Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Norman Blake-Directions

Let's end this year with a wonderful lp by Norman Blake, one of my all-time favorite american musician. It's called "Directions" and have been issued in 1978 by Takoma records, a label founded by guitarist John Fahey. It seems it never have been reissued on cd and it's too bad because it's a very good one. It includes a mix of instrumentals and songs, played on guitar mostly but also on mandolin ("Thebes" is a superb mandolin piece), fiddle and "Uncle Sam" has a nice brass band section at the end.
Enjoy and best wishes to all for the new year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Visits (103 old-time musicians recorded by Ray Alden)

 This week, i'm posting a double lp issued by Heritage Records in 1981, called simply "Visits". It documents the recordings made by old-time music devotee Ray Alden over a ten year period in the eastern states of the U.S.
-Be sure to visit the Field Recorder's Collective website where you can order other great field recordings of old-time musicians made by Mr. Alden.
-DOWNLOAD "VISITS" part one (The old-timers) and part two (The young musicians)
Enjoy and happy holydays to all

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tom Paley-Hard Luck Papa

Another Kicking Mule lp this week, and another guitarist, this time, the great Tom Paley. A founding member of The New Lost City Ramblers in the late fifties, along with John Cohen and Mike Seeger, he was a key-figure in the old-time string band revival in New-York. Multi-instrumentist like Cohen and Seeger, he mastered the old-time styles of guitar and banjo playing. He left the Ramblers in 1963 and went to live in Europe. He studied swedish folk fiddling and continued to play old-time american music with different bands. He had a new cd that came out last year, "Beware young ladies", available at
"Hard Luck Papa" came out in 1976 and features many hot picking numbers on the guitar as well as a few banjo pieces.

-By special request i post the (small) tablature book that goes with the lp:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Duck Baker-The King of Bongo Bong

Today's post features one of my favorite fingerstyle guitar performer and teacher, Duck Baker. My first encounter with him was through Stefan Grossman's guitar workshop videos where you'll find many lessons by Duck. He can teach with equal ability Thelonious Monk arrangements, Irish tunes, Swing, Modern Jazz, Blues and Folk, with a style that evolved from Mississippi John Hurt and Merle Travis picking techniques.
The subtitles of this lp issued in 1977 by Kicking Mule reads "Hot tunes,pop tunes, Blues, Instrumentals and Hilarity". What more can i say? Yes, one more thing. Duck sings on most of the tunes here and i really like his singing, too bad he didn't sing anymore on his other records.
I will post more of him in the future because i feel he deserves to be more known as he's a musician with incredible taste and knowledge and really opened new perspectives to fingerstyle guitarists.
(As usual it's a basic rip from the vinyl so there's a bit of cliks and pops...)