One of the most essential debut albums of the 60s folk revival, and the early 60s in general – the great first album from Joan Baez on the Vanguard label – a masterpiece of emotional interpretation and impeccable folk guitar playing! Joan Baez is arguably more legendary as a figure than she his as a musician, in that she was a leader in a movement, but the singer and musician is what makes the biggest impact on us, and here she is at her finest. She's accompanied by second guitarist Fred Hellerman on about half the songs, which include "Silver Dagger", "East Virginia", "House Of The Rising Sun", "All My Trials", "Wildwood Flower", "John Riley", "Little Moses", "Ek Preso Numero Nueve" and more. CD
Robbie Basho —
Zarthus ... CD Vanguard (UK), 1974. New Copy ...
One of the trippiest records ever from Robbie Basho – in case you couldn't guess from the striking cover image! The set's a blend of Basho's sublime work on guitar – very much in the John Fahey side of the spectrum – and more Eastern-styled elements from Ramnad V Raghavan, who plays mrdangam on all tracks – creating these captivating rhythmic pulses alongside Basho's guitar! Basho also sings and plays a bit of piano – both very eerie, and very unusual – especially on the last track on the record, which takes up almost all of side two, and has an almost Gurdjieff sort of vibe. Titles include "Zarthus", "Khalil Gibran", "Bride Divine", "Rhapsody In Druz", and "Mehera". CD
Marisa Anderson —
Mercury ... CD Mississippi/Important Records, 2013. New Copy ...
Mid-May, 2014 (delayed)
Lovely instrumental work from Marisa Anderson – guitar sounds both acoustic and electric, played in a style that's certainly folksy – but often a bit less traditional than you might expect! There's these cool darker tones around the edges here – a quality that maybe starts with John Fahey, but also echoes some of the more simply expressive solo guitar work of the post-punk generation – especially on the electrified numbers that let the fuzz ring out around the edges, and really help the tunes take shape. The album's quite unique, and very different than most of the contemporary guitar underground – and titles include "The New Country", "Sinks & Rises", "Galax", "Red Sky", "Embudo", "Trinity", "Mojave", and "Furnace Creek". CD