Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Robbie Basho : Visions of the Country

It may be a little late in the game to come along and blog about the Robbie Basho like no one's heard of him before. But in fact, I hadn't heard of him, and maybe there are others out there too who have only just discovered Basho's recordings with this reissue on Gnome Life, 'Visions of the Country'. Initially released in 1978 this LP has been unattainable for over 30 years and now these songs made at the peak of his artistic career are available once more.  So far they've sold like hot cakes, going on ebay for silly money and earned Basho a whole new legion of fans.  These ten songs feature piano, 6 & 12 string guitars arranged together in sublime folk pieces that'll sweep you off your feet.  Opener "Green River Suite" introduces Basho's soulful vocals hymned alongside a stunning finger picked guitar.  And that's it.  He's got you.  The following songs, like the first, take you further out of this world and into his.  Blues tinged "Blue Crustal Fire" is a personal highlight, "Smooth singing sunshine, Smooth singing sunshine. Wrap your blanket around me, wrap your blanket around me, around me, my love!" Basho sings in such a tender way it makes me want to go and curl up somewhere.  'Visions of the Country' is absolutely unmissable and I'm glad to have caught it on this fitting restoration.  "My philosophy is quite simple: soul first, technique later, or 'Better to drink wine from the hands than water from a pretty cup'; of course the ultimate is wine from a pretty cup. Amen."   Robbie Basho

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