Vibes are off a bit this Bandcamp Friday, eh? Yeesh. Only time will tell how damaging or beneficial Epic Games’ acquisition of Bandcamp will turn out to be. I’d like to hold out hope for a glass-half-full version of this where Bandcamp picks up some great new capabilities while continuing to be this haven for community and consciousness around the idea — the fact — that artists deserve to be fairly compensated for their work. It’s hard not to be pessimistic, though.
All the same, it’s Bandcamp Friday. They haven’t taken that from us yet, and there are a quite a few things I’ve had my eye on of late. More vinyl than in past months, for whatever reason. Whether you’re picking up records or .mp3s, I hope you find something fun to listen to below while they’re still throwing this fee-free shindig.
Asher Gamedze — out side work | two duets
I absolutely loved South African drummer Asher Gamedze’s 2020 album Dialectic Soul. 10/10. Would recommend in the strongest terms. No hesitation whatsoever picking up a copy of this new set of improvised duets. (Well, I hesitated in the sense that I’ve waited until Bandcamp Friday to put my order in, but you get the idea.)
Justin Golden — Hard Times and a Woman
I’ll have a bunch more to say about this one soon — Incoming Article Alert™ — but for now I’ll just say that Richmond-based blues artist Justin Golden released the second single from Hard Times and a Woman this week. It’s called “Can’t Get Right,” and it’s been stuck in my head ever since he performed it at the 2021 Richmond Folk Festival. Calling it now that this album will be one of my favorites from 2022, and not just in the realm of Richmond music.
Dead Billionaires — Dead Billionaires EP
Speaking of incoming articles, I had a great chat with Warren Campbell of Dead Billionaires not long ago about his upcoming unofficial SXSW tour and a recording project that’s just over the horizon. Really excited to hear more from them, as the three-song self-titled EP they released in 2021 is excellent. Great day to download it.
John Calvin Abney — “Holy Golden West“
Tulsa-based singer-songwriter and kickass multi-instrumentalist John Calvin Abney has a new album due out later this year entitled Tourist, and the first single dropped in February. Count me in for the single, the album… all of the above. Abney’s on tour with John Moreland at the moment. That’s how I first encountered his music — Abney was accompanying Moreland at a show here in Richmond at the Camel, and I took a chance on a copy of Abney’s Far Cries and Close Calls without having heard a single note. I’m so glad I did, and I can’t wait to hear the rest of Tourist.
Sarah White & the Pearls — Married Life b/w I.L.Y.
Speaking of recent articles, when I spoke with Warren Parker, who runs WarHen Records, he included Sarah White’s Married Life b/w I.L.Y. 7-inch among a list of the most pivotal releases from the label’s first 10 years. (Only natural, since it was WarHen’s first official release.) As part of the “WARHEN/TEN” anniversary celebration, Parker managed to dig up 10 copies of the single. You can bet I’ll be ready when those go on sale at 10 a.m.
Other items I have my eye on today: