Revenant: The Weirdest, Coolest Reissue Label In The World by Mark Coleman

This brief article appeared in the 1st October 1998 edition of Rolling Stone.

“We’re in the luxurious position of putting out eactly what we want,” says Dean Blackwood. The Nashville attorney, along with guitarist John Fahey, is the co-proprietor of Revenant, a re-issue label dedicated to what he calls “raw musics.” During the last year, they’ve unearthed treasures by avant-garde improvisors, Cecil Taylor and Derek Bailey, rocabilly legend Charlie Feathers and the white country blues man, Dock Boggs.

How does Revenant pay the rent?

“John came into some money through an inheritance,” says Blackwood. “Instead of doing something sensible like buiding a house, he decided to put out CDs.”

What do Charlie Feathers and Cecil Taylor have in common?

“They’re uncompromising people who made their own way,” Blackwood says. “And whose music has a real spiritual component to it, though not necessarily religious.

What does the future hold?

Looming large on Revenant’s screen is a four disc (sic) set of rare material by Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band due in 1999. Rehearsal tapes from the psychedelic epic, Trout Mask Replica, will be included and Blackwood promises a revelation: “It sounds like chaos to a lot of people, but these sessions will prove that Beefheart’s music was orchestrated chaos. That Magic Band was as tight as one of James Brown’s great bands.”

-Mark Coleman

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