On August 6th, Smithsonian Folkways released a fantastic new collection called Classic Banjo. The 30-track compilation is a wonderful tribute to the truly unique instrument via a diverse cross section of artists. I recently had the opportunity to speak with archivist Greg Adams about his work on putting together Classic Banjo.
As a fan and admirer of Hiss Golden Messenger, I first discovered guitarist Steve Gunn through his collaboration with HGM called Golden Gunn (Three Lobed Recordings). Shortly after obtaining a copy of that record, I discovered Steve's own new solo album called Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors).
Along with some of some other really great guitar records released recently by Marissa Anderson (Mercury, Mississippi), William Tyler (Impossible Truth, Merge), Daniel Bachman (Seven Pines, Tompkins Square), Glenn Jones (My Garden State, Thrill Jockey) Lena Hughes (Queen of the Flat Top Guitar, Tompkins Square) and the forthcoming release from Nathan Salsburg, Gunn's Time Off is one not to be missed.
This week, the Caldo Verde label released Mark Kozelek and Desertshore, a new 10-song collection co-written by guitarist Phil Carney (formerly of Red House Painters), pianist Chris Connolly, drummer Mike Stevens, and Sun Kil Moon vocalist Mark Kozelek.
While Kozelek guested as producer, vocalist, and bassist on Desertshore's previously released and critically acclaimed albums Drifting Your Majesty and Drawing Of Threes, Mark Kozelek and Desertshore finds the singer songwriter bringing his unique sensibility and delivery as lyricist and vocalist to each of the band's songs.
Frank Fairfield released his latest, limited edition, hand-printed, self-released CD last spring on his own new record label called Ingleside Records. It is a direct, no-nonsense recording, similar to his previous recordings issued by the Tompkins Square label (2009's Frank Fairfield and 2011's Out On The Open West), filled with carefully crafted fiddle, banjo, guitar, and vocal tunes.