Treasures on tape
For 50 years now, banjo-picking folk song collector Art Rosenbaum has been documenting Lomax-style the gospel, blues, fiddle tunes, mountain music and unaccompanied singing of non-professionals on porches and outside feed stores in small towns across the United States.
Atlanta's Dust-to-Digital label plans to release the Art Of Field Recording five-CD set of what Rosenbaum caught on tape sometime in 2007, but for those like me who can't wait, there's an amazing 24-track advance sampler with one-off wonders by Rev. Howard Finster , Frosty Lamb & Buzz Fountain , Epifanio Sanchez , the McIntosh County Shouters and 93-year-old Sister Fleeta Mitchell who went to school with Blind Willie McTell.
Stirring proof that so-called "weird America" didn't vanish with Harry Smith -- it's still there, maybe right next door. www.dust-digital.com.
Straight outta Guelph
By any standard of recording release productivity, the Burnt Oak label's issue of 12 full-length albums over the past 12 months is an impressive feat, particularly considering this whole "record collective" thing started in the basement of somebody's home in Guelph.
As part of their victory lap, they've put out the beautifully screened You And Yours 16-track indie rock mixtape featuring contributions from your Burnt Oak faves ( Slow Hand Motem , Households , Tell The Divers , Tamsen & Elliott ) along with those of some like-minded DIY pals from Hamilton and New York. Today Grange Street, tomorrow the world! www.burntoak.ca.
You can always count on Parisian producer/DJ Gringo da Parada , aka Jerome Pigeon , to load up his Favela Chic compilation discs with a healthy supply of vintage Brazilian swingers for the dance floor, and Postonove 4 (Wagram) - with classic joints from Orlandivo , Elza Soares , Ronald Mesquita , Doris Monteiro and Os Mutantes mixed in with more recent selections from Seu Jorge and Voltair - doesn't disappoint.
However, our boy Gringo has been facing more competition in the Brazilian mixtape market in recent years, and this time he's been seriously out-funked by Brooklyn DJs Sean Marquand and Greg Caz of Black Betty fame, who've compiled their floor-filling faves for the fantastic Brazilian Beats Brooklyn (Mr. Bongo) disc and double LP. Those who've picked up Sean and Greg's previous mixtapes will be familiar with many of these tracks, but turntable-holdout club DJs will be delighted to get such hard-to-score gems as Trio Esperança 's Nao Aguento Voce, Robson Jorge & Lincoln Olivetti 's Aleluia, Silvio Cesar 's A Festa and Os Novos Crioulos ' Mar Afunda on vinyl without having to sell their car. www.mrbongo.com.