July 11th, 2019

Highways & Heart Attacks

Will Beeley – Highways & Heart Attacks – His first album in 40 years !

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No Depression Review

Texas singer-songwriter Will Beeley came up in the Austin scene of the 70’s with Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and Steve Earle. His two 70’s LPs were reissued by Tompkins Square in 2017. The new album was recorded by 5-time Grammy winner Joe Trevino (Flaco, Los Lobos), produced by Jerry DeCicca (Larry Jon Wilson), features Michael Guerra (The Mavericks), and was mixed by Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn’s ‘Van Lear Rose’).

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.”

March 28th, 2019

Teodross Avery – ‘After the Rain : A Night for Coltrane’ out May 10th

WBGO premiered the new album by saxophonist Teodross Avery.

*** Vinyl and CD SOLD OUT at source, thank you ! (You can still get it via Amazon, online, etc.)

In the beginning there was John Coltrane. Teodross Avery experienced an epiphany at 13 when he first heard Trane’s “Giant Steps.” He emerged in the mid-1990s 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. With Liner Notes by Ben Ratliff.

February 11th, 2019

Kinloch Nelson – Partly on Time : Recordings 1968-1970

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

Unheard Recordings from Secret Rochester Guitarist

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HEAR / POST A TRACK

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 / Brickbat Books
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

December 9th, 2018

GRAMMY Nomination !

‘Sonny Clark Trio : The 1960 Time Sessions’ has received a Grammy nomination for Best Notes (Ben Ratliff) !

It’s the 8th nomination for Tompkins Square, and the first for Ben.

The 2CD set is out now with bonus tracks NOT available on last year’s 2LP set. The LP set is out of print at source but still available online in certain places.


BUY 2CD set

August 24th, 2018

John Hulburt – Leap Frog

“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….

SPOTIFY

APPLE

Bandcamp

Buy Opus III LP / CD

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

Opus III – LP (TSQ 5166) / CD (TSQ5159)

July 25th, 2018

Harmony Rockets with Special Guest Peter Walker – Out Sept. 14th, 2018

Available everywhere Sept 14, 2018

PRE-ORDER USA

PRE-ORDER UK/EU

“…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.

June 1st, 2018

Gwenifer Raymond – Debut Album out now

Tompkins Square is very proud to announce the signing of Welsh multi-instrumentalist, Gwenifer Raymond. Hailing from Cardiff and now residing in Brighton in the South of England, Raymond began playing guitar at the age of eight. Tompkins Square released her debut 7″ on Record Store Day.

UNCUT 8/10

Guardian 5 star review

ORDER LP/CD

WATCH the video for “Sometimes There’s Blood”

WATCH the video for “Bleeding Finger Blues”

In her own words :

When I was about eight years old a pretty formative thing happened to me … my mum bought me a cassette tape of Nirvana’s Nevermind. Being so young I’d had no real interest in music prior to that, but I did have a ‘My First Sony’ cassette player that I used to listen to audiobooks. Anyway, I put the tape in, pressed play, and what I heard blew my little 8 year old mind. I don’t know what it was about that wall of sound that so captured me, but I spent many hours hyperactively running around the house with headphones on, volume at full blast, and Nevermind on repeat. It was either for Christmas or my birthday that year, that I asked for a guitar.

I spent all my teenage years playing either guitar or drums in various punk and rock outfits around the Welsh valleys, but around that time I was also getting seriously into older stuff, Dylan, The Velvet Underground and the like. Through those cheap compilation CDs you could get then, I found that a common influence amongst these guys was pre-war delta and country blues, as well as Appalachian music. Eventually I stumbled upon Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James and Roscoe Holcomb, and they became the holy trinity of musicians I so wanted to able to play like. Eventually, I tracked down a blues man in Cardiff who could teach me and it was in studying these guys that I was introduced to John Fahey and the whole American Primitive thing.

I’ve always loved being in bands and the sonic chemistry it produces, but at the same time it’s always a bit of a compromise that those sounds in my head have to pass through and be translated by someone else’s. Sometimes it can be for the better, but sometimes not so much. American Primitive was the first time it had occurred to me that you didn’t really need anything more than one solo instrument to fully express yourself, especially when those feelings and moods refuse to be articulated in words, sometimes it’s a mystery to yourself what it is you’re expressing. I still play in hard rock and punk bands and love to wail and hit my guitar with a complete lack of any subtlety or nuance, but in the end I think that all these things are really part of a circle, feeding back into itself. It’s all just a lineup of strange mutations.

“Deep Sea Diver / Bleeding Finger Blues ” – 7″ (TSQ 5524)
You Never Were Much A Dancer – LP (TSQ 5531) / CD (TSQ 5562)
Available worldwide June 29th, 2018

May 15th, 2018

Rick Deitrick – Home Grown : Recordings 1969-1979

“Understated” is how Dusty Groove describes Rick Deitrick. That’s one aspect separating him from the solo acoustic guitar pack (along with his insistence on playing in standard tuning). We became fascinated with Rick after Brooks Rice and Michael Klausman put him on volume 8 of our Imaginational Anthem guitar series. This prompted our reissue of 1978’s Gentle Wilderness; the simultaneous release of River Sun River Moon (unissued works from the same era) ; and the newest release, Home Grown : Recordings 1969-1979.

** Home Grown : Recordings 1969-1979 is available NOW on every digital service, worldwide (Spotify, Apple, Amazon, bandcamp etc.) All tracks previously unreleased. **

** To celebrate the new release, we are offering both of Rick’s vinyl LPs, Gentle Wilderness and River Sun River Moon, at a special price ! (Price includes shipping)
For US, $20
For Canada, $35
For x-North America, $50
Please use this link to Paypal your amount.
Be sure to include your address in your Paypal notes.

Thanks as always !

April 17th, 2018

Duck Baker / Gwenifer Raymond

Tompkins Square has TWO awesome Record Store Day pieces this year. Ask your local retailer to stock ‘em.

Duck Baker ‘Les Blues Du Richmond : Demos & Outtakes, 1973-1979′ (TSQ 5517) (ltd 1000 ww)
&
Gwenifer Raymond – Deep Sea Diver / Bleeding Finger Blues – 7″ (TSQ 5524) (ltd 600 ww)

Duck Baker :
Classic 70’s LPs on Kicking Mule. Recorded with John Renbourn. Toured with Bert Jansch and Davey Graham. Authored twelve music books. Reworked tunes by Herbie Nichols and Thelonious Monk for guitar — Duck Baker has been there and done it ! Now, Tompkins Square presents his earliest recordings from the vaults.

Gwenifer Raymond :
Hailing from Cardiff and now residing in Brighton in the South of England, Raymond began playing guitar at the age of 8. Her debut 7″ will be released on Record Store Day via Tompkins Square ahead of her debut album, You Never Were Much of a Dancer, slated for later in 2018. The 7″ includes “Bleeding Finger Blues” from the forthcoming LP, and “Deep Sea Diver,” which will not appear on the album.

February 27th, 2018

Entourage – 3CD/1LP set out March 23 !

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.

Hear the entire LP version (10 songs) via Soundcloud

WATCH the album trailer

PRE-ORDER 3CD or 1LP set