Archive for September, 2008

Nick Tosches on ‘People Take Warning!’

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

I’ve been sitting here watching the remains of this short-lived country go down the drain, and there is no better soundtrack to this than People Take Warning, a grand and beautiful set – in every sense, from the remastered recordings to the notes to the extraordinary design work – that gives perspective both to these days and those of the past. This is white-hot history, a danse macabre, and, above all, a wealth of great old and timeless music.
– Nick Tosches

Frank Fairfield Tours with Fleet Floxes

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

Tompkins Square label has signed Los Angeles-based musician Frank Fairfield. He will be main support for Fleet Foxes on their US tour this fall.

The label has released a 3-song digital single, and a 7″ single featuring Fairfield”s take on traditional tunes “I’ve Always Been A Rambler” b/w “Darling Corey.” An album will follow in early 2009.

Links and more info:

Brad Barr – The Fall Apartment : Instrumental Guitar

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Tompkins Square label will release guitarist Brad Barr’s solo debut, The Fall Apartment: Instrumental Guitar, on September 16th, 2008.

Brad will be opening for Sonya Kitchell this fall.

As a member of Northeast-based band The Slip, Brad’s guitar prowess has always been notable, but his true gifts and distinct musical voice are on full display throughout this solo guitar album. A heady set of original compositions is complimented by such diverse covers as “Maria La O” by legendary Cuban musician Ernesto Lecuona, Kurt Cobain’s “Heart Shaped Box,” and Le Trio Ferret’s “Gin Gin.” The introspective tone of the album recalls such overlooked loner guitar gems as Lenny Breau’s Cabin Fever or Richard Crandell’s The Flower of Our Youth, whilst staking out a thoroughly modern approach to solo guitar here in the late ’00’s.


Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

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.