4/9/98 Update From Dean Blackwood at Revenant: Hey guys. Things are still coming together nicely. John French is busy on the bulk of the notes and I am attempting to wrap up the recordings end of things. Some cool surprises in the works. We are looking for good quality versions of the following live performances from any era: Suction Prints Pompadour Swamp Peon Dali’s Car Old Fart Well Dust Blows Apes Ma Odd Jobs Best Batch Yet Owed T’Alex And, since the BBC has erased its tapes and Peel himself has no tapes, we are auditioning versions of the Peel Sessions (all 8 tracks) to
[alert_box type=”info”]This brief article appeared in the 1st October 1998 edition of Rolling Stone.[/alert_box] “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
[alert_box type=”info”]This article was taken from the April 1998 edition of Spin. Not even mentioning Beefheart, it is a general piece about the releases of the record label Revenant, who released the Captain Beefheart rarities box set ‘Grow Fins’.[/alert_box] Since Smithsonian Folkways’ ballyhooed reissue of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, many of our world’s duller knobs seem to have been reborn as experts in roots music. So it’s a safe bet that spasms of delight will greet the latest release on avant-acoustic guitarist John Fahey’s label Revenant: Dock Boggs’ Country Blues (RVN 205), which collects the complete early (circa 1927-29) recordings by the
The cover for the Grow Fins promo, featuring the magic man himself. If his vacuum cleaner sales routine was as impressive as this then who could blame Aldous Huxley for being tempted? This was released by Revenant in March 1999 as a taster to the Grow Fins set, and is very tasty indeed. Track list Below is the track-listing as it appears on the inside front sleeve. Sampler review from April 1999 The sound quality is by far superior to the majority of the bootlegs circulating which feature this material, and the material itself is stunning, boasting many gems which I have never heard before.
[alert_box type=”info”]This article first appeared in the April 1999 edition of The Wire, prior to the release of the Grow Fins box-set. Many thanks to Mike for his permission to use it.[/alert_box] Captain Beefheart likened making music to going to the bathroom – it’s not something he wants to look back on. Here, Mike Barnes grills the Revenant label on the ethics of its ‘unauthorised’ CD retrospective that claims its rare unguarded moments reveal the true Beefheart. “Some of the most compelling moments in Captain Beefheart’s recorded legacy have been heard by just a handful of people.” So says Dean Blackwood, co-founder with John Fahey
One of my favourite labels, Revenant Records who released the “Grow Fins” treasure trove of unreleased Beefheart, released the second volume in their “American Primitive” series this week. Vol 1 was a stunning collection of gnarly pre-war gospel. Volume 2 features pre-war blues, hillbilly and jazz. Reuters have a nice feature on it. Should the fancy take you, you can also read my piece about Revenant Records from our John Fahey tribute.