The reputation and stature of Nashville-based Compass Recordsone of the stronger independent labels to emerge in recent timeshas led to the signing of legendary English folk-rock group Fairport Convention, the long-running band that once included Richard Thompson, Ian Matthews, and the late Sandy Denny among its members. Compass will release Fairport Convention’s next album, The Wire and the Wood, on July 25. The band continues to feature two longtime members, founding guitarist Simon Nicol and veteran bassist Simon Pegg, in a lineup that has remained the same since 1996. Thanks to the band’s worldwide reputation, the album will likely become one of Compass’ best sellers.
More than that, though, the signing of Fairport Convention adds new prestige and market penetration to the fledgling label, which is known for its tasteful packaging of a wide range of adult music, including top-flight jazz artists like Victor Wooten and Astral Project, leading English acoustic musicians Clive Gregson, Kate Rusby, Boo Hewerdine, and Eddi Reader, highly regarded American songwriters like Kate Campbell and Pierce Pettis, and the critically acclaimed work of label co-owner Alison Brown.
This year, Compass has been on a particularly fruitful run: It released the year’s best Celtic album, Cathal McConnell’s Long Expectant Comes at Last, a monumental and highly personal work by the founder of the great Scottish band Boys of Lough, as well as a particularly artful album by the English duo of guitarist Ian Carr and accordionist Karen Tweed. The label also has issued a fine jazz guitar album, For Joe, a sweet-toned tribute to the late Joe Pass by Astral Project member Steve Masakowski, and a new funk-rock collection by Hamish Stuart, a former member of the Average White Band.
Other notable releases include Brown’s first full-fledged bluegrass album, the inventive and sunny Fair Weather, as well as the latest works by singer-songwriter Judith Edelman and the roots-rock band Bill Mallonee and Vigilantes of Love.
Besides the Fairport Convention album, the label has several other promising forthcoming releases: the second album of high-flying acoustic jams by the Anger/Marshall Band, featuring multi-instrumentalists Darrol Anger and Mike Marshall, and the debut American solo release by young Celtic flute and whistle expert Michael McGoldrick, who has earned a reputation for his work with with Kate Rusby and the Scottish bands Capercaillie and Lunasa.
22 Lines About 11 Records
The Pimps To a Cool Person, Stay That Way (Hollywood Records)
Hollywood Records made a deal with the devil not long ago. Then they broke it, and he exacted revenge upon them with their current catalog.
Super Transatlantic Shuttlecock (Universal)
Yeah, lemme get the No. 3 Meal Deal with a Super-Sized Fries and a large Coke. Hey, didn’t you used to be in Super Transatlantic?
Primer 55 Introduction to Mayhem (Island)
Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst is a vice president of A&R for Interscope Records. Apparently, he used to work for Island and accidentally signed his own band.
Johnny Clueless What’s Your Flavour? (Boxov Records)
After five seconds, you may be tempted to click ahead to their cover of “Tainted Love.” Resist this urge or be prepared to run to the toilet.
John Fournier breakfast at epiphany’s (LunaDisc)
Maybe silly New Orleans jazz mixed with Lyle Lovett is your bag. All I can think to say is, “I couldn’t make up that album title.”
Come On The Come On Story: New York City 1976-80 (Heliocentric)
A questionable “retrospective” of a new wave band I’ve never heard of. Sort of like The Rutles doing Wire.
Verbena Into the Pink (Capitol)
A questionable “rock” album with dollar signs in the mixing console. Sort of like The Rutles doing Nirvana.
The Drowners Is There Something On Your Mind? (Wind Up)
Oh, I don’t know. How about sluggish, mid-tempo, and ready for radio?
Sit n’ Spin Enjoy the Ride (Headhunter)
Trashy girl-group fun. If the Donnas traded their Mötley Crüe albums for Kinks records.
Dirty Three Whatever You Love, You Are (Touch and Go)
Beautiful and mysterious. If only these guys had existed when Jethro Tull was platinum.
John Scofield Bump (Verve)
A Donald Fagen record minus the clever lyrics. Good for background music at old people’s parties.
Why does joining a cult have to look so pretty, but be so ugly?
I'd say the hats are more BILLY JACK, but that fits into the whole hippy-cult…
Thank you for the write up. We greatly appreciate it! Hope we raise the funds…
Looks like he was a great Artist.......who left his Legacy behind for others to follow.....
Indianapolis (CA-35), not Indiana.