Monday, March 22, 2010

Danny Espy on BJ Records

Enigmatic rainy day loner garage 45 from California... I've had it for a few years and puzzled over the why's and where's but a friend recently was able to make contact with Danny who lives in New Jersey and recorded the 7" sort of ad hoc on a vacation to Southern California with his family in '74. Still can't quite figure out if this is Buster Jones' "BJ" label which had a number of soul releases and was active more or less when this would have been recorded. A band was provided for the occasion, and that's about all there is to tell. Enjoy the fragile teen ambience on "Lonesome Man" and warbly basement shuffle of "When Will the Sun Shine." It's a rare one!

When Will The Sun Shine

Lonesome Man

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Interview: Phil Lewin

I had the pleasure of speaking with Philip Lewin recently, a Toronto area song-smith and musician who released two marvelous LPs back in the 70s. I would describe both records as very personal statements from a unique perspective... something all too rare when it comes to self-released folk and rock music from those halcyon days. Phil is that wonderfully dialed voice which possesses a beautifully cynical mysticism, an intellectual drift fallen on hard times, and ragged musical ends that find their home just because they can. I was so caught off guard when I first heard Diamond Love and Other Realities a few years ago that I played it back to back for days in a row, before finally giving Phil a call a year or so later. Upon hearing Am I Really Here All Alone? a bit later the whole picture clicked, and I could see all these fascinating threads weaving in and out of both records... heartfelt, sad music that reached out and commanded everything I had as a listener. Astonishing late night epiphanies that arose from something very familiar and pushed far out into the atmosphere: cerebral moving dystopic visions of love and longing, of magic and holy people moving in tawdry circles, dark and light like the album cover flashing in the fog, all of this - mind you - wed to a canvas of fragile electric leads and accomplished confident song-writing... Watercolors, which I've posted below is a piece of music that has always stopped me dead in my tracks, an epiphany of the slender line between existential ecstasy and dread, as heavy a song as anything you'd call to mind from your 70s folkie pantheon of Tims and Bobs... and so it is I remain rapt and raving! It's my pleasure to present this interview, as I consider myself a true fan and hope a few more people might dig into these records and enjoy Phil's story. I'm surprised too that Am I Really Here has not been reissued on vinyl yet, as it seems like it would go over well with a wide group of folks - in lieu of that, I've posted a track from each record for you to check out... and should you wish to purchase a CD of either album from Phil himself, he can be contacted here. So without further ado... Phil!

Interview with Phil, March 14, 2010

A snap of Brian Gauci and Wyatt MacDonald, from the Diamond Love Sessions

from Am I Really Here All Alone?

Diamond Love
from Diamond Love and Other Realities

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Dirt Road Band

Posts have been light lately... Apologies. So so busy with work right now! Found a copy of this cool garagey rural-ish pounder from the Bronx recently and figured I'd share the sounds. Both sides have that great youthful 60s flashing immediacy... and rightfully so, as I doubt they ever cut anything else. Mysterious label I don't know much about either... thought for a minute when I first picked it up that it was the prolific country studio out of New Mexico, yet a NY address and a production credit to the Maple Syrup Kids (!?) is about all there is to tell. A friend mentioned that this Gold Dust may have had some soul singles out too. If anybody has more info drop a line!

Mrs. Past

I've Been Thinking About the Past