All posts by Brendan Boyle

Roscoe Holcomb CD/LP Release Party- Sat. Dec. 5th, 2pm

Join us on Saturday, December 5th at 2pm for a celebration of the new “Roscoe Holcomb – San Diego State Folk Festival 1972” CD/LP release on Tompkins Square Records. These exceptional recordings come from the vast & remarkable Lou Curtiss Sound Library. This event will include a discussion with Lou Curtiss about Roscoe Holcomb, old-time music & his life’s work as a festival organizer & archivist. Clinton Davis of the G Burns Jug Band will be performing some banjo songs from his native state of Kentucky, including some Roscoe Holcomb tunes. And Tompkins Square Records owner, Josh Rosenthal, will likely be giving a short reading from his new book, The Record Store of the Mind. CD & LP copies of the new Roscoe Holcomb release, as well as copies of Rosenthal’s new book, will be available for purchase.

Roscoe Holcomb was discovered in Daisy, KY by John Cohen in 1959. He never desired to be recorded or even perform for his neighbors. He was a very poor, working class man who suffered from emphysema and black lung. Holcomb was simply a “back porch musician” in 1959. He quickly became recognized as an American treasure. Roscoe Holcomb’s music represents the old, deep soul of American music. His singing & banjo playing has a very distinct, high-pitched, wailing fervor to it, showing the influence of the primitive Baptist churches in remote Appalachia. His old-time songs are deeply traditional; many were centuries old. And he was strongly influenced by African-American music, singing with deep & haunting blues & aggressively pickin’ his banjo with speed. This music perfectly symbolizes the soul of America and its music: battered & pained, yet stubborn, excited, strange & transcendently beautiful. There’s a reason why musicians like Bob Dylan consider Roscoe to be one of their biggest influences.

HM3- Live on the streets in front of Folk Arts Rare Records

Saturday, November 28
2:00-3:00pm

HM3 (The Harley Magsino Trio) will be bringing their loud, spaced out, Groove Jazz to the streets of El Cajon Blvd, on the sidewalk in front of Folk Arts Rare Records. Concert will be in celebration of Small Business Saturday.

Joshua White- keys
Harley Magsino- bass
Charles Weller- drums
Special Guest- ?

3072 El Cajon Blvd.
Sat. Nov. 28th (Thanksgiving weekend)
2pm start
Free but donations appreciated

Rain or shine. Show will be moved indoors if weather is a factor.
Hope to see ya here!

Roscoe Holcomb- San Diego State Folk Festival, 1972 – out Nov. 27th!

ROSCOE HOLCOMB
SAN DIEGO STATE FOLK FESTIVAL 1972
LIMITED EDITION VINYL LP NOVEMBER 27th, 2015
CD & DIGITAL DECEMBER 4th, 2015

Tompkins Square label is proud to announce the release of the first commercially available full live concert recording of old-time legend Roscoe Holcomb. The vinyl LP will be released in limited quantity on Black Friday via independent record stores. The CD and digital versions will be available widely on December 4th.

Discovered by folklorist John Cohen in 1959 in East Kentucky, Roscoe Holcomb is among the most revered traditional musicians to emerge during the folk boom of the 60’s. A favorite of Bob Dylan (who name-checked him in his 2014 MusiCares speech), Eric Clapton, and many others, Holcomb’s high lonesome singing and driving banjo style can be heard on several classic Folkways recordings.

San Diego State Folk Festival 1972 was recorded at the annual event produced by Lou Curtiss, who provides insightful notes on how the concert came together. John Cohen, author of ‘The High Lonesome Sound’ (Steidl) also contributes new notes to the set. Previously unseen photographs from the event were shot by Virginia Curtiss. Jean Ritchie duets with Holcomb on a beautiful eight-minute version of ‘Wandering Boy’.

Ted Taylor- Somebody’s Always Trying

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted on this blog, but there’s no better return than writing about the greatest Soul singer you’ve never heard of. Ted Taylor was chronically unappreciated throughout his career. He had a fairly large hit with the amazing track “Be Ever Wonderful” and found success amongst Southern Black audiences. Somehow most serious record collectors these days don’t even know about Ted Taylor, but to me the guy is a King.
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Sat. Oct. 3rd 5:00-7:00pm – A 78rpm Listening Party at Folk Arts!

I’m very excited about this event I’ll be having at the shop. The great Lou Curtiss will be in the house to share his immense knowledge of American music. And I’ll breaking out the absolute best 78rpm records in my possession. Many killer records will be heard. Come hang out or join this discussion.

Discover the strange and fascinating origins of American music through 78rpm records! Join us for a listening party including many marvelous, rare records and an informal discussion about the importance of these recordings. The development of genres like Blues, Old-time Appalachian music, Jazz, Western Swing, Gospel, Country, R&B and Rockabilly will be covered, with an emphasis on the relationships between the genres, and how they helped to shape later styles like Soul and Rock’n’Roll. This fun and informal event includes great conversation and free beer!

Sat. Oct. 3rd 5:00-7:00pm – A 78rpm Listening Party at Folk Arts!

I’m very excited about this event I’ll be having at the shop. The great Lou Curtiss will be in the house to share his immense knowledge of American music. And I’ll breaking out the absolute best 78rpm records in my possession. Many killer records will be heard. Come hang out or join this discussion.

Discover the strange and fascinating origins of American music through 78rpm records! Join us for a listening party including many marvelous, rare records and an informal discussion about the importance of these recordings. The development of genres like Blues, Old-time Appalachian music, Jazz, Western Swing, Gospel, Country, R&B and Rockabilly will be covered, with an emphasis on the relationships between the genres, and how they helped to shape later styles like Soul and Rock’n’Roll. This fun and informal event includes great conversation and free beer!

Structures For Sound: Musical Instruments by Francois and Bernard Baschet

Here’s something you don’t see every day. This 10” LP features the music of 12 invented musical instruments. These are largely constructed with rods, cones & strings made out of a variety of materials: metal, plastic, aluminum, steel and copper primarily. These instruments sound like the soundtrack to a circus being held in outer space, a throwback to earlier mechanical constructions, yet highly modern & avant garde. At its best moments this music features drones that are supremely eerie and loaded with resonance. The layers of sound created here can reach some marvelous, impressive levels. There’s definite horror soundtrack potential here, but these constructions can also create some very lovely sounds.
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Lou & Virginia Curtiss and Gregory Page- Live at Folk Arts on Sat. Sep. 12

Lou & Virginia Curtiss
Gregory Page

Live at Folk Arts Rare Records
Saturday, September 12
5:00-7:00pm
Free Show with Donations encouraged

This will be the first performance by Lou & Virginia Curtiss and Gregory Page at the new Folk Arts location. It is a major honor to be hosting them. This will be a standing room only event. Chairs can be provided upon request, but we encourage you to only sit if it’s absolutely necessary. Capacity will be limited. And the Air Conditioning will be on. See you at the show!