Tompkins Square’s Acclaimed ‘Imaginational Anthem’ Acoustic Guitar Box Set Hits The Road

“I struggle to recall any recent comps that glide together as seamlessly as these Tompkins Square projects, and “Volume Three” is no exception. Contemplative, intricate, a simple but ornate school of folk that hangs effortlessly between the ancient and the avant-garde . . . I could listen to this stuff all day.” – John Mulvey, UNCUT

NYC’s Tompkins Square label presents three artists from its recent ‘Imaginational Anthem’ compilation series in concert: Cian Nugent (Ireland), Ben Reynolds (Scotland) and George Stavis. It is the first US tour for Nugent and Reynolds.

The acclaimed three-volume series, now available as a limited edition 3-CD box set, includes rare and unreleased acoustic guitar tracks by John Fahey, Sandy Bull, Robbie Basho, Mark Fosson, Michael Chapman, Harris Newman, Brad Barr, Jack Rose, Kaki King and many others.

Past ‘Imaginational Anthem’ release event and tour alumni include James Blackshaw, Jack Rose, Max Ochs, Christina Carter, Shawn David McMillen, Sharron Kraus, Sean Smith and others.

Oct 3 Williamsburg, Brooklyn Monkeytown 2 sets 7:30 & 10PM
Oct 4 NYC Cake Shop
Oct 5 Philadelphia Brickbat Books
Oct 6 Baltimore Golden West
Oct 7 DC Velvet Lounge
Oct 8 Somerville MA The Nave
Oct 9 Montague MA Bookmill
Oct 10 Burlington VT Firehouse Gallery
Oct 11 Portland ME Time of Rivers Festival


Cian Nugent: 19 years old, from Ireland. His debut EP is a CDR (ltd. ed. of 100) with six tracks recorded on a 70’s reel-to-reel machine, and the crude nature of it harks back to those early recordings of Davey Graham at Hull University. It even includes a re-working of Buell Kazee’s “Wagoner’s Lad”, famously covered by Bert Jansch. His debut for Tompkins Square is set for the first half of ‘09.

Ben Reynolds: From Scotland. “Here Toucheth Blues”, a highlight of ‘Imaginational Anthem vol 3′, is lilting and elegiac, a bit surprising as his fans are likely more familiar with his angular, raga-charged works. Ben is building a fantastic catalogue of solo recordings (and a multitude of side projects and collaborations), most recently ‘Two Wings’ on the Strange Attractors label. His Tompkins Square debut surfaces in early ‘09.

George Stavis: A shadowy figure from decades past, seemingly undiminished by time and ripe for re-discovery, is the mysterious banjo picker, George Stavis. He recorded one album for Vanguard in 1969, Labyrinths, subtitled Occult Improvisational Compositions for 5-string banjo and percussion. This LP is the oddest and best banjo album of the period, only rivaled perhaps by fellow 5-stringer Billy Faier’s 1973 Takoma album – good luck finding an LP copy of either, however Labyrinths is available on CD. Stavis is pictured on the cover wearing a medieval robe and holding a glowing crystal ball. The record is a wonderful devil’s brew of ethnic, old-timey and psychedelics. He returns to the stage for the first time in decades.