“The Poet and the Witch” by Mellow Candle (1972) and Stephen Malkmus (2003)

The CD reissue spree of the early 1990s benefited those lonely, cobwebbed corner obsessives who thought the longhairs of 70s British Isles folk rock had something good going.  Those of us who scuttled after the bones the sinister Shanachie label threw to the U.S. through the ’80s were conditioned to nonexistent liner notes and brainwashed … Continue reading “The Poet and the Witch” by Mellow Candle (1972) and Stephen Malkmus (2003)

“The North Star Grassman and the Ravens” by Sandy Denny

In September 1971, Sandy Denny — on the heels of an incendiary contribution to “Battle of Evermore” from Led Zeppelin‘s upcoming fourth album — released her first solo record, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens.  It carried with it the strength and grace of her previous efforts, and featured many of the musicians with whom she … Continue reading “The North Star Grassman and the Ravens” by Sandy Denny

“On the Sunny Side of the Ocean” by John Fahey

Beginning in 1959, John Fahey’s “Blind Joe Death” excursions for solo acoustic guitar were the first to radically reconsider traditional blues and old-time music, extending by personalizing what Harry Smith did with the Anthology of American Folk Music (1952): rather than mythologizing what at that time was a largely unknown recorded legacy, as Smith did, Fahey … Continue reading “On the Sunny Side of the Ocean” by John Fahey

“Oil on Panel” by Wovenhand

Like Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes — last week’s soundstreamsunday entry — David Eugene Edwards brings to American folk, rock, and country an utterly unique, instantly recognizable voice.  Unlike Pecknold, Edwards toils in relative obscurity, which is a shame, as for the last 20 years he’s brought a wide-eyed intelligence to songs extending darker traditional themes, … Continue reading “Oil on Panel” by Wovenhand