Monday, August 20, 2012

Mark Fosson's long-lost 12-string demo

Another good one from Tompkins Square....reviewed last week for Blurt.

Mark Fosson
Digging in the Dust: Home Recordings 1976
(Tompkins Square)

As a young man in the mid-1970s, Mark Fosson was fascinated by American primitive guitar playing pioneered by John Fahey. On a whim, in 1976, he recorded a series of solo 12-string guitar demos in his living room and mailed the cassette to Fahey himself. Almost immediately, Fahey asked him out to LA to record the songs professionally, and Fosson did, but Takoma ran into financial troubles and the project was shelved. Not until 2006, some 30 years later, were Fosson's Lost Takoma Sessions released by Drag City. Meanwhile, Fosson had carved out a career in Americana-flavored songwriting and more or less put his 12-string picking experiment on hold.

If you're a guitar aficionado, you might wonder, hearing this story, exactly what it was that caught Fahey's ear, what qualities he could make out on this home-made demo that attested to Fosson's talent. Fortunately, you won't have to wonder any longer. Digging in the Dust is that demo tape, offering the songs from the Lost Takoma Sessions in their original one-mic, one-take purity, with no reverb at all, only the natural overtone haze of a 12-string.


BTW, Dusted is taking the week off, so I will probably be free-styling some this week. Maybe I'll rework the top ten, who knows?

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