FRANK FAiRFiELD - Forward! Into The Past!

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"Music is something that humans do," he says. "In every corner of this planet, wherever there has been a human, there has been music. But music was not for sale before the first big gramophone companies came into being, it was just natural. Now it's like the difference between food and McDonald's. Mashed lymph nodes wrapped in cellophane isn't food, but we're so used to the barren landscape we don't question it. That's how I feel about today's music, it's barren. But there's beautiful music out there if you're just willing to take a look." - Frank Fairfield via The Guardian

   Folks spend a lot of time trying to explain Frank Fairfield. Not explain him away, but just explain. Or  try. To decipher. Perhaps because Mr. Fairfield, and more importantly his music, is genuine, honest and dare I say, earnest. He and his music are not the least bit retro, cloying or precious...and that makes some people nervous. One must remember he is mortal clay and not some Tom Joad-like materialized ghost from, as Haggard would sing, the good olde days when times were bad. Fairfield is no John-Boy.

Only in his late twenties, Frank Fairfield makes music that appears to arrive from a rent in the dark, musty, well-worn purple curtain of time. One could just as well imagine Fairfield taking the stage at the 1926 Grand Old Opry, going on before The McGee Brothers and Uncle Dave Macon, as you could at the Old Time Fiddle Convention in Galax, Va or Portland's Pickathon, or San Francisco's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival. 

Frank Fairfield plays antique music smudged only by modern recording technique and sonic sensibilities. If you didn't know better you might think you are hearing a well-made field recording of Bascom Lunsford or Charlie Poole. As writer April Fecca wrote, Fairfield's sound is, "so authentic that you wait to hear the hiss and pop of old vinyl."

Frank Fairfield's new album, Out In The Open West , his second for the terrific Tompkins Square record label from NYC, is out now.  

(Btw, you gotta check out Tompkins Square Records! In the wasteland of todays record label survivors, these guys are a gem. I have their 3CD deluxe set called People Take Warning ! Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs, 1913-1938 and it's simply amazing. Check out their catalog. They are truly a special company.)

If you are a fan of serious old-timey, American music with out the trappings that come with some ex-punk rock dude gettin' his ironic hipster roots n' 'stache on, and you're not down with yesteryears sallow, fake-tanned and sensitive-brand Nashvilleified & Bransonated post-Soggy Bottom Boys "bluegrass" pop tripe, then Frank Fairfield is your man