We’ve long been influenced by, and championed, the American Primitive/Guitar Soli movement so the news of a dedicated festival, The Thousand Incarnations of the Rose, in Takoma Park, the home of the legendary John Fahey is news worth celebrating. Not surprisingly, many of the artists performing at the festival have recorded for Tompkins Square, including Mark Fosson, Richard Osborn, Harry Taussig, Daniel Bachman, Max Ochs, George Stavis, Peter Walker, Peter Lang, Chuck Johnson and more. Tompkins Square have put together a Spotify Playlist which we’ve included below.
Tompkins Square is excited to present a Festival-eve show on Thursday April 12 at RhizomeDC. The bill will feature Joe Bussard in conversation with Tompkins Square’s Josh Rosenthal, celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Joe’s first recordings of John Fahey for his Fonotone label. Also appearing is Wall Matthews, guitarist for 70’s Folkways label collective, Entourage; and the US debut of Welsh multi-instrumentalist, Gwenifer Raymond.
The Thousand Incarnations of the Rose is a 3-day music festival unlike any other. Set in Takoma Park, Maryland, it will bring together for the first time more than 25 acoustic fingerstyle guitar and banjo players from every era of the American Primitive/Guitar Soli movement and every corner of the United States. The festival presents legends such as Peter Lang, Max Ochs, Harry Taussig, and Peter Walker with modern day heavy hitters like Glenn Jones, Marisa Anderson, Daniel Bachman, and Nathan Bowles. They will also be screening documentaries and rare footage of John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Jack Rose; and hosting panel discussions with scholars and musicians.
All of this is being presented by RhizomeDC (a nonprofit organization) as Craft Recordings is releasing a double-LP American Primitive retrospective curated by Glenn Jones featuring the music of first-generation players such as Fahey, Basho, Kottke, Bull, Lang, Taussig, Ochs, and others.
Half of the festival performances are open to the public and will be staged at venues in downtown Takoma Park on Friday and Saturday. All Access Festival Passes for the other half of the performances, panel discussions, and movie screenings on Saturday and Sunday are available online at www.1000rose.org. These events will be presented at the auditorium of the Takoma Park Community Center and tickets are very limited.
When the guitarist John Fahey sat down to record “The Takoma Park Pool Hall Blues” for Fonotone Records in 1958 he could not have imagined that he was starting an artistic movement or that generations of players would follow in his footsteps. The number of players who have since taken up the American Primitive mantle has grown exponentially year-by-year and album-by-album. The term has come to refer to a certain approach to playing the guitar (or banjo) that favours emotion and mood over virtuosity for its own sake. It is only fitting that this festival is being staged in Takoma Park, Fahey’s boyhood home and that 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of his very first recordings.
Alexander (CT), Alexander Turnquist (NY), Anthony Pasquarosa (MA), Charlie Schmidt (IL), Chuck Johnson (CA), Daniel Bachman (VA), Danny Paul Grody (CA), Don Bikoff (NY), Dylan Aycock (OK), George Stavis (NY), Glenn Jones (MA), Harry Taussig (CA), Is@s@ (SP), Itasca (CA), Joseph Allred (TN), Lloyd Thayer (MA), Marisa Anderson (OR), Mark Fosson (KY), Matt Sowell (MN), Max Ochs (MD), Nathan Bowles (VA), Nick Schillace (MI), Peter Lang (MN), Peter Walker (NY), Rich Osborn (CA), Rob Noyes (MA), Sarah Louise (NC), Will Csorba (TX), and Willie Lane (MA)
RhizomeDC – 6950 Maple St NW, Washington, DC 20012
Busboys and Poets – 235 Carroll St NW, Washington, DC 20012
AllyWorld – 7014-C Westmoreland Ave, Takoma Park MD 20913
Takoma Beverage Company – 6917 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912
Republic – 6939 Laurel Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912
Carroll Café – 272-278 Carroll St NW, Washington, DC 20012
In addition there will be a performance at the Takoma Park Gazebo on Carroll Ave between Tulip and Westmoreland
Main Performance Space:
The Takoma Park Community Center – 7500 Maple Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912
Steve Korn: As co-founder and president of RhizomeDC, an experimental arts and performance space located in Takoma Park, Steve has been intimately involved with Washington DC’s creative community. In April 2017, Rhizome was named the Best New Venue by the Washington City Paper. Prior to starting Rhizome, Steve was co-founder and president of Shbobo, a music synthesizer maker founded in 2009 which has subsequently sold its instruments to experimental musicians, sound artists and music schools in over 15 countries. Steve was also a founder of Chromatis Networks, a pioneering optical networking company.
Glenn Jones: Guitarist Glenn Jones has written extensively about the leading lights of the American Primitive guitar style. His credits include liner notes for five Fahey albums, most notably Fahey’s final album, Red Cross, and the massive five-CD box-set of early recordings, Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (2011; Dust-to-Digital), which he worked on for 11 years. Jones formed the post-rock ensemble Cul de Sac in 1989 and went on to record nine albums with the band, including collaborations with Fahey and Damo Suzuki. He began performing solo in 2003 and has issued six full-length acoustic guitar albums; most recently, Fleeting (2016), Waterworks (2017), and An Idea in Everything (2017), a collaboration with Chris Corsano and David Greenberger. Jones toured extensively with his friend Jack Rose, performing across the U.S., Canada, Europe and the UK. He recently finished recording a new studio album for Thrill Jockey, which will be issued in 2018. Jones selected the tracks and wrote the liner notes for the double LP/CD package entitled The Thousand Incarnations of the Rose — An Introduction to American Primitive Guitar & Banjo, 1963-1974, slated for release in early 2018.
Jesse Sheppard: A filmmaker and guitarist, Jesse directed the performance documentary The Things That We Used To Do (2010; Strange Attractors Audio House) featuring Jack Rose and Glenn Jones. Since then he has worked with some of America’s preeminent American Primitive musicians including Daniel Bachman and Nathan Bowles. Based in Philadelphia, he has co-produced tribute concerts honoring Jack Rose and Robbie Basho. His guitar duo, Elkhorn, combines American Primitive with psychedelic rock. Their debut LP, The Black River, was released in 2017.
Kathy Harr: Kathy “with a K” Harr enjoys creating community through music festivals and other events. She considers Terrastock West, a San Francisco gathering of 38 performers and 700 fans, one of her greatest achievements. Kathy grew up at WTUL New Orleans and studied at KUSF San Francisco and Homestead Records. From 1996 to 2001 she worked with a diverse array of avant-garde pop and rock acts, including a tour for John Fahey with Cul de Sac, as Danno: We Book ‘Em. Lately, she has focused on conferences and conventions for national nonprofits as well as fundraisers for political campaigns, including her own. Kathy with a K will soon be making odd things happen in her new home of Athens, GA.
Margaret Holt: Margaret is excited about discovering, producing, and presenting events that showcase the many different ways humans can express themselves, in as many different kinds of media, for as many different audiences as possible. Her projects include Christian Marclay‘s ScreenPlay (a moving image musical score interpreted by musicians), Ryoji Ikeda’s C4I (a minimalist-maximalist audio-visual concert featuring speakers outside of the audience’s perception), Jeff Feddersen’s Earth Speaker (a public art sculpture installed at the Wave Farm Transmission Arts Festival that gathers ambient solar energy to be released as a daily audio event), and LoVid’s Sync Vessels (a simultaneous concert during which custom instruments were prototyped using data extracted from the artist-maker’s synthesizer). After these and other adventures in media production, she found herself in Takoma Park working on a different kind of production: raising a family. She is very happy that Rhizome has arrived on the scene.
RhizomeDC is a nonprofit community arts space located at 6950 Maple St NW, in the Takoma neighborhood of Washington DC. It is dedicated to promoting creativity as a force for personal empowerment and community engagement. RhizomeDC also strives to provide a home for non-mainstream programming in the DC area. RhizomeDC hosts programs that promote creativity in all its forms. These include concerts, workshops, performances, talks, exhibitions, and demonstration projects in areas such as art, music, technology, theater, local food, poetry, as well as in more esoteric fields of knowledge.
Friday, April 13
- Ten performances at five different venues in downtown Takoma Park, Maryland.
Saturday, April 14
- Pass Holders gather at the 175-seat Takoma Park Community Center auditorium for the following events:
- Panel discussion, moderated by Byron Coley, featuring musicians and scholars including Glenn Jones, Peter Lang, Sarah Louise, Steve Lowenthal, and Claudio Guerrieri.
- Screening of never-before-shown performance footage of Jack Rose.
- Seven performances.
- Five additional performances are scheduled throughout the day, including an open-air show at the gazebo in downtown Takoma Park.
Sunday, April 15
- Pass Holders return to the Community Center in the morning for the following:
- First DC-area screening of the documentary, Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho, followed by a Q&A with the film’s director, Liam Barker (UK).
- The final seven performances of the festival.
$135 Festival Pass Holders Receive:
– Access to Limited Reserved Seating at 15 Public Performances
– 14 Exclusive Performances Over 2 Days
– Panel Discussion
– Basho Documentary and Discussion
– Rare Performance Footage
– Festival Program
– Laminated Festival Pass
– Access to Private Festival Content Portal
On sale at www.1000rose.org