We'll take ourselves a one-day respite from the BHM posts for this little anniversary thing about a songwriter most people have never even heard of, but whom I hold in very high esteem.
His records are as rare as diamonds, but he's been around for over 50 years under the radar.
He helped to create a standalone genre with what he does and how he does it: Psych Folk, for lack of a better, less dated term.
Like something of a cross between Tim Buckley and Sixto Rodriguez, his tunes and his voice have a haunted, slightly unsettled quality and his lyrics take emotional melancholy into another galaxy.
His two, ultimately classic late 1960s LPs on the genre-shattering ESP-Disk label have never even been properly reissued, yet occupy a status of legend just the same.
The songs he fashions have two, essentially distinct settings: the historical ballad side -- he often sings authentic stuff from the American Civil War -- and the psychodrama songs that are often about breakups and what causes them.
There just isn't anyone like Randy Burns, is there? He is like an oldschool folkie and a modern songwriter all at once.
In a strange way, his damaged romantic balladry is as perfectly suited for Valentine's Day as a box of chocolates.
And what sort of candy have we today? Why, it's a piece so rare there's not any single trace of it on the web.
I think this was something Randy himself might have CDRd and sold at his own shows back 15 years ago, but I can't be sure.
Either way, it's a most revealing document of this most unusual, yet somehow totally traditional, songsmith.
"Live At Jocko's"
New Haven, Connexticut
01 The Girl I Love
02 It Gets Easier
04 Don't Reach Out for My Hand
05 California Yodelin' Blues
06 Won't It Be Grand
07 The Last Thing On My Mind
08 I Like to Sleep Late In the Morning
09 Wild Mountain Thyme
10 Time Run Like a Freight Train
12 Civil War talk
13 Civil War medley
14 The Streets of Montreal
15 More Often than Not
16 Oh! Shenandoah
17 Ain't Nobody's Business
Total time: 57:01
Randy Burns - guitar & vocals
soundboard CDR, possibly sold by RB at his shows in the early 2000s
319 MB FLAC/February 2019 archive link
I shall be right back tomorrow with a milestone Black History birthday bash, as we slog on through the February snowdrifts towards the Spring.
Right now, however, you have the chance to discover a new -- yet old -- favorite songwriter, via this astonishly scarce live set from precisely 43 years previous!--J.