A beautiful mix of modes – the songwriting skills of Will Beeley – aka William C Beeley – and the warm southern setting of the Malaco studios at the end of the 70s! The set's got a vibe that's maybe like the best rootsy work to come out of Memphis or Muscle Shoals in the earlier part of the decade – well-penned tunes that aren't really straight rock, folk, or country – and which come together in a special sort of southern brew, without any sort of posturing or pretense. The album's wonderfully non-commercial – and has a timeless vibe that still makes it sound fresh after all these many years – as generations of artists discover the overlooked genius of Beeley. Titles include "Tell Me How Are You", "I Can't Pretend Much Longer", "Standin At The Station", "I Don't Know What I'm Into", "Rainy Sundays", "Passing Dream", and "As The Darkness Of The Heavens". LP, Vinyl record album
William C Beeley —
Gallivantin ... CD North Park/TompkinsSquare, 1971. New Copy ...
A beautiful little set from the enigmatic William Beeley – a singer/songwriter who's very clearly influenced by the early work of Bob Dylan – but who has a sound that quickly takes off in his own direction! Beeley begins the set with a version of a Dylan tune, but then opens up into some very personal songs of his own – presented with just vocals and guitar, in an up-close, honest style that's somewhere in the territory of Tim Hardin or early Leonard Cohen – not that William's copping their approach, just that the songs are that good, we'd easily rank them in such heady company. And although the set was originally issued on a tiny Texas label, the sound is much more northeast overall – on titles that include "Summer Colored Skin", "Carol", "And Then I'll Be Gone", "Easter Sunday Song", "Weathered Lady", and the album's ten minute closer "Little Wheel Spin & Spin & Co'Dine". CD
William C Beeley —
Gallivantin ... LP North Park/TompkinsSquare, 1971. New Copy (reissue)...
A beautiful little set from the enigmatic William Beeley – a singer/songwriter who's very clearly influenced by the early work of Bob Dylan – but who has a sound that quickly takes off in his own direction! Beeley begins the set with a version of a Dylan tune, but then opens up into some very personal songs of his own – presented with just vocals and guitar, in an up-close, honest style that's somewhere in the territory of Tim Hardin or early Leonard Cohen – not that William's copping their approach, just that the songs are that good, we'd easily rank them in such heady company. And although the set was originally issued on a tiny Texas label, the sound is much more northeast overall – on titles that include "Summer Colored Skin", "Carol", "And Then I'll Be Gone", "Easter Sunday Song", "Weathered Lady", and the album's ten minute closer "Little Wheel Spin & Spin & Co'Dine". LP, Vinyl record album
A pretty beautiful live recording of the great Tim Buckley – recorded at the Folk Center, NYC in March of 1967 – captured between the releases of his first and second albums for Elektra, and making the hairs on our arm stand up all these years later with just his voice and hard-strummed acoustic guitar! This is Buckley at his most direct and emotionally resonant, which we can only imagine must have been electrifying to the handful of folks at the Folk Center that day, but who knows, maybe they were mostly just looking for books or records. The sound is surprisingly excellent for a vintage instore style appearance, a happy accident if there ever was one! Wonderful stuff, and a worthy addition to any Buckley fan's collection – with a few tracks that to date had not ever appeared on any studio or live album – but this is good stuff for anyone who loves passionately sung acoustic folk music. Includes "Song For Jainie", "I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain", "Wings", "Phantasmagoria In Two", "Just Please Leave Me", "I Can't See You", "Aren't You The Girl", "Carnival Song", "Cripples Cry", "Country Boy", "No Man Can Find The War", "I Can't Leave You Loving Me". "Troubador" and more. CD
The only 70s album ever issued by guitarist Rick Deitrick – a set that was produced in a very small print run of copies – which were then sold at shows and in a few special record stores, and also left by Deitrick on woodland trails – in the hopes that hikers might stumble upon his music! That aspect of unusual distribution really fits the mood of the set – as Deitrick's never trying to push the acoustic guitar into any unnatural territory – and instead works within a familiar palette to create some very personal music – maybe the sorts of modes that graced the very earliest work by William Ackerman, who might be a kindred spirit to the sort of organic explorations that Rick's working through here. The album was recorded at a time when solo acoustic guitar had moved quite far beyond both folk and jazz – used in a wonderfully personal way on songs that include "Gentle Wilderness", "At Morning", "Missy Christa", "Jon's Song", "Deep Within The Forest Of The Heart", and "Crawdad Hole". LP, Vinyl record album
Beautiful solo guitar work from Rick Deitrick – a very underground figure in the already-underground world of acoustic material in the late 70s! Deitrick's maybe one of the most understated of his contemporaries – less experimental than John Fahey or Robbie Basho, and often working with familiar chords and tunings, but in a way that still allows him to deliver very personally poetic music! There's a gentleness to the proceedings that match Rick's only other album – and he has this way of letting his notes on the strings of the acoustic guitar almost ring out like some sort of celestial tonal progression. Titles include "Wide River", "Twilight Caravan", "Away", "Sparrows", "Morningstar", "River Sun", and "River Moon". LP, Vinyl record album
The cover makes the record look like one of Harvey Mandel's classic albums from the early 70s – and the sound within is very much in the same spirit too – a noisy, gritty set that really returns the guitar legend to the brilliance of his younger career! The set's awash in the kind of fuzzy, freaky sounds that Mandel could do so well – especially when working with producer Abe Voco Kesh – and the record's got the same sort of trippy, echoey sound as their early collaborations – but is maybe even more amazing, given that the whole thing was recorded live in the studio, without any overdubs or added production tricks! All tracks are instrumental – and there's a super-sweet combo, the band of Ryley Walker, that gives Harvey some tasty funk at the bottom – and is perfect for his guitar that was raised on blues, and schooled in psych. Titles include "Snake Pit", "Space Monkeys"," Nightingail", "Buckaroo", "Jackhammer", and a great new take on the Larry Frazier tune "Before Six". CD
Beautiful acoustic guitar work from overlooked giants Harry Taussig and Max Ochs – both players who came up through the same Takoma Records 60s scene as John Fahey, Leo Kottke, and Robbie Basho – but never received the same degree of fame! The TompkinsSquare label has done a lot to correct that over the years – giving both Taussig and Ochs a new outlet for their music – and they bring them together here, on new recordings that commemorate the 50th anniversary of their appearance on a rare Takoma album – titled Contemporary Guitar Spring 1967. This set follow the format of that record – by offering up a split set that has Taussig's solo guitar on side one – on titles that include "Remembrance Of Things Past", "When Yellow Leaves Do Hang", "Into The Veil Of Tears", and "Remembrance Of Things Future" – and Ochs on the other side, on titles that include "See What Tomorrow Brings", "Boogie For Barry", and "Oncones". Both players are wonderful in the setting – and the record is one that would make the Takoma legacy proud! LP, Vinyl record album
Awe-inspiring solo guitar from Mark Fosson – brilliant stuff that rivals Fahey, Peter Lang and any other folk guitar geniuses who influenced him – recorded direct to reel-to-reel in Fosson's living room in 1976! Fosson's 12-string, the tape recorder and a rented microphone are all that went into the "production" – but the sound is impeccable, as is Fosson's playing! This is as wonderful as any rare folk guitar music we've been introduced to in quite a while! Includes "Quarter Moon" (plus and alternate take), "Arrival Of The Grand Picayune", "Cosmic Hiccup", "Frozen Fingers" (also with an alternate take), "Gorilla Mountain", "Nancy's Waltz", "Sky Piece" and the only non-original, "Back In The Saddle Again", which is a great, non-nostalgic take on the Gene Autry song. LP, Vinyl record album