J Tillman, C Joynes, Nick Jonah Davis, White Rainbow, Lonesome Heroes

Bit of a catch-up, today. These are a bunch of records that’ve figured in a good few Uncut playlists, and that I’ve been meaning to write about for weeks – in some cases months – but haven’t managed to tackle properly. In a bid to tidy up a little, here’s a fast round-up of some worthwhile stuff.

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Bit of a catch-up, today. These are a bunch of records that’ve figured in a good few Uncut playlists, and that I’ve been meaning to write about for weeks – in some cases months – but haven’t managed to tackle properly. In a bid to tidy up a little, here’s a fast round-up of some worthwhile stuff.



First off, fairly inevitably, a couple of guitar soli. C Joynes and Nick Jonah Davis are two British players (Joynes is Cambridge-based I think; Davis is described by his label, Tompkins Square, somewhat amusingly as, “A reclusive figure on the Notts music scene.”) both with at least a residual interest in Takoma. Joynes even comes up with a very Fahey-esque title for his latest album (the first I’ve come across), “Revenants, Prodigies And The Restless Dead”, but an experimental imperative means that he brings some newish ideas to a familiarly satisfying stew.

Meanwhile, Davis’ album is given the soberly reductive title of “Guitar Recordings Vol 1” and is less expansive, but perhaps slightly superior; Davis has a lovely, bell-like clarity to his playing, which puts him right up there with Tompkins Square’s other 2009 British discovery, Ben Reynolds.

A couple more folk-related things worth mentioning. The excellent Numero Group label are persevering with their “Wayfaring Strangers” series of outsider folk recordings that’ve generally been harvested from private press or super-rare ‘70s albums. After the “Guitar Soli” volume from last year, the latest edition is titled “Lonesome Heroes” and features 17 impressively blasted singer-songwriters very much in the Tims tradition. Heavy obscurantism here – I’ve only come across Tucker Zimmerman before, I think – but the standard is pretty awesome.

J Tillman is, of course, a bit better known, being the drummer in the Fleet Foxes and an increasingly prolific singer-songwriter in his own right. I’ve never been much of a fan of his previous albums – pretty down-the-line Americana as far as I recall – but “Year In The Kingdom” is nice, thanks in no small part to the spacey, reverberant, marginally ethereal settings Tillman places his songs in. A lot of hammer dulcimer, which I’m not sure will figure in his live show, but we’ll soon find out: Josh Tillman is headlining Club Uncut next week (October 7) at London’s Relentless Garage.

One more today. Adam Forkner’s last White Rainbow album, “Prism Of Eternal Now”, was a terrific kosmische jam, with plenty of nods to Terry Riley as well as the usual Krautrock suspects. The follow-up, “New Clouds”, is good, too, with Forkner stretching out into a more maximalist, full-on style that maybe moves him closer – inadvertently, I’m sure – to the likes of Spiritualized at their most immersive. Usefully transporting, though two tracks with the word “boogie” in their titles may be a little misleading…

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