On April 8th 2008, Tompkins Square will release Imaginational Anthem Vol. 3, the third in a series of compilations devoted to acoustic guitar mavericks past and present. The label will also release all three volumes together as a box set on the same date.
As with Volumes 1 & 2, the new album features extraordinary young talents such as Cian Nugent (Ireland), Ben Reynolds (UK), and Shawn David McMillen (Austin, TX) alongside unsung heroes from decades past, such as banjo master George Stavis, who recorded an album for Vanguard in the 60’s; Richard Crandell, whose rare private press works will hopefully now be brought to light; and Mark Fosson, whose lost 1977 Takoma album was recently issued.
Released in October 2005, Imaginational Anthem was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, and received 4 stars from Uncut (“Entrancing”), All Music Guide (“Masterful”) and Mojo (“Groundbreaking”). Rolling Stone’s David Fricke wrote, “The history and beauty here speaks for themselves, at the perfect volume.” Jon Pareles wrote in The New York Times, “Old and new, the music meditates on blues, Appalachian music, raga and ragtime, and traditions are transfigured by a deep love for the sonority of the acoustic guitar.”
Released in June 2006, Imaginational Anthem Volume 2 opened with the gorgeous “River of Heaven” by Tompkins Square recording artist James Blackshaw, and featured unreleased recordings by legends such as Michael Chapman, Fred Gerlach, Billy Faier, Peter Lang, and Robbie Basho. The album was supported by a national Arthur Magazine-sponsored U.S. tour with Blackshaw, Sharron Kraus and Sean Smith. Pitchfork wrote, “(IA2) pairs some of the leading lights of the current avant-folk subculture with unearthed vintage folk rarities.”
Tompkins Square has been steadily mining the genre known as “American Primitive Guitar” with a string of acclaimed releases over the past two years, including reissues of seminal ’60’s albums by Robbie Basho and Harry Taussig; an album by three young guitarists from the Bay Area, Berkeley Guitar; The Cloud of Unknowing by 25-year old UK trailblazer James Blackshaw; Catfish, the debut album from Austin multi-instrumentalist Shawn David McMillen, and a tribute album for ’60’s-era Vanguard recording artist Peter Walker, entitled A Raga For Peter Walker.
Full Album Stream: http://www.imaginationalanthem.com/
Track listing for Imaginational Anthem Vol. 3 :
1. Richard Crandell – Zocalo
2. Ben Reynolds – Here Toucheth Blues
3. Greg Davis – Sleep Architecture
4. Nathan Salsburg – Bold Ruler’s Joys
5. Steffen Basho-Junghans – Blue Mountain Raga II
6. Cian Nugent – When the Snow Melts And Floats Downstream
7. Matt Baldwin – Sean Cycle
8. Mark Fosson – Another Fine Day
9. George Stavis – Goblins
10. R. Keenan Lawler – High Tower Bells For Loren Connors
11. Shawn David McMillen – Texarkana 1971