on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2013 19 Apr

Don Bikoff and a celestial explosion from 1968

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off



„Don Bikoff released one lone, rare solo album, ‚Celestial Explosion‘, on Keyboard Records in 1968, now reissued by Tompkins Square. Watch the YouTube video of Bikoff playing on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, taped May 12, 1968. You’ll see the sheepish, long-haired, mustachioed musician spinning gold in a style (still?) so foreign to the mainstream listener. The befuddled host concludes after Don’s performance, „That’s unusual to say the least.“ A kid from Oyster Bay, LI, Bikoff got his start in Greenwich Village, annoying Dave Van Ronk and playing the folk/blues circuit where he met Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Jesse Fuller and Mississippi John Hurt. The comparisons to John Fahey’s and Robbie Basho’s work stated in the LP liner notes touched a nerve with Fahey himself at the time. Today, those comparisons are still inevitable, however they are for lazy ears. Bikoff has his own approach. Don is only 65 years old, and he’s still playing strong.“ (From the record cover)

Never heard this guitarist’s name. Read about the record in Uncut. Saw the youtube video from 1968. Got the cd days later. Listened. Love the moods, no showing off, no pretentious trickery, a bit of Eastern Classical Music, mixed with american psychedelic folk. A touch of India, and you are always psychedelic! On one track, „Earth (Revisited)“ , he uses slide to send notes out into a world of echo. In the liner notes, there is a story for every track, sometimes a sort of romantic overkill, like the title: CELESTIAL EXPLOSION. But, after all these years, it definitely still sounds fresh and raw and, well, far out:) (m.e.)

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