on life, music etc beyond mainstream


Robbie Basho: Song of the Avatars – The Lost Master Tapes


At the end of Liam Barker’s 2015 documentary Voice of The Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho, we get a tantalising glimpse of some cardboard boxes containing the guitarist’s unreleased tapes, sealed on his death in 1986 and untouched since. Now we finally get to hear what was inside – and what a cornucopia it turns out to be. Drawn from more than 100 reel-to-reels covering a 20-year span, the 54 tracks present a parallel path to Basho’s commercially released discography, ranging from Robert Johnson covers to dazzling east-meets-west guitar instrumentals, via classical piano suites, troubadour songs in the baroque style of early Tim Buckley and whimsical humour on oddities such as “Hippie Song”. If you ever thought you know what to expect from the so-called „American Primitive“, think twice: weird and wonderful, you could lose yourself for a lifetime in Basho’s esoteric world. (The box itself is an objet d’art with gold-foil inlay, poster and splendid 48-page booklet containing erudite essays and unseen photos.)


written by N. Williamson and M. Engelbrecht


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