Imaginational Anthem @ Velvet Lounge Tonight
In support of the third volume of Tompkins Square's fantastic Imaginational Anthem series devoted to compelling interpretations of the acoustic guitar, three performers from the latest compilation will make a stop at the Velvet Lounge tonight: Ben Reynolds, Cian Nugent and George Stavis. Released in April, Imaginational Anthem, Vol. 3 highlights a stellar cast of performers past and present, bending time, technique and tradition through a powerful kaleidoscope of acoustic compositions.
The tour is the first U.S. expedition for both Reynolds and Nugent, hailing from Glasgow and Dublin respectively. Reynolds has been rather prolific over the past several years, releasing a smattering of his own solo material among collaborations with fellow UK outfits—most recently with Alex Neilson's Trembling Bells. April's release of Volume 3 also coincided with Reynolds' latest full-length, Two Wings, for Portland imprint Strange Attractors Audio House.
At just 19, Nugent has already caused a stir with his take on pre-war blues and Takoma style; his debut EP was recorded with large reel to reel machines, infusing his sound with the crackle of an old 78.
At the other end of the experience spectrum is George Stavis, who originally released his debut full-length of peculiar banjo compositions, Labryinths, back in 1969. The tour marks his first string of public performances in decades. Check the MP3 below for a cut off his lost treasure, which is also his contribution to Imaginational Anthem.
It's hard to think of a more appropriate stop for the tour than D.C.—childhood home of John Fahey (he grew up in Takoma Park, graduated with degree in Philosophy from American) and technical birthplace of the American Primitive school of guitar that he fathered. Tompkins Square itself is dedicated to exploring the American Primitive tradition, and has released several records by emerging young talents like James Blackshaw side by side with reissued material from folk icon Robbie Basho. The label is set to release full-lengths by both Reynolds and Nugent in early 2009, and has already made the Imaginational Anthem series available as a beautiful box set. Essential listening for Fahey fans and acoustic enthusiasts alike.
DOWNLOAD: George Stavis, "Goblins"