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Hank Williams, Jaco Pastorius Lead Off Omnivore’s RSD Slate

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That change in the air pressure you’re probably feeling around your favorite indie record store can only mean one thing: Record Store Day 2014 is coming your way. April 19 will see a host of beloved major and independent labels celebrating the good old resilient brick-and-mortar store with various titles sold exclusively at participating stores. And the beloved cratediggers at Omnivore Recordings have four exciting titles prepared for the big day – nearly all of which feature artists making their debut appearances on the label.

Hank Omnivore RSD EPIn a fitfully-brief career that ended with his untimely death at the age of 29, Hank Williams still managed to do more for country music than most, with a sizable stable of crossover hits including “Move It On Over,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Hey Good Lookin’.” Omnivore has quite an incredible find with its first RSD 2014 title, The Garden Spot Programs, 1950 – Extended Play. Culled from rare radio show recordings Williams cut for Naughton Farms, a plant nursery in Waxahachie, Texas (with a session band, not his familiar Drifting Cowboys ensemble), these recordings found Williams tackle hits, standards and material he rarely, if ever, recorded anywhere else. Sourced from newly-discovered transcription discs, these tunes haven’t been heard for nearly six decades; a month after the release of this 10″, 33 1/3 RPM disc (packed in a 78-RPM style sleeve with notes from co-producer Colin Escott), Omnivore will release 24 of these tracks from four shows on a new CD/LP compilation on May 20. (Keep an eye here for more info about that set soon!)

Jaco Omnivore RSDTwo years before jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius (1951-1987) burst onto the scene with his 1976 solo album, the 22-year-old musician was working out his early solo material in after-hours sessions at Criteria Studios in Miami. Six cuts from those sessions soon made their way onto an acetate disc with which to entice prospective labels; now, that acetate is partially recreated on splatter vinyl (with one bonus track) as well as a CD featuring 11 selections from the entire session. (Happily, this title will be added to the label catalogue after the RSD celebrations.) Modern American Music…Period! The Criteria Sessions features two essays from DownBeat contributor/Jaco biographer Bill Milkowski as well as fan, package co-producer and Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo. Altogether, the set makes a perfect companion to the forthcoming documentary Jaco, about the late legend.

After the jump, Omnivore has a single from a most unexpected voice – an actor’s – and a special compilation of live cuts from some familiar Omnivores!

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Written by Mike Duquette

February 24, 2014 at 17:31