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Artist: HOKE, RUSSELL
Title: A Voice From the Lonesome Playground: An Anthology
Format: Double Cass
Label: Round Bale
Country: USA
Price: $18.00
150 hand-numbered copies in over-sized album. 16-page lyrics booklet.

“It was in the summer of 2011 that I first stumbled across a small stash of Russell Hoke albums while combing through the tastefully stocked bins of Chicagos Dusty Groove Records, which I later learned was one of the very few places in the world to actually carry these. Tucked in their small “Folk & Country” section sat these intriguing looking hand-assembled, hand-scrawled record jackets with titles like Haunted Brain and If I Had Been the Universe that looked positively out of place amongst the more recognizable selections within that traditional-mind- ed genre. With no knowledge of what any of these would sound like, but lured by the cheap sticker price and curious song titles, I ended up purchasing a copy of Hokes He Would Have Been A Fine Young Man.
When I arrived back home and put the needle to the record for the first time, I was downright mesmerized by what I heard. The album was a haunting work of psych- tinged, outsider folk that sounded like a lost late-sixties/early-seventies artifact, adding a bit of mystery and confusion to the 2011 copyright date on the jacket. This, of course, immediately sent me on the hunt for any and all of the other Hoke recordings I could get my hands on and to seek out any further information I could about this elusive artist. There was, however, scant information to be found online about Hoke at the time (and to this day, in fact), with the exception of maybe a couple of mentions of his 2009 released double album, The Magic of My Youth. Fortunately, based on a slight hunch and a blind email inquiry, I was put in touch with Hoke directly, a connection that has provided me with years worth of enduring songs, poetry, and camaraderie, and which brings us to the present day and this collection in hand.
The bulk of the recordings featured on this anthology date back to the 1980s and have been circulated amongst Hokes friends and supporters in various minuscule editions and under various titles for decades, from the “pizza box” cassette edition of Splashing Onto You, My Children in the late 80s up through the more recent spat of limited vinyl editions on Hokes private label, Unheard-of Records. This anthology draws from the entirety of his archives and these later private press editions, including three previously unreleased tracks, to circulate a collection anew for the next generation of listeners and future fans of this under-appreciated, Texas-based songwriter and poet. With 38 songs spread out over two cassettes and a 16-page booklet of lyrics, A Voice From the Lonesome Playground presents a broad overview of Hokes work, providing what I consider more than ample evidence of his much-deserved place in that great conversation of notable left-of-center songwriters and wordsmiths, from Dylan to Johnston to Hazlewood to Hurley. Get in on the action, friends: the Cosmic Outlaw is back!” - David Perron, November 2016.

Artist: TILTH
Title: Country Music
Format: LP
Label: Round Bale
Country: USA
Price: $22.00
"Pleased to announce the inaugural release on Round Bale Recordings, a private press record label associated with the Free Form Freakout podcast series (a.k.a. The FFFoxy Podcast) that will focus on small edition releases across various physical formats. This first LP comes from the group Tilth and their long-awaited sophomore album. Initially the duo of Cody Yantis and Nathan McLaughlin, whose debut Angular Music came out on Soft Abuse in 2012, Tilths new trio incarnation includes long-time collaborator Joe Houpert, who has worked with McLaughlin in Loud & Sad and with both on the superb Line Drawings release out on Desire Path Recordings last year. Each of these musicians solo and collaborative works have been featured regularly throughout the history of the Free Form Freakout podcast series. In fact, Tilth performed their very first live outing in a show that we arranged here in Mankato, Minnesota a few years ago. It was quite an exhilarating performance filled with clashes of tape drift, stringed dissonance, free jazz eruptions and the occasional verbal prodding amongst the group members to push towards some next level catharsis. It was a rather compelling live show that opened the door to new possibilities only hinted at on their debut release.
After several months of planning and collaboration, we couldnt be more pleased to finally offer Country Music, an album that captures the bound-up tension and breezy release of that memorable first performance. Its country music not in style, but music conceived during a time and place marked by rural living and relative isolation. McLaughlins reel-to-reel textures and Yantis resonant guitar work are still present, but the sonic palette has been noticeably widened with Houperts skittering percussion and dissonant violin scrapes adding new rhythm and color as the album unfolds. Theres much more to it: nuance, space, breath, and grit. Ah, yes, its indeed Country Music!
This first LP release comes in a numbered edition of 150 copies with hand-printed artwork by Casey Deming. The album was mastered by Sean McCann." - Round Bale.

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