All three acts on this bill—Mark Fosson, Hiss Golden Messenger and young Virginia guitarist Daniel Bachman—have released music on Tompkins Square Records, the label that has best championed the imaginative exploration of the acoustic guitar for the last decade. Earlier this year, the imprint reissued Messenger's glorious Poor Moon, a psychedelic country-soul beauty; this summer saw the revelation of the early Fosson recordings that, decades ago, got him signed to John Fahey's Takoma label.
But Bachman's gorgeous Seven Pines, released only last month, is arguably the venerable stable's most important offering of 2012. At age 22, Bachman has inherited the methodical pace of John Fahey, the flurrying notes of Robbie Basho and the fireside feel of Jack Rose, recombining them all into one of the most preternaturally wise and assured guitar albums in years. On "Mount Olive Cohoke," he makes the strings creak and growl, the mystery of a great ghost hunt worked into the brooding melody; on "Seven Pines," he stacks one idea on top of another until, by song's end, it's a wonder that the strings haven't vibrated off of the tuning pegs. With Bachman, right now feels like an opportunity to see a new leading light of instrumental music in the making. —Grayson Currin