Each December, Brian Reese at Big Rock Candy Mountain deals out a month’s worth of holiday esoterica from the far corners of vintage twang, fuzz, scuzz, r&b, blues, country, garage, lounge and beyond. Keeping it loose, he trims his tree with Red Simpson and Mae West, then tops it off with The Sonics, Hank Snow and Champion Jack Dupree. It’s a heady brew. Go ahead, deck them halls.

Download and tracklisting after the jump. . .


Thursday night, December 4th, Aquarium Drunkard Presents: An Evening With Laura Marling at Community in Los Angeles. DJ sets by Turquoise Wisdom. We will be recording an Aquarium Drunkard session.

Limited space available. RSVP at marlingadq at Confirmation replies with additional information will be sent to selected entrants.

ESPERSOur weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can be heard twice, every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 366: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Bill Callahan – Diamond Dancer ++ Songs: Ohia – Farewell Transmission ++ Magnolia Electric Co. – The Night Shift Lullaby ++ Phosphorescent – Can I Sleep In Your Arms ++ Yo La Tengo – Leaving Home ++ Phil Cook – The Jensons ++ Steve Gunn – Way Out Weather ++ ++ Espers – Mansfield & Cyclops ++ Harlan T. Bobo – Only Love ++ Nick Drake – One Of These Things First ++ Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Master & Everyone (LIVE) ++ Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Pushkin (LIVE) ++ Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – A Sucker’s Evening (LIVE) ++ Jerry Jeff Walker – Will There Be Any? ++ Bob Dylan – Mary Ann ++ Fairport Convention – Tale in a Hard Time ++ Neil Young, Pardon My Heart ++ Heron – I Wouldn’t Mind ++ Graham Nash & David Crosby – Southbound Train ++ Jimmie Spheeris – Come Back ++ Possessed by Paul James ++ Texas Rose ++ The Chambers Brothers – People Get Ready ++ Jaki Whitren, A Little Bit Extra Please ++ Sandy Denny – Crazy Lady Blues ++ Lambchop – Each Time I Bring it Up – It Seems to Bring You Down ++ Brinsley Schwarz – Country Girl  ++ Pete Molinari – Sweet Louise  ++ Bonnie Prince Billy and The Cairo Gang – Island Brothers  ++ Peggy Seeger – Mary Ann  ++ AA Bondy – On the Moon ++ Jesse Winchester – Brand New Tennessee Waltz ++ The Heavenly Gospel Singers – I’m A Pilgrim ++ Vic Chesnutt – Degenerate

*You can listen, for free, online with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.


Happy Thanksgiving — The Band’s Genuine Bootleg Series 4: Crossing The Great Divide.

“3 CD The Band bootleg released in 1997, not to be confused with the official Across the Great Divide box set. This is the third release in The Genuine Bootleg Series, for some reason sub-titled Take 4. The two first bootleg boxes, The Genuine Bootleg Series, and The Genuine Bootleg Series, Take 2, were mainly filled with Dylan material. Take 4 only has a small amount of Dylan content that is available elsewhere. A Take 3 CD set, all Dylan content, was released in 1999.As usual for the Genuine Bootleg Series, this one continues the same tradition of high production values with multiple gatefold glossy-color sleeves. It also sports inner disc sleeves (each w/color pics + tracklist) and a 36-page booklet containing full text of the July ’91 Goldmine article along with more photos and the track listings. All of the Genuine Bootleg Series have been reissued a few times, in cardboard sleeves and jewel boxes, and The Genuine Bootleg Series Vol 4 seem to exist also under the title Statue of Liberty.58 tracks in all, including early Hawks material, outtakes from 1965 – 1967 The Basement Tapes and Big Pink sessions, outtakes from The Band, Rock of Ages, and Planet Waves, various Band live recordings, bits of a 1988 Levon Helm concert, and three demos for Jericho. A nice set with good sound quality.” (notes via)

Genuine Bootleg Series 4 – Crossing The Great Divide: disc 1 / disc 2 / disc 3


Tradition runs rampant around Thanksgiving: generations of old recipes, football, Alice’s Restaurant, The Last Waltz, and, of course, a parade of balloons shutting down NYC. What else do you need? If you thought you were covered in the Thanksgiving tradition department, we did too…until a few years ago, when someone blew the dust off a long lost tape — Doug Sahm’s Thanksgiving Jam.

Thanksgiving weekend, 1972: the Grateful Dead found themselves in Austin, allowing Garcia and Lesh to rendezvous with an old Bay Area running buddy, Mr. Tex-Mex himself, Doug Sahm, and piano-journeyman Leon Russell, at the famed Armadillo World Headquarters for a musical cornucopia of roots music. No genre was left untouched – blues, bluegrass, R&B, rock & roll, honky tonk and, naturally, Bob Dylan. All played with an ad hoc band, including members of Texas psychedelic pranksters The 13th Floor Elevators and Shiva’s Headband, with a setlist that effortlessly bounces from hellcat versions of Kristofferson’s “Me & Bobby McGee” and the Stones’ “Wild Horses”, to a don’t-spill-your-beer “T For Texas”, saddled with stompin-the-nails-out-of-the-floorboard cuts like “Hey Bo Diddley” and “Money Honey”. This is a shitkicker of show, best served turned up, with fistfuls of turkey and pint glass of your favorite sumthin’. words/ d norsen

download/tracklisting after the jump…


As a term, “new age music” is slippery, an attempt to group a wide swath of sounds, encompassing strands of ambient, electronic music, jazz, worship, and world music into a definable, classifiable genre. Three new reissues and collections document the many wild threads that existed in the field before new age music codified as a genre, demonstrating both its diversity and accentuating its underappreciated value.

Ariel Kalma, An Evolutionary Music (Original Recordings: 1972 – 1979)

Released by RVNG Int. — a label responsible for essential collections of music by Sensations’ Fix, K. Leimer, and Craig Leon — An Evolutionary Music features unreleased recordings from the archives of French-born Ariel Kalma. The artist mingled with trumpeter Don Cherry and joined the spiritual collective Arica in New York in 1976, and the songs take root in free jazz and mysticism, explored via ambient and early electronic means. Kalma blends layered saxophone, spoken word, and drum machines to create avant garde music as personal as folk songs, more spiritual than academic. Songs like “Chase Me Now” and “Rainy Day” are as thrilling and jolting as compositions like “Ecstasy Musical Mind Yoga” and “Echorgan” are contemplative and mindful.

Jordan De La Sierra, Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose

Jordan De La Sierra was a student of minimalist composer Terry Riley, and his Gymnosphere suite, “music for the well-tuned piano,” was released in truncated form in 1977 by a small Bay Area label called Unity. A new edition from the Numero Group and Stephen Hill of space music program Hearts in Space actualizes De La Sierra’s original vision for the suite, spread across two LPs. A student of the avant garde, De La Sierra’s vision is worshipful and cosmological, and Gymnosphere’s aim, he writes in the detailed liner notes of this edition, was to establish “a vibratory connection between the bio-rhythmic cycles of our bodies and the ambience of nature.”

Barbara Dane - Anthology Of American Folk Songs - FrontIt makes perfect sense to stumble upon “When I Was A Young Girl,” now, as the nights grow longer and colder and the leaves pile up around the thick trunks of bare Oak trees. Barbara Dane’s voice—“Bessie Smith in Stereo,” one critic described it—is the solemn sort that owes to a childhood lived in Detroit during the Great Depression. A quick read of Dane’s bio shows that the prolific artist never backed down from a political issue. Her sparse take on this woeful traditional song was most likely recorded with the plight of those less fortunate in mind. These days, the timeless cut could be the tale of the middle-aged woman selling papers on St. Bernard Avenue under Interstate 10, or even the elderly widow microwaving a turkey dinner in a dark and dusty townhouse on the Upper West Side.

Go find a copy of Anthology of American Folk Songs, the Tradition compilation that includes this tune. Scoop Barbara Dane and the Chambers Brothers while you’re at it. words / j steele

Barbara Dane :: When I Was A Young Girl


Our east coast compatriots, NYC’s Chances With Wolves return with their third serving for Aquarium Drunkard: High Places / A Mixtape. As always, it’s a heady/essential brew.

“we wanted this one to sound like a daydream on an empty beach in Autumn, but somewhere along the way it became something else; it’s like the songs react to one another and take us in the direction they want to go. Enjoy.”

AD Presents: Chances With Wolves 3: High Places / A Mixtape

nathanFor good or ill, the banjo has become the ultimate signifier of old timey Americana. You want to sprinkle a little down home “authenticity” into a song? Put a banjo on it. To bring anything free of cliche to the table it takes a seriously skilled and imaginative musician.

Nathan Bowles is definitely that musician. As a versatile multi-instrumentalist, he’s been on the scene a while now, contributing regularly to the Pelt/Black Twigs Pickers universe, and playing with such talents as Jack Rose, Hiss Golden Messenger, Daniel Bachman and Steve Gunn. Bowles put out his first solo album, the excellent A Bottle, A Buckeye, on Soft Abuse in 2012.

Nansemond, his new LP on Paradise of Bachelors (a label that has been batting a thousand since launching a few years back), is a stunner from start to finish. It’s a transporting collection of sounds that fuses age-old Appalachian traditions with cosmic drones, in the process creating something that sounds fresh and vital to these ears.

Some friends drop in to help; a highlight is “Chuckatuck,” the majestic duet between Bowles and experimental guitarist Tom Carter. But Bowles does amazing things mostly with just the four strings of his banjo. The long, deep solo rambles that take up a good portion of the record are beautiful excursions that conjure up strange and spectral southern landscapes. Nansemond is mostly instrumental, but Bowles is nothing if not a storyteller, taking you on an evocative, transfixing journey. Listen up. words / t wilcox

Nathan Bowles :: Chuckatuck