 June 2012 14:29 (seven years ago) link

I would really like my own copy of that.

Trip Maker, Tuesday, 12 June 2012 14:47 (seven years ago) link

haaa, that record is great. that cover is something else.

tylerw, Tuesday, 12 June 2012 14:51 (seven years ago) link


am0n, Tuesday, 12 June 2012 18:18 (seven years ago) link

five months pass...

The new collection of old-time music on Tompkins Square is really, really fantastic. I have a predisposition to love this music and had known a lot of the stuff beforehand but the selections and sequencing are impeccable. 19 previously unreissued sides including some really great stuff i had not heard before. great liner notes & a good story behind how the collection came to be as well. I think my one quibble is that their choice of an Alfred Karnes tune would not have been mine. I think some of his other sides are much better than "Where We'll Never Grow Old." But that's just my nitpick.


i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Monday, 3 December 2012 16:59 (seven years ago) link

New Harry Taussig album on tompkins square is one of my favorites of the year

U.S. State Department, Office of Rare Psych (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 3 December 2012 17:03 (seven years ago) link

yeah! i like that album. you checked out the daniel bachman record yet? totally killer.
and the work hard thing is wonderful too. the two-part train thing is my favorite, kind of dreamy.

tylerw, Monday, 3 December 2012 17:08 (seven years ago) link

the daniel bachman reacord is really nice, yeah!

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Monday, 3 December 2012 17:57 (seven years ago) link

i think my fave thing on the work hard set that i had not heard before was bill chitwood's 'fourth of july at the county fair.' amazing song.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Monday, 3 December 2012 17:57 (seven years ago) link

btw guys i was thinking of making some catch-all thread basically like "New Albums That Would Appeal to ppl that post in the Takoma Obscurities" thread, do you think that's a good idea? would be nice to have one thread to go to

U.S. State Department, Office of Rare Psych (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 3 December 2012 17:59 (seven years ago) link

would post in that thread.

tylerw, Monday, 3 December 2012 18:04 (seven years ago) link

cool i'll do it later today cuz i just bought a new record that is great & in this vein but wouldn't fit in the takoma or tompkin's square threadzzzz

U.S. State Department, Office of Rare Psych (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 3 December 2012 18:06 (seven years ago) link

at first i thought the daniel bachman record was plain and 'tasteful' musicianship and now it's solid and good.

j., Monday, 3 December 2012 19:55 (seven years ago) link

Daniel Bachman is something like 22 years old. He talked about how much work he still has to do to be "great", but to me it is pretty astounding how good he already is.

grandavis, Monday, 3 December 2012 20:04 (seven years ago) link

yeah i kind of had the same reaction as j. to the bachman record at first -- "oh another dude doing *this*" but it's been a record i've played every other day for the past three months or something. and yeah, nuts that he's just 22.

tylerw, Monday, 3 December 2012 20:07 (seven years ago) link

great FMU set up here: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Daniel_Bachman/Live_at_WFMU_on_Irene_Trudels_Show_on_March_26_2012

tylerw, Monday, 3 December 2012 20:08 (seven years ago) link

at this point i think it's at least that he gives you enough music to be inside of for a while. the arrangements are very thick, the songs shift slowly over time and go places.

but yeah, 22, and dude doesn't even seem that into 'being a (working) musician'.

j., Monday, 3 December 2012 20:37 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, the first song "Untitled" in that WFMU set covers all kinds of cool territory. I am no completist on the solo guitar front, but generally "the more the merrier" if the players can achieve results this good.

I think the dude has a healthy relationship to music, i.e., respects it as a craft and is trying to achieve on a high level, but doesn't imagine that this is going to make him a living. Which it won't really.

grandavis, Monday, 3 December 2012 20:41 (seven years ago) link

here's hoping he doesn't get his hand cut off in an industrial mishap or something.

j., Monday, 3 December 2012 20:45 (seven years ago) link

i'm a zydeco neophyte but nevertheless loved their amede ardoin comp.


fennel cartwright, Monday, 3 December 2012 21:12 (seven years ago) link

Joining in to say I'd post in a Takoma fanboy thread but the Takoma obscurities thread/this one kind of work too so I dunno

global tetrahedron, Tuesday, 4 December 2012 16:49 (seven years ago) link

just saw this thread for the first time! we were talking about some of these (Fire In My Bonees + People Take Warning) in I think in an Anthology of American Folk Music thread -- i love this stuff so much. i used tons of it when i was teaching american history. (folkways has a lot of great stuff that i think is comparable too)

Mordy, Tuesday, 18 December 2012 03:43 (seven years ago) link

did anyone else catch james blackshaw's twitter rant on what a shitty label this supposedly is? anyway, he's deleted it all by now so i guess they finally paid him.

sonderangerbot, Tuesday, 18 December 2012 22:21 (seven years ago) link

hey guys i ended up creating the thread for talking about new stuff in this vein that isn't strictly tied to takoma or tompkin's square, join in!

Revolt of the ILX Brigade: New Post-Fahey Folk For PPL that post in the Takoma & Tompkin's Square Threads

Andrew WKRP (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 18 December 2012 22:27 (seven years ago) link

too bad that there's bad blood betw. blackshaw and tompkins! can't imagine anyone is getting insanely rich over this stuff, so hopefully it was just a misunderstanding.

tylerw, Tuesday, 18 December 2012 22:30 (seven years ago) link

lol @ niche musicians expecting much in the way of monetary rewards

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:04 (seven years ago) link

five months pass...

idgi, no guitar in this photo.
tbh, you're more likely to hear drummers than guitarists at tompkins sq pk

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Wednesday, 29 May 2013 00:09 (six years ago) link

i like just kind of hanging out near dog parks, watchin the dogs, getting dog envy.

flesh, the devil, and a wolf (wolf) (amateurist), Wednesday, 29 May 2013 00:20 (six years ago) link

ten months pass...

2013 Daniel bachman album is A+, thanks for pointing me to it ILX!

We hugged with no names exchanged (forksclovetofu), Thursday, 3 April 2014 16:38 (six years ago) link

three months pass...

George "Smoke" Dawson played banjo in MacGrundy's Old-Timey Wool Thumpers with Peter Stampfel (later of Holy Modal Rounders) in 1960, lived for years at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, and roamed around the US as an itinerant bagpipe and fiddle player for decades. His life is laced with small triumphs, and lots of tragedy. But he's still with us. Tompkins Square reissues his only album, a remarkable 1971 private press LP, on August 19th, 2014. LP/CD/DL

Excerpted notes by reissue producer / Tompkins Square label owner Josh Rosenthal :

I was doing some research for a box set of music recorded at Caffe Lena, the hallowed folk music venue located in Saratoga Springs, NY, when I came upon a photograph of a musician I didn't recognize. He looked like a sixth member of The Band - a handsome fiddler with wax moustache, goatee, black Western hat. There was a traditional air to him, a seriousness, but there was also something wild there. I needed to know who he was, and everything about him. The producers told me his name was Smoke Dawson, and they had tape on him. We listened, and his live version of "Devil's Dream" made it onto the box set. Then I started digging. I found a 1996 blog post from someone named Oliver Seeler, who claimed to have recorded a solo album by Dawson in 1971. I called the number on the site, not expecting much from an 18 year old blog post. But he picked up. He gave me background on the record. And, he gave me Smoke Dawson's phone number . . .

CD : TSQ 5036 / LP : TSQ 5043
Distributed BY INgrooves in NA, Cargo UK for Europe



dow, Friday, 11 July 2014 22:17 (five years ago) link

Live album features Simon Scott (Slowdive), Duane Pitre

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.

Available worldwide July 8th
CD : TSQ 5012 / 2LP : TSQ 5029
Digitally Distributed Worldwide by INgrooves
Distributed by INgrooves for North America, Cargo UK for Europe, Rocket for Australia

James Blackshaw on Tompkins Square :
The Cloud Of Unknowing - TSQ 1967
Litany Of Echoes - TSQ 1738
Lost Prayers & Motionless Dances - TSQ 1851
Celeste - TSQ 1837
Sunshrine - TSQ 1844

dow, Friday, 11 July 2014 22:19 (five years ago) link

Better late than never:

Produced by M.C. Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger). Featuring members of Hiss Golden Messenger and Megafaun

"Alice Gerrard has one of those voices that harkens back to the likes of Sara and Maybelle. She is the real deal with the right stuff and hasn't forgotten where country music came from."
- Emmylou Harris (June, 2014)

** Alice Gerrard turns 80 tomorrow, July 8 ! **

The trailblazing folksinger famously collaborated with Hazel Dickens. Their classic recordings for Folkways and Rounder in the '60's and 70's "rank among the most influential recordings in folk music history," (All Music Guide), and laid the groundwork for many artists, especially female bluegrass and folk musicians.

'Follow The Music' features traditional tunes and original songs by Alice, produced by Hiss Golden Messenger's M.C. Taylor, and features members of Hiss Golden Messenger and Megafaun. Available on LP/CD/DL via Tompkins Square, September 30th, 2014.

Hear / post a track from 'Follow The Music' - "Boll Weevil"

dow, Saturday, 12 July 2014 20:57 (five years ago) link

smoke dawson LP is sounding pretty wonderful...

tylerw, Saturday, 12 July 2014 21:15 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

Nice vinyl sale & streams:

Smoke Dawson's 1971 private press LP "Fiddle" released today on LP/CD/DL !

George "Smoke" Dawson played banjo in MacGrundy's Old-Timey Wool Thumpers with Peter Stampfel (later of Holy Modal Rounders) in 1960, lived for years at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs, NY, and roamed around the US as an itinerant bagpipe and fiddle player for decades. His life is laced with small triumphs, and tragedy. Our reissue of his lone 1971 solo album, 'Fiddle', is out now.

To celebrate this release (and make you feel a little better about the end of summer) we're throwing a 25% OFF all VINYL sale. Now Thru August 31, buy two or more LP's off our site, we'll paypal you back the discount. Every purchase of Smoke Dawson will automatically be entered to win a signed copy (pictured below), of which there are only two in the Universe.

Sample our music via Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/tompkinssquare

dow, Wednesday, 20 August 2014 22:51 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

Loving that Smoke opener and a couple more; will have to adjust to others (used to more of a combo w this kind of instrumental music). This just in:

'Get In Union : Bessie Jones with the Georgia Sea Island Singers and Others' - 2CD set out on Tompkins Square, October 28th

* Produced by Grammy-nominated Curator of the Alan Lomax Archive, Nathan Salsburg
* Features 26 previously unreleased tracks. Unheard collaborations with Rev. Gary Davis, Sweet Papa Stovepipe, Mable Hillery, and others.
* Remastered from Lomax's original tapes

Bessie Jones was one of the most popular performers on the 1960s and '70s folk circuit, appearing-usually at the helm of the Georgia Sea Island Singers-at colleges, festivals, the Poor People's March on Washington, and Jimmy Carter's inauguration. "Get In Union" is a collection of her classic recordings with the Singers, combined with many previously unavailable solo and small-group performances captured by Alan Lomax between 1959 and 1966.

Alan Lomax first visited the Georgia Sea Island of St. Simons in June of 1935 with folklorist Mary Elizabeth Barnicle and author Zora Neale Hurston. There they met the remarkable Spiritual Singers Society of Coastal Georgia, as the group was then called, and recorded several hours of their songs and dances for the Library of Congress. Returning 25 years later, Lomax found that the Singers were still active, and had been enriched by the addition of Bessie Jones, a South Georgia native with a massive collection of songs going back to the slavery era. Over the next several years, Lomax and Jones worked together to present, promote, and teach Southern black folk song across the country, from nightclubs to elementary schools. "Get In Union" features freshly remastered audio from 24-bit digital transfers of Lomax's original tapes and notes by the Alan Lomax Archive's Nathan Salsburg and Anna Lomax Wood, who accompanied her father on his 1960 recordings of Bessie Jones and the Georgia Sea Island Singers.

HEAR / SHARE a track: https://soundcloud.com/tompkinssquare/get-in-union

Get In Union : Bessie Jones With The Georgia Sea Island Singers and Others
TSQ 5074 2CD Set Available October 28th on Tompkins Square
Distributed in NA by INgrooves. Cargo UK for Europe. Planet for Australia.

Recent : Smoke Dawson 'Fiddle' / Alice Gerrard 'Follow The Music' / James Blackshaw 'Fantomas : Le Faux Magistrat

dow, Wednesday, 1 October 2014 21:38 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

Tompkins Square To Release 'When I Reach That Heavenly Shore : Unearthly Black Gospel, 1926-1936' 3CD/3LP Set, DECEMBER 9th, 2014
Produced by 7-Time Grammy nominee Christopher King

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 there 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 Grammy-nominated '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'.
Stream/Post track from Soundcloud:

dow, Monday, 3 November 2014 21:58 (five years ago) link

god bless tompkins square.

tylerw, Monday, 3 November 2014 22:00 (five years ago) link

Listening to this Lewin LP, it's pretty great


Dinsdale, Friday, 24 February 2017 21:11 (three years ago) link

You know, it's weird: I always though this was a pretty good / above average psych folk record, but then I heard the far-less loved follow up, Diamond Love and it was way more my speed. Totally different vibe (more cocaine-and-jacuzzi / real people than stoned / pensive), an entirely different mood. If you have any interest whatsoever in that style, it's worth finding!

Wimmels, Friday, 24 February 2017 22:22 (three years ago) link

yeah, i just had a friend tell me the same thing -- kinda more of a full-band boogie thing?
i like the one Tompkins just released, though (though occasionally that noodly lead guitar action wears thin).

tylerw, Friday, 24 February 2017 22:29 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Good news about this guy today:

Legendary guitarist Harvey "The Snake" Mandel (Canned Heat, John Mayall, Rolling Stones) has had quite a week in support of his new album, Snake Pit. His MOJO interview just hit, he was featured on NPR World Cafe, he announced a show in Chicago with Ryley Walker's crew backing him up (May 13th, Martyr's), and today is his BIRTHDAY !

Tompkins Square's Josh Rosenthal wrote about Harvey in honor of his 70th birthday two years ago.http://www.aquariumdrunkard.com/2015/03/11/harvey-mandel-an-appreciation-on-his-70th-birthday/ A couple of things have changed since then - Harvey is presently cancer-free, and Tompkins Square released Snake Pit, his most acclaimed new album in decades.

BUY 'Snake Pit' on LP/CD

"Mandel's trademark sound is as supple and searing as molten steel" - DOWNBEAT Editor's Pick
"A storming return to the fray" - MOJO, 4 Stars
"True musical heroes are hard to find, and Snake Pit could be the album that finally gets Mandel his due as a top-shelf guitar savior" - CHICAGO READER

Snake Pit - TSQ 5296 CD / TSQ 5302 LP - Tompkins Square is distributed by INgrooves and Revolver in NA, Cargo UK for Europe

dow, Monday, 13 March 2017 19:52 (three years ago) link

wait rolling stones? when?

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 13 March 2017 21:07 (three years ago) link

ha, i think he auditioned in the mid 70s (and maybe plays on a track on Black and Blue?)

tylerw, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:24 (three years ago) link

looked it up, yeah he plays on "hot stuff" and "memory motel"

tylerw, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:26 (three years ago) link

Yeah---Wood wasn't totally settled in, so they also had Mandel and Wayne Perkins and maybe some others.

dow, Monday, 13 March 2017 21:26 (three years ago) link

A Weekly Sale from Tompkins Square

Each Friday, we select 4 titles from our deep catalog under a theme, and they're 5 bucks each. Sometimes CD, sometimes vinyl. The only catch is you gotta buy all four, which is still a pretty good deal.

Inevitably, when we do a limited edition piece, we wind up with a few extra boxes around the ol' HQ. Here's what's on offer this week ! :

Roscoe Holcomb - San Diego Folk Festival 1972 - Vinyl LP
Michael Hurley - 78rpm 10" vinyl
Dillard Chandler - The End of An Old Song - Vinyl LP
Tyler Ramsey (of Band of Horses) - 78rpm 10" vinyl

For all 4 items above, paypal $20 directly to :
orders at tompkins square dot com
For Canada, add $25
For the rest of the world, add $35

The deal is good til next Friday, when we'll pick another four titles for you.

removed from the rain drops and drop tops of experience (ulysses), Friday, 17 March 2017 18:36 (three years ago) link

Brigid Mae Power is releasing some new stuff (not on Tompkins Square, but her album from last year was so good I figured i'd post it here nonetheless)


nomar, Saturday, 18 March 2017 20:28 (three years ago) link

5ive Dollar Fridays ! A Weekly Sale from Tompkins Square

This Week : A Salute to Harry Taussig

Today (March 31) is pioneering American Primitive Guitarist Harry Taussig's 76th birthday !

He released a private press LP in 1965, Fate Is Only Once, reissued by Tompkins Square in 2006, and has recorded three more albums for the label. Harry was also honored with a recent tribute/remix album by Oneida drummer Kid Millions.

Tompkins Square will release a new Taussig/Max Ochs joint LP, out May 26th, to mark the 50th Anniversary of Contemporary Guitar, Spring '67, a Takoma sampler which featured Max, Harry, Bukka White, Robbie Basho and John Fahey. Harry will also play select dates with Max on the West Coast in support of the new release !
More on that new LP and tour here.

Meanwhile, we celebrate Harry's birthday with a sale (see label site; it's his stuff and other)

dow, Friday, 31 March 2017 19:42 (three years ago) link

You did what you could back then:


Tompkins Square's recent double-LP, Imaginational Anthem vol. 8 : The Private Press, shed light on forgotten, impossibly rare guitar recordings spanning several decades. Tom Armstrong's The Sky Is An Empty Eye is the first of several reissues planned by Tompkins Square of full albums by artists featured on IA8.

Armstrong's self-released LP from 1987 sports blissed out acoustic numbers like the one featured on IA8, along with some electric workouts and even a deep psych vocal tune.

In his own words, today

..."In 1984 I was offered a half partnership in an engineering firm in Dallas, so I moved to Texas. Made a big pile of money. My wife bought me a Tascam 4 track recorder for my birthday, I went crazy with it. Recorded a bunch of melodies that had been rattling around my brain since I was 8 years old. Liked what I heard, decided to make an LP.

"It wasn't too hard to track down a studio to master my 4 tracks. By this time I was an old hand at graphic design for promotional material, so I designed the cover myself.

"Handed the albums out to business associates, as promotional material for other business interests, at a drunken open mike at a bar in Pinos Altos, NM."

Ned Raggett, Monday, 3 April 2017 17:19 (three years ago) link

That was one of my favorite tunes n IA8 and that LP's been on my Discogs wantlist since I heard that comp, so I'm happy about this one

Wimmels, Monday, 3 April 2017 19:23 (three years ago) link

yeahhhh love that one ...

tylerw, Monday, 3 April 2017 19:24 (three years ago) link

This is quite the reminder---I def need to get Vols. 1 and 2, for inst.

Each Friday, we select 4 titles from our deep catalog under a theme, and they're 5 bucks each. Sometimes CD, sometimes vinyl. The only catch is you gotta buy all four, which is still a pretty good deal.

This week, we announced our reissue of Tom Armstrong's rare 1987 private-press LP, which you can Pre-Order Here. Tom was featured on Volume 8 of our acoustic guitar series, Imaginational Anthem.

So our theme this week is 'Guitars' :
Get the first FOUR volumes of our Imaginational Anthem series for $20 !
(Vols. 1-3 come as a box set, plus you'll get vol. 4)

For all 4 CDs, just paypal $20 directly to :
orders at tompkins square dot com
For Canada, add $15
For the rest of the world, add $35

The deal is good til next Friday, when we'll pick another four titles for you.

Thanks as always ! ...

Imaginational Anthem vol 1 :
Max Ochs, Brad Barr, Suni McGrath, Harris Newman, Harry Taussig, Jack Rose, Steve Mann, Glenn Jones, Gyan Riley & Terry Riley, Bern Nix, Bob Hadley, Janet Smith, John Fahey, Kaki King, Sandy Bull

Volume 2
James Blackshaw, Peter Lang , Jose Gonzalez, Jesse Sparhawk, Michael Chapman, Sean Smith, Fred Gerlach, Christina Carter, Billy Faier, Sharron Kraus , Robbie Basho

Volume 3
Richard Crandell, Ben Reynolds, Greg Davis, Nathan Salsburg, Steffen Basho-Junghans, Cian Nugent, Matt Baldwin, Mark Fosson, George Stavis, Keenan Lawler, Shawn David McMillen

Volume 4 :
Chris Forsyth, William Tyler, Sam Moss, Nick Jonah Davis, Pat O'Connell, Tyler Ramsey, Micah Blue Smaldone, Mike Fekete, Aaron Sheppard, C Joynes

dow, Friday, 7 April 2017 18:03 (three years ago) link

Wow---TS breaking through to what was (maybe still is) called The New Music---I'm intrigued by the implied possibilities and by news of this specific album; I only know her via Dolmen Music and Turtle Dreams.

Meredith Monk's Groundbreaking 1971 Debut LP 'Key', Reissued by Tompkins Square for Record Store Day - April 22, 2017

Composer, singer, director/choreographer, creator of new opera, musical theater works, films and installations, Meredith Monk is one of the most unique and influential artists of our time. Awarded a National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2015, Monk has blazed her own influential trail through music and movement over the past 50 years. Pitchfork noted in a recent review of her latest ECM release, 'On Behalf of Nature': "Meredith Monk's influence as a singer and composer extends through Björk, Joanna Newsom and beyond."

'Key' contains Monk's earliest compositions for voice, composed and performed from 1967-1970. In her words:

"In 'Key' I wanted to create a constantly shifting ambience. Each song dealt with a different vocal character, landscape, technical concern or emotional quality. I was trying for a visceral, kinetic song form that had the abstract qualities of a painting or a dance. I knew that I didn't want to set music to a text; for me, the voice itself was a language which seemed to speak more eloquently than words. I chose certain phonemes for their particular sound qualities. In a sense, each song became a world in itself with its own timbre, texture and impulse."

The Tompkins Square reissue faithfully reproduces the original 1971 LP on Increase Records, with textured cover and original insert images and notes, exclusively released in a limited edition for Record Store Day - April 22, 2017.

LP - TSQ5371 / Tompkins Square is distributed by INgrooves and Revolver in North America, Cargo UK for Europe.


dow, Monday, 10 April 2017 19:31 (two years ago) link

Dolmen Music [ECM, 1980]
Monk has classical voice training, but I expect it was her folk and rock experience that taught her how to make these almost wordless songs sound so demotic, so literally unrefined--they obviously don't merely "express" emotion, but they don't merely distill it either. On record, the ostinato structures mean that the four shorter pieces composed between 1972 and 1975 come across better than the title work, which lasts 23:39 and features six voices with intermittent accompaniment. But anybody who wants to go further than Lora Logic and Pere Ubu will listen to it all. A-

dow, Monday, 10 April 2017 19:35 (two years ago) link

Alice Gerrard alb is pretty cool, ditto all the Charlie Louvin I've heard, although I haven't heard this 'un. Lena Hughes will have to grow on me more than expected, but def intriguing. Haven't heard Spencer Moore.

5ive Dollar Fridays !
A Weekly Sale from Tompkins Square . . .

Each Friday, we select 4 titles from our deep catalog under a theme, and they're 5 bucks each. Sometimes CD, sometimes vinyl. The only catch is you gotta buy all four, which is still a pretty good deal.

Our theme this week is 'Americana' :

Charlie Louvin - Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs
(w/ William Tyler, Chris Scruggs, Andrew Bird. Notes by Holly George-Warren)
Spencer Moore - s/t
(He witnessed a show by the Original Carter Family)
Alice Gerrard - Follow The Music
(Grammy-nominated, produced by Michael Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger)
Lena Hughes - Queen of the Flat-Top Guitar
(Notes by John Renbourn)

For all 4 CDs, just paypal $20 directly to :
orders at tompkins square dot com
For Canada, add $15
For the rest of the world, add $25

dow, Friday, 14 April 2017 17:47 (two years ago) link

Armstrong update:

OUT TODAY on Tompkins Square
Rare Private-Press LP reissued for the first time on LP/CD/digital

Listen to / share 4 songs from the album


Tompkins Square's recent double-LP, Imaginational Anthem vol. 8 : The Private Press, shed light on forgotten, impossibly rare guitar recordings spanning several decades. Tom Armstrong's The Sky Is An Empty Eye is the first of several reissues planned by Tompkins Square of full albums by artists featured on IA8.

Armstrong's self-released LP from 1987 sports blissed out acoustic numbers like the one featured on IA8, along with some electric workouts and even a deep psych vocal tune.

** Tom will play a few tunes and sign records at Good Records, 1808 Lower Greenville Ave., Dallas TX on Thursday, May 18th, 8pm **

dow, Monday, 17 April 2017 19:43 (two years ago) link

Never lose that Louvin feelin'(Guessing that Ben was not discovered when Charlie was a teen) (Roland White protesteth too much---he's got the R&R drive)

5ive Dollar Fridays !
A Weekly Sale from Tompkins Square . . .

Each Friday, we select 4 titles from our deep catalog under a theme, and they're 5 bucks each. Sometimes CD, sometimes vinyl. The only catch is you gotta buy all four, which is still a pretty good deal.

Our theme this week is 'Nashville':

Ben Hall - Ben Hall !
(Discovered by Charlie Louvin as a teenager, produced by Eric Ambel)
William Tyler - Behold The Spirit
(His debut album)
Roland White - I Wasn't Born To Rock N Roll
(Reissue of 1976 solo album by bluegrass legend)
Charlie Louvin - Hickory Wind : Live at Gram Parsons Guitar Pull
(Live recording from Gram's hometown of Waycross, GA)

For all 4 CDs, just paypal $20 directly to :
orders at tompkins square dot com
For Canada, add $15
For the rest of the world, add $25
(Don't forget to include your address !)

dow, Saturday, 22 April 2017 01:41 (two years ago) link

Behold the Spirit is great, Tyler before he figured out what he was gonna be but more adventurous and stranger

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 23 April 2017 01:22 (two years ago) link

5ive Dollar Fridays !
A Weekly Sale from Tompkins Square . . .

Each Friday, we select 4 titles from our deep catalog under a theme, and they're 5 bucks each. Sometimes CD, sometimes vinyl. The only catch is you gotta buy all four, which is still a pretty good deal.

Our theme this week - "String Dazzlers" :

Peter Walker - Lost Tapes 1970
(Recorded in Levon Helm's living room in Woodstock)
Don Bikoff - Celestial Explosion
(1968 private press reissue. Playing in the UK in May !)
John Hulburt - Opus III
(1972 private press reissue discovered/produced by Ryley Walker)
Mark Fosson - Digging in the Dust
(Unreleased home demos recorded for John Fahey's Takoma label)

The deal is good til next Friday, when we'll pick another four titles for you.

Thanks as always ! .

dow, Sunday, 30 April 2017 22:45 (two years ago) link

Lost Tapes is great. Living in the UK, these deals make my teeth itch.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Monday, 1 May 2017 09:10 (two years ago) link

For all 4 CDs, just paypal $20 directly to :
orders at tompkins square dot com
For Canada, add $15
For the rest of the world, add $25
I see what you mean.

dow, Monday, 1 May 2017 20:51 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

(Oops, just came across this, which runs through midnight 5/18 I reckon, with new sale this Fri.)

Weekly Sale from Tompkins Square . . .

Each Friday, we select 4 titles from our deep catalog under a theme, and they're 5 bucks each. Sometimes CD, sometimes vinyl. The only catch is you gotta buy all four, which is still a pretty good deal.

This week, Tompkins Square announced a very special limited edition LP,
The Music of Harry Taussig & Max Ochs, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of their first Takoma recordings.(See site for T&O show info too.)

So it's entirely appropriate for our sale this week to focus around guitar, namely the past 4 volumes of our Imaginational Anthem series :

Imaginational Anthem vol 5
(Steve Gunn, Jordan Fuller, Danny Grody, Nick Schillace, Will Stratton, Bill Orcutt, Daniel Bachman, Eric Carbonara, Tom Lecky, Alexander Turnquist, Cam Deas, Yair Yona)
Imaginational Anthem vol 6 : The Roots of American Primitive Guitar
(Sylvester Weaver, Sam McGee, Riley Puckett, Davy Miller, Lemuel Turner, Frank Hutchison, Bayless Rose)
Imaginational Anthem vol 7
(Chuck Johnson, Sean Proper, Norberto Lobo, Simon Scott, DBH, Jordan Norton, Kyle Fosburgh, Christoph Bruhn, Michael Vallera, Dylan Golden Aycock, M. Mucci, Mariano Rodriguez, Andrew Weathers, Wes Tirey)
Imaginational Anthem vol 8 : The Private Press
(Perry Lederman, The Keithe Lowrie Duet, Michael Kleniec, Lee Murdock, Tom Armstrong, Joe Bethancourt, Kip Dobler, Herb Moore, Nancy Tucker, Larry Conklin, Rick Deitrick, Gary Salzman, Stan Samole, Russell Potter)

For all 4 CDs, just paypal $20 directly to :
orders at tompkins square dot com
For Canada, add $15
For the rest of the world, add $25

dow, Tuesday, 16 May 2017 18:48 (two years ago) link

Texas Songwriter Will Beeley's Rare LPs from 1971 & 1979 Reissued by Tompkins Square

On June 30th, Tompkins Square will reissue two albums by Texas singer/songwriter Will Beeley - the self-released mega-rare (only 200 copies) private press LP Gallivantin' from 1971, and Passing Dream, originally released by Malaco Records in 1979.

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 And Spin / Co'Dine".

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.


Hear / Share a Track

Gallivantin' - CD - TSQ 5395 / LP - TSQ 5401 / digital
Passing Dream - LP only - TSQ 5418
In his own words, April 2017 :

I grew up in San Antonio, Texas. From the time I could remember I had always made up lyrics so I learned how to play guitar so I could put the lyrics to music. I had gotten into folk music and singer/songwriters like Dylan and Tim Hardin so learning how to play the acoustic guitar was my only choice. Plus with an acoustic guitar you can play it anywhere. A friend of mine named James Harris, taught me the basic chords and showed me how to play "The House Of The Rising Sun," and "Don't Think Twice." Those two songs and Bm had pretty much all the chords I'd ever need to know -- James was right.

I started playing around San Antonio in '67 at a place called Doogie's Stonehenge, near San Antonio college and a folk music coffee house called the Gate House on 4th St. At the Stonehenge I saw people like Townes Van Zandt and singers who played the Austin, Houston, and Dallas clubs. By '69 I was getting warm up spots in some of those clubs. I did the Gallivantin' album in 70 with the financial help of a friend of mine, Phil Pena. We only had 200 copies pressed but it was enough to get the attention of a couple of DJs at KTSA, Ron Houston and Johnny O' Neal, who liked it and started looking around for a label. In '71 Elektra flew me to Memphis and then down to Muscles Shoals to meet with Russ Miller. He liked the new songs I had written and said they'd be interested in 9 months to a year. I was also looked at by Capitol Records and then A&M. Wayne Shuler was a promotion rep for A&M who had done work with Malaco on the Mississippi Fred McDowell album and introduced me to Tommy Couch and Wolf Stephenson. They signed me in late '71. Between '71 and '73 we cut enough tunes for an album. Malaco looked for a label deal to release it and in '74 Malaco released a single called "Rainbow Highway". It charted on a few radio stations but never really went anywhere. I was pretty disappointed and not writing all that much so Malaco released me from my contract, with first refusal on future material, and I went home to San Antonio to concentrate on writing. I got a job selling new cars for a Ford dealer by day and wrote songs by night. In '76 I went back to Malaco and played my new album's worth of songs. Malaco liked them and on the week of the 4th of July '77 we cut the Passing Dream album. The album and the arrangements of the tunes have always been my favorite studio work.

Passing Dream was released in October of '79. A single, "Rainy Sunday/Standing At The Station" came out and went pretty much nowhere. I got airplay on the country stations in San Antonio but very little anywhere else. After playing in honky tonks for a couple of years and not really doing all that well I came to the conclusion that it was time to make some changes. My wife was expecting our second child and getting a real job was the obvious decision. We opened a small record store that lasted less time then my wife's pregnancy. I had been selling more records to clubs than people walking in, and one of the clubs offered me a job as a DJ. This started a career that lasted 21 years. I was moved to Albuquerque where I bought the talent for the Midnight Rodeo for 13 years. We brought in everyone from Willie Nelson to most of the acts that topped the country charts in the '90s. In 2002, I found myself at 51 and too old to be doing what I had been doing for over 20 years and had to start a third stage in my life.

For the last 14 years I've been a long haul truck driver. My wife and I team drive going coast to coast hauling different types of cryogenic frozen liquids--liquid natural gas, liquid nitrogen, and most recently liquid helium. Josh (Rosenthal) contacted me to see if I was interested in the reissue of Gallivantin' and Passing Dream. I was totally surprised there was any interest. I sent Josh a homemade demo of some recent tunes I've written and he blew me away with an idea to record a new album. Half of it are songs I wrote as a follow-up to Passing Dream and the other half new material. I told my wife a few weeks after I sent the demo to Josh I'd love to go back in the studio one more time. My voice has seen better times but the spark was still there. Recording in the 21st century is very different from a hundred years ago. Something else that was interesting was working with people who hadn't been born yet or were toddlers when I wrote the tunes as a follow-up to Passing Dream. Jerry DiCicca did a great job producing the new album. It's very different from Passing Dream and I hope you enjoy it.

dow, Saturday, 27 May 2017 22:18 (two years ago) link

touring re 50th Anniversary album mentioned above:
Tompkins Square‏ @tsq2 May 28
Max Ochs & Harry Taussig at Down Home Music, El Cerrito CA


dow, Wednesday, 31 May 2017 00:11 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Hear/post a track from Gentle Wilderness:

Hear/post a track from River Sun River Moon:

Tompkins Square is proud to release two solo acoustic guitar albums by Rick Deitrick, out August 25th. 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."

These records are part of an ongoing series of full album reissues from artists featured on Imaginational Anthem vol. 8 : The Private Press. The first was Tom Armstrong'sThe Sky Is An Empty Eye, which just received a 4 star review in MOJO.

TSQ 5456 River Sun River Moon (LP)
TSQ 5432 Gentle Wilderness (LP)
Tompkins Square is distributed by INgrooves and Revolver in NA, Cargo for Europe

dow, Tuesday, 18 July 2017 19:23 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Larry Conklin & Jochen Blum - Jackdaw -
Available on LP and via every digital service worldwide - October 6th, 2017

Hear / share a song:

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."

Jackdaw is the fourth in an ongoing series of reissues by artists featured on Tompkins Square's recent 2LP set, Imaginational Anthem vol. 8 : The Private Press.

dow, Thursday, 7 September 2017 01:26 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

from latest newsletter:

Sonny Clark : The 1960 Time Sessions with George Duvivier and Max Roach Limited edition 2LP set will be released November 24th, 2017
for Record Store Day / Black Friday. Please get with your local indie record store and encourage them to carry it. WBGO has premiered the set.http://wbgo.org/post/sonny-clark-steps-out-shadows-revelatory-new-reissue-1960

Tompkins Square has signed Welsh multi-instrumentalist, Gwenifer Raymond. Her debut LP will be released in early 2018. Check out the new video for her first single, "Sometimes There's Blood."

Philip Lewin dropped by WFMU and played songs from his 1975 private press LP, Am I Really Here All Alone ?, reissued by Tompkins Square this year. Listen HERE.

Larry Conklin talked to The Stranger in Seattle about his newly reissued 1980 private press LP, Jackdaw.

Texas singer-songwriter Will Beeley talked to BBC4 about his two 70's LPs reissued (out now on Tompkins Square), heart attacks, and truck driving. Look for a brand new Will Beeley studio LP in 2018!

dow, Thursday, 2 November 2017 02:27 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Brigid Mae Power - 'The Two Worlds' out February 9th, 2018 on Tompkins Square

Ireland's Brigid Mae Power returns with a new album, 'The Two Worlds'. The album will be released worldwide in all formats February 9th, 2018 on San Francisco's Tompkins Square label.
advance track(steady churn)
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.

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, "Don't Shut Me Up (Politely)", 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."

In her own words :

Most of these songs were written in the last year in Ireland and they're all about the different feelings I had at the time. Last year I moved back to Galway, Ireland where I mostly grew up and I was feeling and noticing again the repressive and oppressive environment. So I revisited a song I had half written a few years previous called 'Don't Shut Me Up (Politely)' and I found that moving home, I had the ammunition to finish it. I had actually tried to record this song in Portland, Oregon the previous year but at the time it just did not work. It was the wrong atmosphere, it was summer and a sunny day and just was not repressive enough in the way that it can be here! So I didn't really feel real singing it as I didn't feel held back at all! It felt like singing to a brick wall and it wasn't going anywhere... So when I moved back I had the idea to go up to an analogue studio in the North of Ireland and specifically record that song there, so we booked in some time at the studio and I hurried to finish some other scraps of songs I had lying around with the idea of recording them live and just seeing what happened.

I had been thinking about my Grandmother a lot, so there are a couple of songs about her.. I'd been thinking about lost friendships. I'd been thinking about how to balance being settled and also being up in the clouds. I'd been thinking a lot about cutting out the crap and letting go of things that don't serve you, so I feel like these songs are pretty direct. I wanted them to sound direct too and the studio Analogue Catalogue was the perfect place and had a great sound and live room.... When we went up there the second time to record the other batch of songs, it was a very busy time in our life and I hadn't finished writing the lyrics to a lot of them. Not as a choice - I just literally didn't have time. So when we got there I thought I would just try them out anyway and as a natural procrastinator I was much happier with the sound of the result of being pushed to the last minute. Peter added in different instruments really naturally and then mixed and mastered the record. 'I'm Grateful' was written in Oregon and for me I can tell that it wasn't written in Ireland. The rest of the album feels quite like what my environment looks like here at the moment out of my window.

Brigid Mae Power - The Two Worlds - Available February 9th, 2018
CD - TSQ 5487 / LP - TSQ 5494

Tompkins Square is distributed by INgrooves and Revolver in NA, Cargo for Europe


dow, Friday, 15 December 2017 19:49 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Tompkins Square label is proud to announce the release of Entourage - 'Ceremony of Dreams : Studio Sessions & Outtakes, 1972-1977'

3 CD / 1 LP set available March 23rd, 2018.
Liner notes by former Rolling Stone music critic J.D. Considine, and surviving band member, Wall Matthews.

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.

PRE-ORDER 3CD / 1LP sets



Entourage - 'Ceremony of Dreams - Studio Sessions & Outtakes, 1972-1977'
Available everywhere March 23rd, 2018
3CD Set (TSQ 5463) / 1LP set (TSQ5470)

dow, Saturday, 3 February 2018 02:12 (two years ago) link

Eh, you can see and hear the worthy trailer on youtube, look up Entourage: Ceremony Of Dreams Tompkins Square Promo

dow, Saturday, 3 February 2018 02:14 (two years ago) link

Also, the youtube link is on the xpost soundcloud page for that *good* alt take of "Tarbox Poltergeist."

dow, Saturday, 3 February 2018 02:18 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

Legendary Guitarist Duck Baker Releases 'Les Blues Du Richmond : Demos & Outtakes 1973-1979' for Record Store Day

Stream the album via SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/tompkinssquare/sets/duck-baker-les-blues-du-richmond-demos-outtakes-1973-1979/s-ZoJCj

Post / Share a Track: https://soundcloud.com/tompkinssquare/pretty-girl-milking-a-cow

“Duck Baker is a true genius of the guitar.” – Stefan Grossman
“Duck has discovered a way to write which is purely and originally beautiful. I think he sets a standard we all can aspire to.” – Leo Kottke
“Listening to Duck Baker makes me feel good.” – Charlie Byrd
“One of the most interesting pickers around” – Chet Atkins

Les Blues Du Richmond : Demos & Outtakes 1973-1979
All tracks previously unreleased
TSQ 5517 (1000 LPs for Record Store Day)
TSQ 5500 (CD)

Duck Baker is one of the most highly regarded fingerstyle guitarists of his generation. His repertoire ranges from traditional Irish music through old-time mountain music and bluegrass to blues, gospel, and ragtime to swing and modern jazz, to free improvisation, and while he is best known in the guitar world, he has made a reputation in several other camps, including the Celtic music world and the avant-garde scene. He explains this eclecticism by pointing out that folk musicians have always been more eclectic than folklorists want to admit, and noting that his approach to American music is similar to that of a classical musician to that tradition. Baker is also a prodigious composer, having written well over 200 pieces, mostly for guitar, and an even more prodigious arranger for the instrument. His recording career spans five decades and includes some 29 records under his own name, another 8 in duo or trio settings, and a further 32 appearances on anthologies or as a sideman. He has also authored 12 music books and a similar number of instructional videos.

Tour dates :

March 27th - Freight & Salvage, Berkeley CA
April 10th - Vortex Jazz Club, London
May 20th - Wonder of Nature, Brooklyn NY

dow, Thursday, 8 March 2018 18:19 (two years ago) link

five months pass...

"Hulburt’s gentle, somber plucking is more than enough to capture the soul like Nick Drake would." - Stereogum

Guitarist and singer-songwriter Ryley Walker discovered John Hulburt's 1972 private press LP, Opus III, in a Chicago record store, loved what he heard, and teamed with Tompkins Square to produce a reissue in 2015. Ryley co-conspirator Bill MacKay then released a tribute album to Hulburt.

Now, John Hulburt's sister has located lost tapes from the late guitar master. Recorded in 1998, Leap Frog is released today on every digital service, worldwide....

John Hulburt (1947-2012) was a member of legendary mid-60's Chicago garage rock band The Knaves, whose records were reissued by Sundazed. Opus III showcases his exceptional talent on the acoustic guitar, proving somewhat of an anomaly in a city not known for its solo guitar recordings during this era.

Ryley Walker writes in his liner notes, "Solo acoustic guitar music was adopted by several in the Berkeley school and the ever-expansive roots fanatics in the South, but here in the middle of the country with harsh winters and the landlocked prison of corn fields, it was almost destiny that the amplifier assault of electric blues and controlled chaos of dance music came from the South Side."

"Within these forty minutes, Hulburt makes a case for inclusion alongside the better-known names of the time." - PopMatters

Out :
Gwenifer Raymond - You Never Were Much of a Dancer
Rick Deitrick - Home Grown : Recordings 1969-1979

Coming Sept 14th : Harmony Rockets w/Special Guest Peter Walker - Lachesis/Clotho/Atropos (w/Nels Cline, Steve Shelley)

dow, Monday, 27 August 2018 02:29 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

Harmony Rockets with Special Guest Peter Walker
+ Nels Cline (Wilco), Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) et al
Available Worldwide on Tompkins Square
LP: TSQ 5555
CD: TSQ 5548

Peter Walker came up in the Cambridge MA and Greenwich Village folk scenes of the Sixties. He recorded two albums for the Vanguard label in the late Sixties in a style best described as American folk-raga. He studied with Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, and was Dr. Timothy Leary's musical director, organizing music for the LSD advocate’s “celebrations.”

Tompkins Square is proud to have the following records in our catalog :

A Raga For Peter Walker - 2006 tribute ft. original tracks by James Blackshaw, Jack Rose, Thurston Moore et al
Echo of My Soul (Peter's first full album after a 40-year recording hiatus)
Long Lost Tapes 1970 (free-flowing date with a group, recorded in Levon Helm's house)
Remembering Mountains : Unheard Songs by Karen Dalton (Liner notes by her good friend, Peter Walker. Note : Peter plays Karen's Gibson on the new Harmony Rockets LP !)


ORDER Harmony Rockets/Peter Walker LP/CD

"Mercury Rev and special friends tune into Woodstock space rock . . . the lineup gel beautifully."
-- MOJO * * * * stars

"a casebook on the nature of true collaboration; everyone here places himself at the service of music made in the moment from mutually assured trust and goodwill; it sparks creation at every turn. God knows we need more albums like this. What an unexpected pleasure. "
-- All Music Guide * * * * stars

"it’s a seriously beautiful slice of gently throbbing, contemplative psych-folk brilliance."

-- The Line of Best Fit 8/10

“Peter Walker was actually a bigger influence on my acoustic playing than John Fahey or Robbie Basho.”
– Ben Chasny, Six Organs of Admittance


"…this small town (Woodstock), housing as it did so many maverick talents, fostered a scene of damage and dysfunction that endures to this day. It pulled in all manner of wannabes and hangers-on, alcoholic philanderers, dealers in heroin and cocaine, and left at least one generation of messed-up children with no direction home."
-- from 'Small Town Talk' by Barney Hoskyns

Longtime Woodstock resident, guitarist Peter Walker recorded two albums for the Vanguard label in the late Sixties in a style best described as American folk-raga. He studied with Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar Khan, and was Dr. Timothy Leary's musical director, organizing music for the LSD advocate’s “celebrations.” He was also a close friend of fellow Woodstock resident, the late folksinger Karen Dalton, and helped produce Remembering Mountains : Unheard Songs by Karen Dalton (Tompkins Square), which features unrecorded Dalton compositions brought to life by Sharon Van Etten, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams and others.

Rediscovered by Tompkins Square in 2006 after decades out of sight, Walker has remained active into his 8th decade, recording for Jack White's Third Man label, and now, collaborating anew with fellow Upstaters, Harmony Rockets. Joined in a mighty super-session with Harmony Rockets (Mercury Rev), Martin Keith, Nels Cline (Wilco), and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth), Lachesis/Clotho/Atropos is a mind-melting inter-generational collaboration that could only have coalesced around the wool sweaters, warm teacups and moldering bookstores of "Old Old Woodstock", both the real and mythologized versions.

dow, Thursday, 20 September 2018 21:19 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Fricke's Picks:
Harmony Rockets with Peter Walker, Lachesis/Clotho/Atropos (Tompkins Square)
The upstate-New York psychedelic rangers Mercury Rev, here under a periodic alias, take on extra crew for this studio excursion in galactic instrumental travel: Wilco-etc. guitarist Nels Cline, ex-Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and a Sixties cult legend, guitarist Peter Walker...


dow, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 00:01 (one year ago) link

four months pass...

Kinloch Nelson
Partly on Time : Recordings 1968-1970
LP (Ltd Ed 500) /CD/Digital
Available Worldwide March 22nd

Unheard Recordings from Secret Rochester Guitarist


Kinloch (sounds like "kin-law") Nelson (b. 1950) studied classical guitar privately with Stanley Watson, jazz guitar with Gene Bertoncini at Eastman School of Music, and music theory at the University of Rochester. In 1973, he began teaching both privately and at The Hochstein Music School where he was on the faculty for twenty-five years. In 1985, Nelson co-founded the Guitar Society of Rochester, which during its ten-year run presented many of the world's greatest guitarists. Nelson is the author of a book, Alternate Guitar Tunings. He currently teaches privately, conducts guitar workshops and maintains a performance schedule.

Nelson came to the attention of Tompkins Square via Duck Baker, who visited Rochester in 2018 supporting his own Tompkins Square archival release, Les Blues Du Richmond : Demos & Outtakes, 1973-1979.

Kinloch Nelson live dates
April 6 Rochester / Bop Shop in-store
April 8 WFMU 10-11am ET
April 8 Brooklyn / Troost
April 11 Phili / TBA
April 12 DC / Rhizome (w/ Max Ochs)
Arpil 14 Harrisburg / Artisan Guitar Festival
April 15 Boston / Lilypad

Some time in the turbulent summer of 1968 I went to visit my sister who was studying theater at Dartmouth College that semester. Big stages, spotlights, cat walks, backstage access - it was pretty exciting stuff for a high school kid from a small town. One night we walked across campus to check out the college’s radio station, WDCR. She had a friend, Dave Graves, who was doing a nightly radio show there and she figured I needed to see this. I walked into the station and time stopped. I had spent many an hour, pretty much from the crib on up, glued to AM radios, soaking up the music and the mystery. And now, here was the real deal. I took a look around: there was a production room with a couple Ampex tape recorders, a mixing console, fancy microphones and a recording room. Hmmm... So, I called up my high school friend Carter Redd and said, “Get on a bus and come on up and record.”

Since late 1967 Carter and I had been playing guitars together, working on songs of the day: Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Donovan. Before long we were writing songs and instrumental guitar tunes. We borrowed someone’s Sony reel-to-reel tape recorder and started making recordings. But, WDCR raised the bar. Somehow we persuaded Dave Graves to record us, and that’s how these recordings came about. Recorded at various times in the summers of ’68, ’69, and ’70, and in the winter break of ’69-’70, three of the songs in this collection are ones we did together, the rest are solo tunes of mine.

The first two songs we recorded were "Funky Susan” and “Partly On Time.” “Funky Susan” was Carter’s invention; I added the harmonica part and the second guitar part. “Partly On Time” we wrote together. “Lazin’ In my Sleep” was done a year later. Dave engineered the first two, and a few months later he took a chance and sent them off to John Phillips of The Mamas And Papas. Phillips was looking for new acts to produce and, sure enough, he liked what he heard. Months went by…then out of the blue he sent word for us be at a recording studio in Connecticut one day in January of 1969 to record a Mason Williams song which he figured we could learn and record. It never happened. Carter, a year ahead of me, had already graduated and taken off for a drive across the country. He was nowhere to be found, and there were no cell phones in those days. Weeks went by. Phillips, engrossed in producing the film “Monterey Pop” eventually lost interest. I’ve often wondered what might have happened had we recorded all these tunes for him and put them out way back then…

In the summer of 1969 I went back and recorded some more, this time alone, and was there when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. The first rumors of the coming Woodstock Music And Art Fair were circulating. FM underground radio was emerging. Music genres were cross pollinating. It was an exciting time to be writing music. Carter and I went back to WDCR to record again that winter, and I went again by myself in the summer of 1970 to work at the station and record some more. But after those days, we pretty much went our separate ways. Sadly, somehow during all this the master tapes got lost or erased. The tapes that survived are copies.

So, one night in the summer of 1970, after I recorded “Kittens,” Tom Siebert’s Boat,” and “Winnipesaukee Night,” a friend of mine and I were listening to the tapes on my crummy little stereo and decided to take them over to his house to play them on his dad’s amazing hi-fi set. Off we drove with the tapes, my new tape recorder and my guitar in our family car. There’s an intersection in my hometown where a town road crosses a highway. That night as we were crossing the highway, a drunk driver, running from an accident he had caused at the previous light, ran the red light and hit us broadside. Wham! The car folded in half, the windows shattered, our car spun around 180 degrees and the tape recorder and all my tapes flew out the window and landed all over the highway. I should have been killed, but fortunately the driver hit the brakes and crashed into the passenger door just behind me. Amazingly we survived with only whiplash! My guitar, a 1960s era Gibson J-50, was in the back seat and didn’t fare as well, taking the full brunt of the crash. But the tapes and the recorder survived, and no one ran over them. I never met the driver. He was immediately taken to the hospital. He never showed up in court. They jailed him. The insurance company replaced our car, gave us some cash and I bought a brand new Martin D-18. And, they let me keep the J-50, which I later fixed.

That tape recorder has long since failed, but the tapes held up. I never thought they could be released commercially because, being copies, the quality wasn’t that good. Over the years I figured I would re-record the songs. But ultimately I never did, because how can one recapture the original mindset, feeling, vibe of the times and in particular the sound of that now-replaced studio? But thanks to the digital era the tapes have cleaned up reasonably well and the songs have come to life.

As I write this, I am sitting in a hotel room in, of all places, Woodstock NY. At the concert here last night I happened to play one of the songs from those tapes, “Kittens.” And now, looking back, it occurs to me that the wrecked family car was the same one my sister and I drove in to that infamous Woodstock Music And Art Fair…that same summer in which I wrote and recorded that song...back when all of these songs were spinning constantly in my head. Now, half a century later, I guess they still are… Cheers, K. Nelson

Media inquiries / interview requests
info [at] tompkinssquare.com

TSQ 5609 (CD) / TSQ 5616 (LP) Ltd Ed 500

dow, Thursday, 14 March 2019 22:00 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

Teodross Avery - After the Rain : A Night for Coltrane out May 10th on Tompkins Square Gatefold LP (Ltd Ed 500) / CD/ digital)
Liner Notes by Ben Ratliff

WBGO Premiere by Nate Chinen https://www.wbgo.org/post/hear-first-track-teodross-averys-potent-after-rain-night-coltrane#stream/0

HEAR/POST A TRACK https://soundcloud.com/tompkinssquare/blues-minor-by-teodross-avery

In the beginning there was John Coltrane. Growing up in a family that listened to a vast and global array of music, Teodross Avery experienced an epiphany at 13 when he first heard Trane’s epochal harmonic steeplechase “Giant Steps.” Taking up the tenor saxophone, he emerged in the mid-1990s as one of the most powerful young voices on the scene, with two critically hailed releases for GRP/Impulse! Avery’s long and productive journey has taken him down many musical paths, from gigs with jazz legends and hip hop stars to sessions with NEA Jazz Masters and platinum pop albums. With his Tompkins Square label debut After The Rain: A Night for Coltrane, Avery has found his way back home, reasserting himself as a supremely eloquent exponent of the post-Trane jazz continuum. Recorded live at Oakland’s Sound Room, the album is slated for release on May 10, 2019.

“It is a return to my roots,” says Avery, 45, who possesses a huge, brawny tone and a capacious harmonic imagination. “Listening to Trane’s music was my foundation, and this album is definitely a reintroduction to this area of my career. I’ve been busy with a lot of other stuff, but I was always playing acoustic jazz with top level cats. I wasn’t putting out albums. I was on record dates, but not my own albums. This was the perfect opportunity to make my own statement.”

He found an ideal outlet with Tompkins Square. Over its 13 years, the label has released new and reissued recordings by renowned jazz masters such as Calvin Keys, Charles Gayle, Ran Blake, Terry Waldo, Bern Nix, and Giuseppi Logan. The label recently releasedThe 1960 Time Sessions by the Sonny Clark Trio featuring George Duvivier and Max Roach (2LP/2CD set), which received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Album Notes (Ben Ratliff). It was Tompkins Square’s eighth Grammy nomination, and the first for Mr. Ratliff, who also wrote the liner notes for After The Rain.

For the Sound Room concert Avery reconnected with some of the Bay Area’s most formidable improvisers, joining forces with pianist Adam Shulman, Oakland-reared, New York-based drummer Darrell Green, and bassist Jeff Chambers, who played on the Yoshi’s album release gig for his seminal 1996 hip-hop inflected album My Generation.

“I grew up hearing Jeff with Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Ahmad Jamal and other heavyweight players,” Avery says. “He’s one of the greatest bassists around, but after he made the date at Yoshi’s we didn’t play together until about 2014. He was the logical choice, and so was Darrell, who I played with in the Bay Area and New York. I always love his feel. And I’ve played with Adam since the early 2000s when I did gigs with Marcus Shelby.”

With the highly cohesive band Avery delves deeply into Coltrane’s songbook, opening with a brightly burning run through “Blues Minor.” Maintaining a steady level of energy throughout the nine-minute sojourn, the quartet offers a master class in the power of a briskly swinging mid-tempo groove. The set’s longest piece, “Africa,” is also drawn from the classic 1961 album Africa/Brass, Coltrane’s debut release on Impulse! orchestrated by Eric Dolphy and McCoy Tyner. It’s an epic performance that builds to ecstatic heights and then simmers back down with Chambers’ eerie arco bass solo backed by Green’s clackety trap work.

Cal Massey’s Latin-tinged “Bakai” is a piece introduced on the 1957 Prestige album Coltrane, the saxophonist’s first session as a leader (an underrated composer, Massey is due for rediscovery). Opening unaccompanied, Avery hints at the sing-song theme with a series of smeary ascending figures. As the band joins, he’s off, pushing against Green’s deft cymbal work with some extra grit in his tone. Shulman, a sought after arranger and first-call Bay Area accompanist, takes a particularly graceful, soul-steeped solo.

“Coltrane was one of the first records I bought myself, and I’ve been listening to that album ever since,” Avery says. “I liked that 12/8 rhythm. It relates to my mom, with an Ethiopian rhythmic feel. It’s a song that almost no one’s recorded. I felt like it was time.”

Of all the music that Avery explores, Mongo Santamaria’s “Afro Blue” is the piece that Coltrane played most frequently. First released on 1964’s Live at Birdland (Impulse!), the tune also appears on several posthumously released live Trane albums (but interestingly a studio version has never surfaced). Like Coltrane, Avery trades his tenor sax for a soprano and also lays out quickly after stating the theme. The rhythm section steadily ramps up the momentum and when Avery rejoins he’s at full sprint. It’s a cathartic, impassioned performance that leaves no doubt about his prowess on the wily horn.

He follows the thunderous “Afro Blue” with a gorgeous rendition of Coltrane’s ballad “After the Rain.” Back on tenor, he caresses the melody, which unspools over Chambers rumbling bowed bass and Green’s shimmering cymbals. Quietly majestic, it practically begs for another ballad or two, but Avery gets back to burning. He closes the set with a blast of spiritual sustenance, offering an extended take on “Pursuance,” the third movement of Trane’s devotional masterwork A Love Supreme.

“I’ve studied all areas of his music,” Avery says. “I was just trying to take songs that were important to him and important to the real connoisseurs of his music. Africa/Brass was a really important album for him. ‘After the Rain’ isn’t his most popular ballad, but it’s a very beautiful piece and a brilliant composition.”

As Ben Ratliff writes in the album’s liner notes, the band approaches Coltrane’s music with reverence and freedom, revealing themselves in the act of interpreting iconic compositions. “The synthesis achieved here is the result of scholarship…But it is also the result of relaxing an academic mind-set, something that comes later in life—a little bit of forgetting what you’ve learned, or of finding meaning beyond the limited binary thinking of structure/no structure.”

Born July 2, 1973 in Fairfield, California, Avery grew up in Oakland and Vacaville, where he spent most of high school. Looking for more rigorous musical training he attended Berkeley High his senior year played in the school’s award-winning jazz band under director Charles Hamilton (a mentor for future jazz stars such as Joshua Redman, Dayna Stephens and Justin Brown). Wynton Marsalis recognized his oversized talent and purchased him a saxophone. Berklee College of Music made a similar judgment, giving him a full scholarship. At 19, he found another champion in eminent A&R executive Carl Griffin, who signed him to GRP/Impulse Records. His 1994 debut album In Other Words focused on his original compositions, and earned widespread critical praise. Sought out by stars like Aretha Franklin, Betty Carter and Ramsey Lewis, he soaked up head-turning bandstand experiences and still managed to finish college while on the road in 1995.

It’s hard to overstate the impression Avery made when he hit New York. Within a week of moving to the city in 1995 he was playing at the Blue Note with piano legend Cedar Walton’s sextet featuring trumpet great Art Farmer. Over the next few years, he performed and recorded with veteran jazz masters such as Hank Jones, Ben Riley, Harold Mabern, Bobby Watson and Dee Dee Bridgewater, while also working with rising stars like Cyrus Chestnut, Lewis Nash, Donald Harrison, and Roy Hargrove. With the manifesto-like My Generation, a guitar-centric session featuring John Scofield, Peter Bernstein, and Mark Whitfield on alternating tracks, Avery embraced his Ethiopian heritage and the protean power of hip hop (with Black Thought of The Roots rapping on the title track).

While Avery has kept a relatively low profile on the jazz scene over the past two decades, he’s never put down his horn. After touring internationally with Lauryn Hill in the late 1990s, he started recording prolifically as a session musician in New York City, contributing to hit albums by Amy Winehouse, G-Unit All Stars, Joss Stone, and Talib Kweli. Returning to academia, he completed a PhD in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California in 2016, and is now assistant professor of Jazz Studies and Commercial Music at California State University Dominguez Hills in Los Angeles.

Avery started gaining attention again in straight ahead circles as part of a powerhouse tenor sax tandem with Howard Wiley on Hammond B-3 great Doug Carn’s 2015 album My Spirit (Doodlin' Records). He revealed a different side of his musical personality on 2017’s Post Modern Trap Music (Katalyst Entertainment), a duo collaboration with drum master Marvin “Bugalu” Smith, who has played with the likes of Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, and Chet Baker. In many ways, the project was a primal scream of freedom after years battened down in grad school.

“I had this sense I need to record an album and not be guided by piano and bass,” he says. “I needed to be in the driver’s seat as to where the harmony was going. It was like a release. When I was at USC, everything was very regimented. That’s part of the point of pursuing a doctorate. I needed to clear my intellectual palette.”

The saxophone/drums duo was pioneered of course by John Coltrane and Rashied Ali, and Post Modern Trap Music paved the way for After The Rain. A major addition to his slim but growing discography, the album catapults Avery back into jazz’s top ranks as a fierce and captivating improviser ready to reclaim his vaunted reputation.

Teodross Avery 'After the Rain : A Night for Coltrane'
Gatefold LP (Ltd Ed 500) - TSQ 5630 / CD - TSQ 5623

Listen to songs from many of our releases via SoundCloud

dow, Friday, 19 April 2019 21:34 (eleven months ago) link

responses to xpost Kinloch:

Fricke's Pick (4/26)
Kinloch Nelson, Partly on Time: Recordings 1968–1970 (Tompkins Square)
“It was an exciting time to be writing music,” Kinloch Nelson, a guitarist-composer-teacher based in Rochester, New York, writes in the liner notes to this album of his earliest footprints: 12 pieces recorded as the Sixties ended and his style of solo finger-picking composition was receding with the folk boom. Nelson tells how he missed one shot at the big time — John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas was briefly interested in producing him — and details the modest odyssey of these tapes, made at a college radio station in New England. The rolling poise and cumulative harmonics of “Pearl St.” and “The Eyes of the Fair Molly” are partly descended, inevitably, from John Fahey. But there is some David Crosby — his penchant for jazzy, gently angled chord progressions — and a refreshing, unhurried pace in “Kittens” and the ’68 title piece. In a genre where players often seem to rush to mysticism, Nelson plays here as if he has all the time in the world to leave his mark. It just took more than he knew.

"This is an American guitar music born not of the blues, but glistening, plaintive chaconnes and tone poems with their roots in Segovia medievalism, European folk music, and the Northern renaissance. Beguiling and strange, this is a real find."
- MOJO (4 stars)

"Nelson is an original; he rambles but never meanders, wanders but never gets lost. A total gem."
- Aquarium Drunkard

"The joy of the music comes in its defiance of easy categorization."

dow, Tuesday, 30 April 2019 22:29 (eleven months ago) link

Will Beeley - Highways & Heart Attacks - out June 14th on Tompkins Square. The Texas songwriter's first album in 40 years

Rolling Stone Country premieres the first single, U.S. 85:

HIGHWAYS & HEART ATTACKS is a remarkable return from a singer-songwriter whose work might well have been lost to dusty record crates and the secret annals of Americana musical history. But with Tompkins Square’s 2017 reissues of Beeley’s two stunning albums, 1971’s Gallivantin' and 1979’s Passing Dream, the Texas-based troubadour finally earned the applause his distinctive songcraft long deserved, with Noisey praising his “deeply felt, little heard, folk music” and Paste noting, “With the re-release of these fine LPs, we can spend some time more fully appreciating them before (Beeley’s) very welcome return to the music world.”

“The music business is one of those things where you expect it to happen now,” Beeley says. “When it takes 40 years to happen, it kind of makes you sit back and go, I’m surprised it ever happened.”

Born at Southern California’s March Field Air Force Base, Beeley traveled the world with his family before they finally settled down in San Antonio, TX. His natural love of music was further fueled watching Townes Van Zandt performing regularly at local bars and honky tonks, inspiring him to try his own hand at singing and playing songs for a living. Though only 200 copies were printed and sold from the stage and back of Beeley’s car, 1971’s stark Gallivantin' was undeniably marked by Beeley’s emerging lyrical voice, comparable to such contemporary Lone Star State peers as Van Zandt and Michael Martin Murphey. Beeley signed an artist contract with the Mississippi-based soul label, Malaco Records, recording sessions in 1971 and 1973, with a single released in 1974.

Beeley was then given a release to concentrate on his songwriting but in 1977, he reunited with Malaco and backed by the label’s house band – which by a stroke of good fortune included such young Texas studio musicians as guitarist Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm), keyboardist Carson Whitsett (Paul Simon, Z.Z. Hill), and drummer James Stroud (Mickey Newbury, Eddie Rabbit) – recorded Passing Dream. The LP saw Beeley taking a far more ambitious approach than his debut, imbuing his deeply personal songcraft with an edgy psychedelic outlaw energy. Most strikingly, Beeley’s singing voice had evolved, colored by experience and struggle.

“But nothing ever happened,” he says. “It just kind of dissolved. I was pretty discouraged.”

Beeley withdrew from his own musical career and went about the business of real life, raising a family in New Mexico whilst working as an over the road truck driver. His guitar and pen sat untouched for years, his dreams of being a working musician long relegated to his personal back pages. But when Tompkins Square reached out about reissuing Gallivantin' and Passing Dream, Beeley was inspired once again. He reached out to Tompkins Square founder Josh Rosenthal, wondering if the label might be interested in new material. The answer was of course an enthusiastic ‘Yes!’ and plans were made for Beeley to hit the studio for the first time in nearly four decades.

Recorded at San Antonio’s Blue Cat Studios with producer Jerry David DeCicca (Chris Gantry, Ed Askew, Larry Jon Wilson), GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Joe Trevino (Flaco Jimenez, Los Lobos, Los Texmaniacs), and GRAMMY® Award-winning mix engineer Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn, Cat Power, Phosphorescent), HIGHWAYS & HEART ATTACKS sees Beeley backed by a combo of Americana all-stars that includes accordionist Michael Guerra (The Mavericks), guitarist Don Cento (Sarah Jaffee), bassist Canaan Faulkner (The Black Swans, Ed Askew), drummer Armando Aussenac (Neon Indian), organist Richard Martin, and GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist Bobby Flores (Freddy Fender, Doug Sahm, Willie Nelson). Songs like “Been A Drifter” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade” are both wistful and warm-hearted, Beeley’s rough-hewn vocals the ideal vehicle for his one-of-a-kind tales of a road well traveled and a surprise ending hard earned.

“I feel this is really the best stuff I’ve written,” Beeley says. “I recorded Passing Dream more than 40 years ago. I’m just thankful I got another chance to go in the studio and lay down some more of my tunes.”
Album Trailer:

dow, Wednesday, 8 May 2019 21:15 (eleven months ago) link

two months pass...

update: good little Beeley interview, musical bits---stream, download:

dow, Saturday, 13 July 2019 21:55 (eight months ago) link

one month passes...

Ryley Walker Presents ...
Imaginational Anthem Vol. 9
CD/LP/Digital out Sept 20th, 2019

"If you're reading this, you've cracked open a deep fried black hole to some of the most far out guitarists on the planet. Some real heads in the mix. The future of the axe all on one nice and easy record to spin around. Super excited to have the chance to compile some pals of mine for this one. I searched near and far and the results are dope! My hope is that you'll continue to support all the artists here by going to their gigs and buying the music. Music biz is a shit biz but guitar players are pretty intuitive at making it work. Thanks so much for your patronage to the future of solo gtr tunes!"

-- ryley walker

Tompkins Square label's very first release in 2005 was the acoustic guitar compilation, Imaginational Anthem Volume One. The concept was to showcase new talents alongside first-gen American Primitive guitar legends, a formula that stuck across the first three volumes. Volume Four, released in 2010, featured all contemporary players, giving many folks their first taste of William Tyler, C Joynes, Chris Forsyth and Tyler Ramsey. The label then started farming out curation duties : Sam Moss for Volume 5, Chris King for Volume 6 (Origins of American Primitive Guitar), Hayden Pedigo for Volume 7, and Michael Klausman & Brooks Rice for Volume 8 (The Private Press). Tompkins Square recruited label alum Ryley Walker to compile Volume Nine. Given his deep Rolodex and exquisite taste, it's no surprise that this comp is probably the most diverse of the series. Nine of the eleven artists were previously unknown to us, so we get to discover new artists just like our label fans do.

Track List :
Mosses - Om Ah Hung
Shane Parish - Leicester Hwy
Eli Winter - Woodlawn Waltz
Dida Pelled - Walkin' My Cat Named Dog
Kendra Amalie - Boat Ride
Matthew Sage - Camaro Canyon
Pete Fosco - Variations on Themes for Blind Dogs
Fire-Toolz - World of Objects (Guitar Edit)
Lucas Brode - Knots Where Never Was
Dave Miller - Seedlings
Matthew Rolin - I Used To Sing
Art by Darryl Norsen

dow, Friday, 30 August 2019 00:06 (seven months ago) link

xpost so far disappointed in the new Beeley album--the pickers are really into it, but his voice usually doesn't hang onto my attention span, such as that is. Some of it works, though. Will listen more.

dow, Friday, 30 August 2019 00:15 (seven months ago) link

two months pass...


Documentary film Voice of the Eagle : The Enigma of Robbie Basho available on Blu-Ray/DVD December 13th. 5-disc boxed set of previously unreleased Robbie Basho music in the works


Before his bizarre death at the hands of a chiropractor, Robbie Basho was sure that his compositions would not outlast him. Orphaned during infancy, diagnosed with synaesthesia (a union of the senses that caused him to interpret sound as colour) and claiming to be the reincarnation of a 17th century poet -- the Baltimore-born guitarist and singer's musical output was as equally as outlandish as his persona.

In his brief and troubled life he laid the foundations for radical changes to the musical landscape of America during the 1960s and 70s but reaped little more than a sparse (if fervent) following during his lifetime.

Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho is a journey into the heart of an artist's lifelong struggle -- designed to illuminate and satiate existing fans while serving as a perfect starting point for the uninitiated.

Featuring interviews with Pete Townshend and Country Joe McDonald as well as Basho's former students, contemporaries, religious associates and few close friends, the documentary integrates new information and anecdotes on Basho with previously uncovered archival material and photography of the natural phenomena and landscapes that informed his work.

Available via MVD Entertainment



Robbie Basho (1940-1986) is widely regarded as one of the progenitors of what's commonly known today as American Primitive guitar. Growing up in Maryland alongside neo-traditional guitar explorers John Fahey and Max Ochs, Basho's path would take a decidedly different turn, bringing Hindi, Indian, Japanese and Native American musical traditions into his work. His albums for Takoma and Vanguard have left an indelible trail of influence across generations of musicians, from William Ackerman and Pete Townshend to Ben Chasny and William Tyler.

Liam Barker first became aware of Basho having purchased Tompkins Square's reissue of Venus in Cancer, released in 2006. This led him on an incredible fact-finding expedition, unraveling the many layers of mystery surrounding Basho's life and death, all deftly compiled and depicted in his documentary film, Voice of the Eagle : The Enigma of Robbie Basho.

During the research process, Barker came across a large cache of unheard Basho tapes recorded throughout his career, ranging roughly from 1965-1985. By arrangement with Basho's Estate and the original custodians of the tapes, Tompkins Square is set to release Song of the Avatars : The Lost Master Tapes, a 5CD set of previously unreleased material. The label will release a single disc vinyl LP as well. The set includes notes by Barker, Henry Kaiser, Steffen Basho-Junghans, Glenn Jones and Richard Osborn, as well as many unseen photographs.

Release date TBA.


LISTEN to our 14th Anniv Playlist on SPOTIFY

dow, Thursday, 7 November 2019 19:51 (five months ago) link

Their 14th anniversary show the other week was very good.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 7 November 2019 19:54 (five months ago) link

three months pass...

Anti: The debut album by Daniel Mandrychenko. Recorded by Bill Frisell collaborator Adam Munoz. One of the last records made at Fantasy Studios. Listen to/download "Chicken Tenders" via All About Jazz:
Daniel Mandrychenko is a guitarist and a member of the Bay Area jazz community. For his debut album, Anti, Daniel chose producer Adam Munoz, known for his work on multiple Grammy-nominated Bill Frisell records, as well as projects by Herbie Hancock, Joanna Newsom, Branford Marsalis and many more. Daniel assembled a crack team to accompany him on his debut. Evan Williams (drums) has cut his teeth playing in the Bay Area’s vibrant jazz scene. Danny Castro (upright and electric bass) has played with Tiffany Austin, Calvin Keys, and Justin Rock. Dann Zinn (tenor saxophone) has become one of the most sought after sax players around, with a discography that includes over 100 appearances as a featured soloist and sideman. Anti is one of the last records ever recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. A remarkable musical statement from this promising young guitarist.

Tompkins Square has released jazz albums by Charles Gayle, Ran Blake, Giuseppi Logan, Sonny Clark, Teodross Avery, Terry Waldo, Bern Nix and more.

Daniel Mandrychenko - Anti
CD : TSQ 5685
Available February 21, 2020
Recent :

Sam Burton - "I Can Go With You" - 7"

No Other Love : Midwest Gospel, 1965-1978 4 Stars - MOJO

Ten Year Gone : A Tribute to Jack Rose Best of '19 pick - Folk Radio UK

Listen to songs from many of our releases via SoundCloud

dow, Wednesday, 12 February 2020 02:54 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

Spine River : The Guitar Music of Wall Matthews, 1967-1981
Limited Edition LP (500) and digital out April 10th.

Guitarist Wall Matthews is surviving member of experimental 70's collective, Entourage. Sampled by Four Tet, their name whispered in reverence through the decades, Entourage forged bold musical ideas on their two rare ’70s Folkways LPs. Tompkins Square released Ceremony of Dreams : Studio Sessions and Outtakes, 1972-1977, in 2018 to wide acclaim. Spine River : The Guitar Music of Wall Matthews, 1967-1981 is a collection of unreleased or obscure music by the master guitarist. This volume will be released as a limited edition LP, along with four other digital volumes of Wall's music, chronologically mapping his career. All five albums will be released on April 10th, 2020.
Praise for Entourage :

"A three-hour stream of instrumental riches, whether you’re looking to find samples or get lost in a trance....These 30 tracks alternately conjure the ecstatic minimalism of John Cale and La Monte Young, the billowing clouds of Arvo Part, the aleatory intrigue of Derek Bailey, and the strange guitar beauty of Sandy Bull" - Pitchfork

"As seriously as they clearly took their playing, the music never lost its sense of playfulness and joy" - PASTE (8.7/10)

"This is essential and irresistible vintage American weirdness." - All Music Guide (4.5)

"...it's transporting stuff." - Rolling Stone

"Erring between Alice Coltrane-esque spiritual jazz, Steve Reich’s minimalism and stunning instrumental folk, Ceremony of Dreams highlights 30 tracks from a fiercely creative period between 1972 and 1977 that did not appear on the two Folkways albums released at the time." - Vinyl Factory

"New age gongs, drones, sax, pastoral guitar, scraped violas … Think Third Ear Band's druid rock meets early Popol Vuh with the obvious chops of a less slick Weather Report"
- Record Collector (4 stars)

See more about them upthread.

dow, Monday, 16 March 2020 00:03 (three weeks ago) link

"Music Is The Healing Force of the Universe" - Albert Ayler

Despite all the terrible news, we solider on. We have never felt closer to the music we love - in our record collection, or on our roster.

Today only, bandcamp is waiving their commission so all sales go directly to vendors. Please support the labels you love today, including ours ! You can also get ALL 63 Tompkins Square titles up on bandcamp for 75% off. Just click on any album and scroll down for offer.

We made a Spotify playlist for these times - 'Hermit's Delight' - hope it takes you elsewhere for 2 hrs and 48 min.https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3cFEIERvFa1MZyfPn3SfUM?_php=1


Robbie Basho - Selections from Song of the Avatars : The Lost Master Tapes LP will be out on Record Store Day - June 20th, 2020. A 5CD box set of unreleased Robbie Basho music will follow later in 2020.

Sam Burton's debut single, "I Can Go With You", is out now on all digital platforms, and a 7" with two songs from his June debut album is available now. Produced by Jarvis Taveniere (Woods, Purple Mountains).

dow, Saturday, 21 March 2020 02:14 (two weeks ago) link

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