John Fahey’s Revenant label starting up production again; expect a bitter turf war with Dust-to-Digital

John Fahey's Revenant label starting up production again; expect a bitter turf war with Dust-to-Digital

After five years of deep sleep, reflection, and alternative facial soaps, the curatorial spirits behind John Fahey’s post-Takoma label, Revenant Records, are cleansed and ready to send recordings screaming from the grave and into Grammy-nominating ears once again. Revenant has been responsible for some of the most raw and beautiful folk/blues reissues/compilations around since forming in 1996, and they’ve also managed to tie in some contemporary records by No-Neck Blues Band, Jim O’Rourke, and Sir Richard Bishop, along with the 9-disc Albert Ayler Holy Ghost box set — which gets an award from me right now for Best Packaging. Shit, there’s even a Bassholes CD out there. Glad to have you back Revenant!!

There will be “a more complete slate of forthcoming releases in a month or so,” says they, but for now we know they’re well into at least one project: a two-volume chronicle of Paramount — “an early American record label operating in Wisconsin that from 1922-32 produced a catalog comprising arguably the greatest cavalcade of artists ever housed under one roof.” Which means that, yes, Jelly Roll Morton, Son House, William Moore, Ma Rainey, Bo Weavil Jackson, Charley Patton, Blind Blake, Skip James, Blind Willie Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, and Blind Lemon Jefferson all recorded for Paramount. Along with the unearthed music itself, Revenant will be spritzing record-collector catnip all over the place: “handcrafted packaging with inlaid materials, large format hardcover books, 200g vinyl records plus digital downloads of all materials, a complete narrative history of the label, and a visual centerpiece featuring many of the striking original line-drawn ads.” Oh Dust, don’t hurt ‘em…

• Revenant: