Record Store Day at Folk Arts!

On Record Store Day, Saturday April 16, 2016, Folk Arts Rare Records is going all out! We will have well over 200 exclusive Record Store Day releases for sale, including multiple copies of many releases. Doors open at 10 a.m. This likely will be an under-the-radar RSD location, so there may not be a very long line.

At 3 p.m. the party starts, with three local bands performing on the sidewalk in front of the shop!

G Burns Jug Band (old-time; Jug Band Blues) from 3:00-4:00pm

Smooth Impressions (Classic Soul) from 4:00-5:00pm

Fanny and the Atta Boys (Country/Rockabilly) from 5:00-6:00pm.

These unique performances out on El Cajon Blvd will be free. The store will be open until 8 p.m. Come on out for great music, good company, and killer records. There will be 100’s more highly impressive New Arrivals besides the RSD titles, but that’s the norm for this store.

Folk Arts Rare Records is a San Diego institution. Opened in 1967 by Lou Curtiss, revered music historian, founder and long-time organizer of the San Diego Folk Festivals & Adams Ave. Roots Festivals, and host of Jazz Roots on Jazz 88.3. Folk Arts has been at the heart of San Diego music culture for almost 50 years.

In 2014, Brendan Boyle took over the store, and his philosophy (extreme eclecticism & open-mindedness) and approach (always buying records, rarely ever selling online, and keeping nothing for himself) have earned the store an enthusiastic following in San Diego and beyond. The store is frequently visited by local musicians, people from all over the world & is being recognized by many serious record collectors for being one of the more interesting record stores on the west coast. The store was recently featured on the high profile Record Collector / DJ t.v. show Crate Diggers. Folk Arts remains a destination for music, history, lore, and performance.

Son del Centro- Live at Folk Arts Rare Records- March 18, 6:30pm

Son del Centro (Son Jarocho; traditional Mexican music)
Live at Folk Arts Rare Records
Free Happy Hour Show!
6:30pm start
part of Boulevard Nights (the 3rd Friday of every month on El Cajon Blvd.)

Son del Centro’s roots date back almost 13 years now when high school-aged youth began exploring the rich Mexican musical tradition of son jarocho. Five years ago, the group’s efforts came to fruition in the form of their first album Mi Jarana es mi Fusil. Son del Centro owes its accomplishments, which include performances in Veracruz, Mexico, on the stage of the House of Blues in Chicago, to a community-based project started in 2002 out of Santa Ana’s El Centro Cultural de Mexico. As the longtime nonprofit’s occupancy of the Knight’s of Pythias building on the corner of Fifth and Broadway will end next month at the behest of the property owners, the son jarocho group returns to a familiar role in a new context, performing benefit shows for the community organization that birthed them now in its time of need. In 2014, their song Cana from their 1st album was used in the acclaimed movie ‘Jaula de Oro’. Son del Centro released a second album in 2014 paying homage to a tradition that has proven resilient over the span of centuries in Mexico.

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

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!


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’.