These impassioned, and often mournful, renditions of klezmer folk songs (both traditional and original) are infused with elements of free jazz, drone, and chamber music to create something both rooted and urgently modern (Even 15 years after its release). The mostly acoustic band features violinist Jessica Moss (also of Silver Mt. Zion) and upright bassist Thierry Amar (asmz, GY!BE) in addition to singer/multi-instrumentalist Scott Levine Gilmore and Clarinetist/Guitarist Gabe Levine.
Released in 1967 on Elektra Records Format: LP
Released in 1964 on Columbia Records Recorded in 1963 Format: LP
On his latest, producer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Bibio blends serene folk pop, lush instrumentation, pastoral guitar instrumentals, nature field recordings, Walt Whitman-esque lyrics and beat-oriented grooves into the perfectly crafted springtime album. Ribbons feels like daydreaming in a garden or out in the woods under a tree or by a trickling stream.
Warm, mellow Scottish folk with lyrics that border spiritual, philosophical, and fantasy themes. The arrangements are a bit stripped down from their lush psychedelia of previous releases, but still feature a good amount of sitar, organ, Irish harp, and violin to add some color to the vocals and acoustic guitar-centric songwriting.
Released on Elektra in 1968 Format: LP
Released in 1967 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Exuma’s first album is a powerful and ritualistic masterpiece of spiritual folk from the Bahamas. Exuma, the Obeah Man, is a master storyteller and preacher, sharing visions, myths, and prayers. His expressive, soulful voice takes on many tones as he delivers his musical sermons, from smooth to raspy, soft to confident. A group of singers, percussionists, whistlers, and toads join him and his acoustic guitar, making me imagine them all circled around a large fire in communal worship and grateful that they let us listeners in on it.
Releases in 1983 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Released in 1967 on Takoma Records Format: LP
Released in 1971 on Reprise Records Format: LP White label promo copy
Released in 1970 on Transatlantic Format: LP Original UK pressing
Released in 2002 on Holy Mountain Format: LP This lo-fi psych-folk classic has a near-perfect tracklist of songs, eerie ambient … More
Released in 1969 on Elektra Records
Released in 2015 on Drag City Composed using Ben Chasny’s Hexadic System
Released in 2017 on Domino Records Format: LPx2
Released in 2018 on Columbia Records Recorded September and December, 1974
Released in 2011 on Sub Pop Records Produced by Phil Ek and Fleet Foxes Format: LPx2 Includes large foldout poster
Released in 2006 on Drag City Records Format: LPx2
“What I’m asking you to do is take some risks. Stop paying war taxes, refuse the armed forces, organize against the air war, support the strikes and boycotts of farmers, workers and poor people, analyze the flag salute, give up the nation state, share your money, refuse to hate, be willing to work…in short, sisters and brothers, arm up with love and come from the shadows”
Information: Originally released in 1963 on Columbia This pressing was released in 2001 on Sundazed records Format: LP, 180g, Mono
On his debut album, the guitar and banjo virtuoso starts off with a 22-minute droning epic fusing American and Arabic Folk music with Indian Raga on his acoustic guitar (often trying to imitate the feeling of the oud). Here, he is accompanied by the fluid, driving drums of Billy Higgins. Side 2 is made up of 4 shorter solo pieces, mostly for the banjo, including an impressive rendition of “Carmina Burana” by German composer Carl Orff and a folky mountain song.
British singer-songwriter John Martyn fuses folk, jazz, and psychedelic experimentation to create an album that is both eclectic and cohesive, tied together by his flowing voice and virtuosic acoustic guitar fingerpicking.
FFO Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Ryley Walker
Julie Byrne’s gentle new-age folk is so light and airy it’s easy to miss its depth, but repeated listening shows that it’s strength lies in its weightlessness. Her soothing voice and delicate fingerpicking are enveloped in warm string arrangements, all tied together by soft reverb and pristine production that makes for an inviting, peaceful listen every time.
Pastoral psychfolk from guitar master Ben Chasney. Here his serene acoustic fingerpicking is occasionally accompanied by harmonium drones and trippy guitar overdubs, but overall the album is extremely sparse and meditative.
The first side features Dylan going electric for the first time, including classics such as She Belongs to Me and Maggie’s Farm. Side 2 features the acoustic storytelling and surrealist lyrics Dylan had been perfecting up to that point.
Album Information: Released in 1967 on Takoma Records Includes 15-page book of stories and song notes
Album Information: Released in 1967 on Takoma Records This album was originally released on 100 copies in 1959, but was … More
Guitar-genius Mdou Moctar visits Portland, Oregon from his home country of Niger to record a hypnotic solo album of desert folk sung in Tamasheq. Most songs consist of intricate fingerstyle acoustic guitar with occasional electric guitar overdubs to accent the melodies.
A fingerpicking folk odyssey that traverses through passages of delicate piano motifs, tribal drum circles, meditative ambience, celebratory horn arrangements, reverent organ drones, and even a cathartic drum solo, all within a single 40 minute track.
Blue Afternoon continues the flowing jazz-folk of Tim’s previous release (Happy Sad) while starting to detour into the avant-garde atmospheres that would manifest more fully on his next two albums, Lorca and Starsailor. The songs and lyrics refuse to be boxed into one category as “joyful” or “lonely” or “sad” and instead reflect the intangible multi-dimensionality of feeling.
An introspective, instrumental journey of pastoral fingerstyle guitar, occasionally joined by piano, synth and horn arrangements
Album Information: Released in 1969 by Island Records Recorded between June 1968 and June 1969 at Sound Techniques in London, … More
Somber ambient-folk with layers of delicate, circular fingerpicking and sparse arrangements of droning harmonium, piano, guitar feedback and the occasional chirping crickets. The soft reverb dampens everything like a light drizzle over the American prairie
Album Information: Released in 1967 on Takoma Records Original album recorded and released in 1964, but was re-recorded in 1967 … More
Album Information: Released in 1999 by Columbia Records Recorded at Royal Albert Hall in 1966 Format: 2xLP Box Set, 200g, … More
Album information: Released on Takoma Records in 1969
Primitivist acoustic guitar instrumentals in the form of droney ragas, jovial ragtime, and pastoral fingerpicking
A collection of quality songwriting and unpretentious, rootsy arrangements, featuring the beautiful, heavenly, dreamy “Magnolia”.