March 22, 2011

Andrew Stranglen - Doggone Gone Dog

Folks, I'm proud to present to you a recording by Andrew Stranglen, available for download.  If you aren't familiar with Stranglen's work you need to check it out.  This is an older one that was never released for sale.  But he has those too, be sure to check the links at the end of the post.  His "Harken" release made my Tops of the Decade list.  So without further ado, take it away Andrew...

Doggone Gone Dog

Def.1   An American colloquial expression of exasperation
          at the impermanence of life;   An expression of loss of
          a close friend or relative.  “Doggone it, the doggone
          dog is done gone!”

Def.2  A collection of experimental music recordings ca1999,
          by Andrew Stranglen using two Teac reel to reel tape
          decks in an endless loop setup, a la Steve Reich, or
          Fripp & Eno, earlier pioneers of R2R 2 R2R audio tape
          music experimentation. 


     Doggone Gone Dog was originally conceived while playing around with two Teac reel to reel tape decks.   And 12-string acoustic guitar with all lighter gages tuned DGGDGD.
Deck 1 is the record & supply deck, and deck 2,  set some few feet away is the playback & take-up deck which plays back into deck 1 opposite channels.   This creates a delayed repeat or long echo that slowly fades as new audio material is continually added, creating riffs that morph throughout time.  Other noisemakers on this collection include an electric guitar(Harmony Gibson S-G copy), kalimba, jaw harp, tambourine, voice, whistling, electronic cicada toy, and on the Bonus track (Jivas extracted from Splendor)  I bring a harmonica into the mix. 

Formerly an extremely limited edition

     Here is the new and improved “Doggone Gone Dog” album originally made in 1999 with a limited issue of probably no more than 20 cdrs ever produced.   I've remastered it for normalization and elimination of some pesky resonances.   It sounds better than ever, and I still enjoy it a lot!    I'm happy to give it away, and hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Notes on the cover art

      Front cover: Dog + Lightning = Electrik Dog => Lectrikdog(as currently).
A collage of a lightning sky turned upside down, midground is a blue disc shaped birdbath
sized fountain in front of which: a wolf type dog is eyeing us whilst licking his snout for a better whiff.

           Back cover: another collage I made, “Magic Dust”,  it's what the little girl has in her container, which she's opening whilst looking apprehensively at the undulating reddish-orange blob which is creeping towards and over the boardroom table, or is it creeping away?        
   Is Mr. Executive attempting to warn her?, or is he simply freaked out about his own situation?  There is a radio telescope array seen outside the windows of the boardroom. 

Notes on the Songs

1)     “Doggone Gone Dog, Gone Dog”
Yamaha slotted head acoustic 12-string with custom light gages tuned all mid-high register D-G-G-D-G-D(Dog-Gone-Gone-Dog-Gone-Dog).
2)     “Tropical Force Pt.1”
Title inspired by a pre-Katrina hurricane Floyd(mid September 1999).
Electric guitar in Standard tuning plus assorted other instrumentation.
3)     “Tribal Interlude”
a respite?, from the chaos of tropical storms, maybe.
4)     “Electric Gone Dog”
The original theme of track 1 is reiterated here using a Harmony “Gibson SG” copy tuned DGGDGD.
5)     “Tropical Force Pt.2” 
See Track 2.
6)     “Tribal Interlude(Conclusion)”
See Track 3.
7)     “Gone Dog”
Straight 12-string no tape loop manipulation, Fingerpicking with slide DGGDGD.
8)     “A Song For Jon”
Straight 6 string – again no tape machines, tuned DADFAD(Dm open)

Bonus Track 9

            “Jivas, Extracted from Splendor”
            This piece was made in 2000 also using the dual reel to reel technology. 
To me it sounded like music to accompany Jim Woodring's “Frank” in his world of the Unifactor, see , or

Guitar 12-string, jaw harp, harmonica, voice.

Ralph Johnston said recently upon hearing Jivas,
“'Twas a curious little field holler performed by nanobotic nematodes while creating  the magnificently monolithic ice crystal cathedrals of the Skapa Flow”.
“Andrew...hiowdy!  I indeed love "Jivas"!...check out Scapa Flow on Wikipedia...they will give you a much better, detailed description than I ever first my impressions were of my late pooch Kyri ecstatically rolling around in my back yard...enthralled with a cookie treat and revelling in my rapt attention to her canine antics...but then...sinister images began to appear...images of nanobotic nematodes and huge chrystalline ice structures being constructed in places where humans labored and fought...for truth...justice...and the...American way...sorry...I loved the 1950s Superman TV series starring George Reeves.”

I figure if Ralph likes it, well that's a job well done then.

Download it HERE includes all artwork.

If you enjoy this please visit Andrew Stranglen's CD Baby page or iTunes 

Thanks to You!

Hi folks,

I just want to say thanks so much for stopping by and reading the ol' Delta-Slider blog.  I've recently hit some good numbers, over 10,000 page views in a 30 day period, 300 feed subscriptions, 50 Google followers and I'm oh-so close to 100 email subscribers.  I know that in the wide world of the internet that is a pittance.  But for my little blog and the tiny little corner of music that it represents, well...I think it's just fine.

I enjoy this blog and I want to keep it that way.  I don't promise any sort of regular content nor can I promise regular posting every day or so.  It just flows where it goes and that is best for my sanity and for keeping it enjoyable.

Really the best part is getting to know all the great musicians that have been SO incredibly generous with their time and music.


March 19, 2011

Lionel Young Band - Boulder Creek Festival

Here's a nice little set from The Lionel Young Band, local boys here in Colorado.  If you haven't heard of Lionel Young and you like the blues with a twist you ought to check this out.  Young plays the violin.  He's won the International Blues Challenge twice, only double winner ever.

Lionel Young Band
May 24, 2009 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Boulder Creek Festival
Band Shell
Boulder, CO
Total Time = 60:36

01 Groovin' on a Sunday Afternoon 8:43
02 Down the Road 4:17
03 Everybody come together 9:54
04 Whole Lot Love 5:22
05 Respect myself? 7:18
06 Born on the Bayou 7:55
07 What a beautiful day 4:30
08 Sugar Coated Love 5:34
09 Papa got a brand new bag  3:05
10 Bass Solo  Drum Solo 3:52

Down load it HERE

March 11, 2011

Vinyl Reissue of John Fahey - Requia

This year, Vanguard Records have announced five albums they are reissuing for the day. Each were remastered from the original master tapes, and will be pressed in a limited edition of 1000 copies each. They will be available ONLY at participating stores on this day, and while it’s safe to say that they may be available elsewhere, if you can scoop a copy or two up, do it early:
Skip James-Today!
John Hammond-So Many Roads
Mississippi John Hurt-The Immortal
John Fahey-Requia (and Other Compositions for Guitar Solo)
Country Joe & the Fish-Electric Music for the Mind and Body

Visit the official Record Store Day site for info.

On the subject of records...
Here's an interesting article on a band that mixed their music to vinyl and back to digital to try to emulate the vinyl sound.  Also a few very interesting words on how the quality of the music changes as the needle moves toward the center of the record.  Very interesting, but short post, though there are numerous links to other articles.

BUY John Fahey from EMUSIC icon

March 2, 2011

Charlie Schmidt - Doppelgänger Blues

 Folks, I'm happy to present a special treat today.  Charlie Schmidt has sent me an excerpt of an unreleased tune for your listening pleasure.
As Charlie mentioned in his essay earlier this week, he believes in playing Fahey for the sake of Fahey, the artistry of the music itself.  And yet he is perfectly capable of composing and playing in his own voice, his own style.
In this original piece, Doppelgänger Blues, Charlie walks the fine line of blending his own composition with the feel and the spirit of a Fahey tune.  Hence the title.
It starts with a pipe organ and you may not know it yet, but you've just entered the temple of the steel string!  Charlie takes his time developing the tune, building the anticipation, introducing the guitar as though we are actually experiencing the song somewhere in the middle, a transitional point, we aren't quite sure where we are or what's about to happen, but we know something is imminent.  Then the guitar is suddenly there, front and center as though it just broke free.  The pipe organ is left behind as the tune surges forward on the guitar.
So begins the Doppelgänger Blues.  I have to point out that I love just about any tune in a minor key and this is no exception.
Check it out, I hope you enjoy.

 Doppelgänger Blues

( P.D., arr. C. Schmidt, all rights reserved )  guitar by C. Schmidt, pipe organ by Dr. G. North

If you haven't already, be sure to check out Xanthe Terra by Charlie Schmidt

BUY Charlie Schmidt from EMUSIC icon

March 1, 2011

Glenn Jones on "John Fahey - The Fonotone Years"

Ah, I warned you!  An extended Fahey Week, and no complaints I'm sure.  As many of you know a collection of John Fahey's early years of recordings have been in the works for some time.  And I think we all expected a pretty nice set of music to be produced.  But as you will see, this has been a phenomenal project.  Glenn Jones has been at the center of this effort for years and I asked him if he could tell us a little about it.  Well he's telling more than a little and I think you are going to find this very interesting.
Thanks Glenn for sharing with us a few of the tantalizing details of what we have to look forward to, and thanks for all your hard work!

The road to the Fonotone John Fahey box set, containing nearly all of John’s recordings for Joe Bussard, began, for me, in 1978, when I ordered all of John’s available Fonotone records by mail. A few weeks after Joe cashed my check, a box of 45 RPM acetates and a 12” and 10” LP, each with blank covers, arrived in the mail.

Each record, I discovered, was a unique object – each was individually hand cut (not pressed); each was made from a new pass of the master tape; each label was typed up individually and glued onto each disc.

It’s never been clear how many sets of Fahey records Joe made up. When asked, Joe says, “Oh we sold a lot of John’s records!” But I don’t know if “a lot” is 50 sets, 100, sets, or 1000 sets.

My guess, however, based on the fact that these records almost never turn up for sale, is that Joe probably made less than 50 complete sets. (I know of only five people who mailed away for sets, including me.)

A tiny handful of Fahey Fonotones have turned up on eBay, and in 30+ years of scouring used records stores, I’ve found exactly one Fahey Fonotone 78.

Sharp-eyed fans originally learned that John recorded for a label called Fonotone via the liner notes that came inserted with the first two pressings of Fahey’s Dance of Death. For nearly four decades now, a handful of us have been trying to make sense of this material. That’s nearly 40 years of debate, bafflement, hair pulling and speculation on the part of a good half-dozen or more Fahey scholars in the U.S., the UK, Australia, and Germany.

This box set comprises virtually all the extant issued and never-before-issued recordings that Joe Bussard had of John. Many were recordings Joe made, or, after John moved to the West Coast, come from tapes that John sent to Joe, usually in exchange for 78s he was after.

The set has been more than 10 years in the making. It’s involved the work of nearly half a dozen engineers in nearly as many
studios. It required trips from Boston to Oregon, to Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, Washington state, and Atlanta. It includes contributions from the most knowledgeable Fahey experts on the planet.

The set’s becoming a reality had so much going against it, there were so many hurdles, roadblocks and detours, I despaired of it ever coming to fruition. It suffered many kicks in the shins along the way, and (at least!) three major setbacks (that I can talk about):

--First, the death of John Fahey in 2001 meant we had to get approval from his estate in order to continue the project – which proved a lot harder and more involved than getting approval from John. (This project comes with the full approval and cooperation of the Fahey estate.)

--Second was Revenant’s decision to suspend business several years into the project (more on that below).

--And finally, one of the biggest blows, the loss of virtually everything -- every track committed to computer; every edit, every speed correction, every EQ made; the order of tracks -- four years of work! -- all down the drain, due to our original engineer’s computer crashing and his not having backed up his system.

This meant restarting the project from scratch, some seven or so years into it.

But, after all the effort, the heartache, the death, the rebirth, I can say that it feels, finally, like it’s done (or nearly so – we’re still working on layout and design), out of my hands, and nearly into yours. It feels like a pretty significant accomplishment -- certainly one of the achievements I’m proudest of in my life.

Though not every question will be answered by the set (and, being devoted to Fahey, that’s maybe as it should be), every question has at least been asked, and every possible scenario explored.

* * * *

The set will consist of five CDs, a 78 RPM record, a 12 X 12 book (somewhere between 60 and 80 pages long), several inserts, all housed in a wood slipcase. There will be contributions from Malcolm Kirton, Claudio Guerierri, Eddie Dean, Byron Coley and others; there is a previously unpublished Fahey interview, by Douglas Blazek, from 1968; there are reminiscences from Michael Stewart, with whom John recorded, and R. Anthony Lee, one of John’s close childhood friends; there will be photos galore, reproductions of every Fahey Fonotone record label, color inserts, and lots of memorabilia.

Of the music -- well over six hours of it (some 118 or so tracks, spanning the years 1958 to 1965) -- at least half is previously unissued.

Of the issued material, only the hardest of hardcore Fahey fans, the ones who to took the trouble to write Joe Bussard in the ‘60s and ‘70s to order the 78s or 45s from him by mail, will have heard any of it.

And even the stuff that made it into the hands of a few fans has never been heard at the proper speed, since Joe’s 78-RPM cutter cut fast (records played back at 78 RPM were slower than recorded) and his 45-RPM player cut slow (played back fast).

The music, also, has never been heard in such good fidelity, all of it being transferred from Joe’s master tapes or from clean copies of the actual discs themselves, in the few instances (four tracks) when Joe’s master tapes could not be located.

We spent nearly a week with Jane C. Hayes, John Fahey’s mom, in Louisiana, who gave us something like 150 photos, almost none of which have ever been published. Many will appear here for the first time.

* * * *

I began the actual work on a reissue of the Fonotone Fahey material (for Dean Blackwood’s and John Fahey’s Revenant Records) back when John was still among us. Dean called me up and asked if I’d like to produce a set of Fahey’s complete recordings for Fonotone. Not having the vaguest notion what might be involved, or what I was in for, I said, without hesitation, yes.

My last visit with John, the summer before he died, was to discuss this project.

In the three or four years after John’s death, we made good progress on the set, but then, inexplicably (to everyone, including me), things ground to a sudden halt.

Why? It’s a long story, and it took a long time — a couple years -- to sort itself out, during which time I was either in the dark, or once I got the story, unable to say much, partly because there was a lot I didn’t know (though Dean was pretty forthcoming with me, there were legal issues that couldn't be made public, things he wasn’t allowed to discuss with me, or anyone), and partly because it was my hope that once things were sorted out we could pick up where we left off.

A happy outcome, however, was far from certain.

The upshot was that an expensive and protracted legal battle followed the issue of Revenant’s Albert Ayler box set. Legal fees ate up Revenant’s finances, and shut down everything in the Revenant pipeline, including the Fahey project.

That experience, ultimately, left such a bitter taste in Dean Blackwood’s mouth, that he decided to call it quits, and got out of the record business altogether. (Revenant was one of the very best labels going, as anyone who bought their Patton or Ayler or Beefheart boxes, or any of the American Primitive volumes, the Harry Smith Vol. 4, or Fahey’s Red Cross, knows.)

As things unspooled, the realization that all the work we’d done might be for naught just about broke my heart.

But in the midst of Revenant's legal blood shedding, Dust-to-Digital came charging over the horizon. They’d issued a four-CD set containing a wide selection of Joe Bussard’s Fonotone recordings, after which they also began looking into reissuing the Fahey Fonotone recordings, the rights to which Bussard had originally sold to Revenant.

As things with Revenant wound down, Lance Ledbetter at Dust-to-Digital and I finally reached out to one another, encouraged by the haranguing of our mutual friend, Jack Rose.

Eventually I put Dean and Lance together, and they brokered a deal whereby the project became a Revenant / Dust-to-Digital co-production. The set will, as is only fitting, bear the imprint of both labels.

As for Dust-to-Digital, truly, I can’t think of a better label to have seized the reins of the project. Their Art of Field Recording volumes (both 4-CD sets) are among my favorite releases of the past few years. Their packaging (by Susan Archie, Revenant’s designer) is beyond terrific.

Besides the Fonotone collection, there is in the D2D catalogue an essential album of vintage Sacred Harp recordings, one of the best gospel collections ever issued (Goodbye Babylon), and much much more.

Everything they put out is lovingly assembled, comprehensively annotated and well worth investigating.

Limited to 2500 copies, the John Fahey box set (titled Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You) will be, for Fahey fans, a treasure trove. (If the child is father to the man, it’s not such a stretch to see Blind Thomas as the father to Blind Joe Death.) Look for it (really!, finally!) later this year

Glenn Jones
Cambridge, MA
February 28, 2011