Basho, Robbie - Bonn ist Supreme

I am really into the 'Americana' style of guitar as typified by the Takoma artists. There's a lot of these players both from 40 years ago and contemporary and many of them are great. But one of the really special ones is Robbie Basho. This unreleased live recording is something to treasure, as it adds immeasurably to his small body of recorded work!

"Basho is recognized as one of the essential, transporting acoustic guitarists of his time. His music is indispensable to a host of players, foremost among them, Steffen Basho-Junghans, who has taken Basho’s name, and his inspiring example, to places they’ve never been before."-Glenn Jones

"In the 1960s and ‘70s, John Fahey and Leo Kottke seemed to soak up all the attention as the primary “wayshowers” of a new approach to the acoustic steel-string guitar. One was dark and paranoid, the other light and humorous; both were still firmly rooted in folk and blues traditions. But another, in some ways greater, challenge to the accepted way of playing and composing on the guitar was also looming up at the time: Robbie Basho’s. Compared to Fahey and Kottke, though, you would have to describe Robbie and his musical antecedents as simply “Other.” There are obvious influences from India, Japan and the Near East, of course. But even those are not pure translations of other traditions: they too have been re-worked by a creative intelligence. Clearly Robbie has widened the musical horizons greatly."-Richard Osborn

"An unreleased live Robbie Basho recording from Germany in 1980. This program appears to have been recorded in one go. Robbie scatters his Americana numbers throughout, beginning with 'Redwood Ramble,' ending with 'California Raga.' This date finds Robbie in fine fettle, his playing sharpened by the intensity of touring, his mood seems ebullient, at times (as on 'Fandango') he comes off like John Lee Hooker's sun-kissed cousin, stomping furiously along to his playing. There is sweetness to his material, yes, but this is not, as Jack Rose put it, 'music for wineries.' There is the galloping muscularity of Basho's playing, coupled with the sheer hugeness of his sound; the fearless employment of dissonance as part of his musical make-up; a love for the unexpected chord change. Robbie was a voracious and uncompromising player. Basho's singing was as integral to who he was as his guitar playing, and when he opened his mouth, he filled the room with sound. Say what you like about his lyrics, no one can accuse Basho of dilettantism, of dabbling, or of trying something on merely for effect. Whatever bag he was in, he was in all the way. Liner notes from Glenn Jones & Stephen Basho-Junghans, and beautifully remastered by Glenn Jones."
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