Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Robbie Basho - Twilight Peaks (Smeraldina-Rima, 2012)

Robbie Basho – Twilight Peaks
Smeraldina-Rima 2012

Robbie Basho (1940-1986) was a pioneering guitar player from Baltimore who released records on guitarist John Fahey’s Takoma Records in the 1960’s. His influences ranged from Indian raga (he studied with the famous sarod player Ali Akbar Khan), European classical, and American blues and ballads. “Twilight Peaks” is Basho’s last album which was a cassette released in 1984 and has since been out of print. Smeraldina-Rima has reissued the album for LP and CD.

The title track features Basho’s well known, frenzied, hypnotic picking style. The music takes on a long form, psychedelic folk approach. “Nice Enough For Love” incorporates mournful melodies into the picking, droning on and on. “Afternoon and Evening” is a kind of funny and strange song, because you can hear Basho’s fingers sliding up and down on the strings really loudly, hearing the reverb. “Where Butterflies In Winter Go” incorporates really beautiful, twangy blues melodies. With all the Takoma school musicians like Fahey, Kottke, and Basho, there is such a sense of environment and geography evoked through the aesthetic of the music. Listening to Twilight Peaks my imagination becomes vivid with pastoral and bucolic landscapes, perhaps due in large part to where these guys came from and the American folk music that these songs are rooted in and inspired by.

LP/CD for purchase: http://www.smeraldina-rima.com/products-page/page/2/

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