News on John Fahey, Revenant, Beach Boys, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Status Quo, Stabbing Westward
Revenant Records, one of the most distinctive indie labels of recent years, will remain in business despite the Feb. 22 death of its founder and guiding light, guitarist John Fahey. "The next five years of [Revenant] projects are plotted out," says Dean Blackwood, the Austin, Texas-based attorney who serves as Revenant's label manager. "The idea is to continue the label and to honor [Fahey] and his work . . . His fingerprints are on everything."
Devoted to the uncompromising sounds that Fahey termed "raw musics," Revenant has issued several elaborate collections, including a hardbound volume of banjoist Dock Boggs' complete 1920s recordings, a five-CD Captain Beefheart box, and an elegant two-CD edition of the unreleased fourth volume of Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. The label's next two projects, both scheduled for this year, will be similarly lavish.
In a curiosity of timing, a four- or five-CD collection of Fahey's 1958-65 recordings for Washington, D.C., collector Joe Bussard's Fonotone label will be released "sometime soonish," Blackwood says. These rare sides -- originally pressed as limited-edition 78s under the handle "Blind Thomas" -- reveal Fahey's unique fingerpicking style in its formative stages.
-- Chris Morris, L.A.
The Beach Boys -- whose current incarnation sports lone original member Mike Love -- have announced a short U.K. tour this summer. Love, who co-wrote such favorites as "Good Vibrations" with band leader Brian Wilson, has licensed the Beach Boys name and is backed by Bruce Johnston, who joined the band in the '70s after Wilson stopped touring. The rest of the group is made up of session musicians. Dates are on tap for Edinburgh (July 19); Warwick (July 20); Liverpool (July 21); and London (July 22). Old school denim-clad rockers Status Quo will support.