Floating Records Orchestra - "West Virginia"
The brain-child of Floating Records founder Don Zimmer, Floating Records Orchestra is a testament both to the vibrant Marin County music scene, and the collaborative community that is growing up around the label itself.
The genesis for FRO’s latest release, an experimental "Americana Operetta" called West Virginia, occurred in the late 90’s when Don cut three tracks with bassist Dave Coltrara (Delta Wires) and drummer Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter Trio, Nels Cline Singers). After simmering on the back burner for over a decade, Don decided to revisit those recordings, which suggested a loose storyline. With the addition of some more recent compositions, he fit the pieces together into a narrative that recalls the classic mythological hero’s journey, presented in the context of contemporary Americana.
About the inspiration for the material, Zimmer said, "This particular adventure was based on my fascination with tragic bluegrass songs like 'Knoxville Girl' or 'Darling Cory,' also The Decemberists 'Hazard's of Love,' Ennio Morrcione, Lee Hazelwood, and the concept album 'Thick as a Brick' by Jethro Tull...repeating themes and a rough storyline...something with a little more weight than your average little song." Aside from “The Poison,” a collaboration with Hollis Zimmer and Fiver Brown, all songs were penned by Zimmer.
Songs and story in hand, Zimmer began enlisting the talents of Marin musicians to complete his vision, all of whom were more than happy to follow his muse. Central to the sound of the work, vocalist Carla Holbrook Laverty gives a commanding performance as the operetta’s protagonist. Additionally, Chris Haugen contributes moody atmospherics on the pedal steel, and Steven Younger rounds out the sonic palate on the Hammond B3. Drummer Noah Waldman and bassist Scott Lipsitz form the rhythm section for the newer material, in addition to Tracy Blackman, Chris Peck, & Christina Stroeh.
Jafar is an award-winning singer/songwriter and visionary poet. Crafting songs of sacred union, life, death, rebirth, and the search for a life of divine purpose, his writing deals largely with themes of spiritual alchemy, mythical archetypes, and the evolution of the soul.
Floating Records is proud to offer his latest release, "Dark Matter." Co-Produced with Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Patti Smith, Aerosmith), it's an emotional, thought-provoking collection of songs dealing with the underworld journey of the soul, human interconnectedness, and the search for love and meaning in one's life. Featuring a large and eclectic cast of SF Bay Area musicians including members of Song Preservation Society, Chance's End, and Devon McClive, it's an indie-folk cornucopia for the ears.
Old-time music at its finest, The Rusty String Express debut album is like a musical time machine. Moving in and out of paces sometimes driving, sometimes floating, The Rusty String Express breathes spirit and introspection to the rooted string quartet sound. Suspenseful and sometimes haunting sounds found on songs like "Marty's Jig" and "Sea Pod" recall the moods of lost saloon-day eras now turned to dust. Propelling foot-stompers like "Old Joe Clark/Cluck Old Hen" and "Behind the Green Shed" call to mind expansive back country roads begging for speed limits to be broken. And introspective, string-pulling sounds on songs like "Winds of Enceladus" and "Hairless Ninja" find ways to say more with melody than one might with words. Lively, evocative, mood-altering... The Rusty String Express offers a symphonious journey certain to lift the soul.
"Once again, this CD showcases Coller's masterful acoustic guitar flatpicking and his versatility on dobro, mandolin and baritone ukulele. As on his earlier album, he surrounds himself with a roster of some of our finest acoustic musicians, namely banjo virtuoso Tim Weed, mandolinists Dan Large and Dave Hanks, bassists Joe Kyle Jr., Ned Doherty and Pat Campbell, percussionists Willow Van Den Hoek and Paul Cicco, drummer Eddie Sassin and fiddle players Leif Karlstrom and Annie Staninec.
"Bermudagrass" also boasts the considerable talents of David Grisman Quintet flutist Matt Eakle, who takes off on breathtaking improvisational solos on the soaring "Blues for Haiti" and the exotic "Jouvert Morning." His brother, Kit Eakle, adds a violin to the mix on "Infinity."
Eric Schoenberg began his love affair with the guitar in 1959. He started teaching in the early sixties and before long, became the second-half of a duo with his cousin, Dave Laibman, helping Dave to perform his amazing, ground-breaking arrangement of classical ragtime. Their album, Contemporary Ragtime Guitar, on Folkways Records, is considered a classic and remains a benchmark for today's fingerstyle players.
In the early Seventies, Eric began touring the United States, Europe and Japan, playing his innovative arrangements of the classical rags, traditional folk and Celtic music, the blues, country, and The Beatles, and making a lasting contribution to the fingerstyle repertoire. Considered a world renown luthier and an expert in vintage instruments, his guitar shop in Tiburon, appraises old Martins, Gibsons, Stellas and the like in between running a concert series. Eric Schoenberg Guitars was recently called one of the "10 Best in the U.S." as a place to learn about vintage guitars.
We are fortunate to have Eric Schoenberg on the Floating Records Label and hope that you enjoy this new release of the album, Acoustic Guitar. This album is a rare find that was only available on vinyl until now...
Film Clip from "The Tao of Bluegrass" - A Portrait of Peter Rowan
1st run DVD's still available (only 40)
Unique origami packaging!
If you are interested in purchasing
Please click HERE
Thanks for the support!