The 1968 debut album from celebrated Chicago-based guitarist TERRY CALLIER will be officially re-released on CD, hi-res digital in both 96/24-bit quality and 192/24-bit quality, and-for the first time--on vinyl October 19 when Los Angeles' Craft Recordings reissues The New Folk Sound Of Terry Callier. The album - originally recorded on one afternoon in 1964 but not released until four years later when a copy of the almost-lost master was rediscovered - is unique in that it features just an acoustic guitar and two bass players.
The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier (originally on Prestige Records) conveys the promise and power of Callier in his earliest days. It's a document marking a particular moment, capturing a young man in his element, his voice and soul, jazz and folk-infused songs timeless. This new version includes five previously unreleased alternate takes("900 Miles," "Promenade In Green," "It's About Time" and "Be My Woman") along with two tracks making their vinyl debut ("Jack O'Diamonds" and "Golden Apples of the Sun"), as well as new liner notes by Jason P. Woodbury which help narrate this lost gem.
Committing to tape a series of folk standards, the 1964 session paired Callier's deep blue voice and acoustic guitar with two bassists, Terbour Attenborough and John Tweedle. Though the material retains its traditional roots, the peculiar configuration of instrumentalists, inspired by John Coltrane's work with two bassists, nods toward Callier's jazz leanings as does his forlorn phrasing. The album went missing however, when producer Samuel Charters absconded to Mexico with the masters.
When The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier was finally released by Prestige years later in 1968, Callier was only made aware of its existence after being alerted by his brother, who spotted a copy in a store and informed Terry. Still, the record made an impression on those who heard it: Chicago rock band H.P. Lovecraft, led by Callier's old friend George Edwards, recorded trippy versions of Terry's arrangements of "Spin, Spin, Spin" and "It's About Time," but the quiet, moody folk of the LP was out of step with the heady times - at least sonically, though not spiritually - and it failed to register a commercial impact until many years later. NME would go on to describe Callier as "One of the finest voices of his generation." Of The New Folk Sound, the New York Times said "He sang traditional songs like 'Cotton Eyed Joe' and '900 Miles' with a calm, low voice that evoked Josh White and Fred Neil, but the album's instrumentation - acoustic guitar and two basses, played sparingly - gave the recordings an atmosphere that was both intimate and otherworldly."
In the liner notes, Woodbury says, "Playing alongside compatriots like Dino Valenti, Josh White Junior, Fred Neil and his friend David Crosby, Callier brought a faraway yearn to the folk material of the day. Perhaps it was what he'd absorbed from Coltrane - the desire to bring 'the beautiful and ugly' to his music - that attracted famed blues producer Samuel Charters to him."
He would continue performing and recording, releasing albums incorporating landmark fusions of psychedelic soul, gospel and progressive folk, putting Callier in step with resonant contemporaries like Curtis Mayfield, Gil-Scott Heron, Van Morrison and Tim Buckley, bending popular song structures into cosmic, ecstatic new shapes.
In 1983, Callier would break away from the music industry entirely as he needed a steady income to raise his daughter. But unbeknownst to him, his music had been embraced in the '90s by the British soul/jazz scene and he would go on to record with the likes of Beth Orton, Paul Weller and Massive Attack. Callier would subsequently release five more albums and tour internationally.
Upon his passing in 2012, The Guardian praised Callier, noting his "gentle but hugely expressive voice" and that "the album stands today as a minor masterpiece."
The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier LPtrack listing:
1. 900 Miles
2. Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be
3. Johnny Be Gay If You Can Be
4. Cotton Eyed Joe
1. It's About Time
2. Promenade in Green
3. Spin, Spin, Spin
4. I'm a Drifter
1. Jack O'Diamonds
2. Golden Apples of the Sun
3. Promenade in Green [take 1]*
1. Be My Woman [take 1]*
2. 900 Miles [take 1]*
3. It's About Time [take 2]*
4. Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be [take 2]*
The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier CD track listing:
Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be
Johnny Be Gay If You Can Be
Cotton Eyed Joe
It's About Time
Promenade in Green
Spin, Spin, Spin
I'm A Drifter
Golden Apples Of The Sun
Promenade in Green (take 1)*
Be My Woman (take 1)*
900 Miles (take 1)*
It's About Time (take 2)*
Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be (take 2)*