Started in 1950 in New York City by the Solomon brothers; Maynard and Seymour, Vanguard Records became one of the premier Americana record labels of all time. Right from the beginning, Vanguard was ground-breaking and controversial by releasing recordings by politically black-listed performers Paul Robeson and The Weavers (featuring Pete Seeger and Ronnie Gilbert). This was an era when Senator Joe McCarthy was leading communist witch-hunts and folk-singers were amongst his #1 targets.
By the mid-1960’s (along with revival label Elektra run by Jac Holzman), Vanguard was the home for some of the great seminal guitarists such as Sandy Bull, John Fahey, and Robbie Basho along with some of the most influential folk singer/songwriters of the era: Joan Baez, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Mimi & Richard Fariña. Many of these artists provided the cornerstone template for the current crop of folk musicians, pop, loner or otherwise.
Like Elektra, as the 1960’s progressed, Vanguard moved into “rock” music as well, releasing many LPs by the infamous Country Joe & The Fish, Detroit psych band Third Power, 31st of February (with future members of the Allman Brothers), Circus Maximus (a young Jerry Jeff Walker), Al Anderson of NRBQ, and Garland Jeffreys & Grinder’s Switch (who were the backing band on John Cale’s debut solo album Vintage Violence).
This is where the archival elves at Light In The Attic come into the picture. While Vanguard looks toward the future, we are honored to announce a new series titled “Vanguard Vault” in which several times per year, we will be reissuing obscure, yet mind-bending titles from the 1960’s and 70’s from deep inside the vaults of Vanguard – many of which have not been on CD before and out of print on vinyl since the original release decades ago. Each will be painstakingly transferred from the original analog tapes and packaged in deluxe CD and LP versions with rare photos and extensive notes, featuring interviews with the musicians themselves (many of whom haven’t publicly spoken in years).
Bob Frank - Bob Frank
Bob Frank – Bob Frank
LITA 112 (CD | LP)
Available: February 25, 2014
“The best songwriter you never heard.” – Jim Dickinson (producer of Big Star’s Third)
This 1972 album uses Dylan, Johnny Cash, & Ian Tyson as a template into uncharted waters inspired by Frank’s 1960′s association with Memphis guru Jim Dickinson (Big Star Third producer). Featuring Nashville session men Charlie McCoy and Eric Weissberg. Booklet includes a new interview with Bob Frank: “I woke up one day, smoked some dope, sat on the front porch and wrote those songs.”
Peter Walker -“Second Poem To Karmela” Or Gypsies Are Important
Peter Walker – “Second Poem To Karmela” Or Gypsies Are Important
LITA 113 (CD | LP)
Available: March 4, 2014
The rare 1968 follow-up to Walker’s seminal Rainy Day Raga LP. Second Poem takes things further ‘out’ accompanied by flutist Jim Pepper (of The Free Spirits) with violin, tabla, & tamboura. Extended notes detail Walker’s own Eastern Modal journey as told to guitar scholar Glenn Jones. Walker is the missing link between Ravi Shankar, Sandy Bull, and Timothy Leary in more ways than one