Folkadelphia Session: Mark Fosson

Coming up in two weeks on Thursday, November 13th, your friends at Folkadelphia will present their final concert of 2014 with a bill featuring some cult icons in American Primitivism and songwriting – Don Bikoff (who we’ve heard here), Jerry David DeCicca (of the band The Black Swans), and Mark Fosson.

The continuing large, looming figure in the American Primitivism scene is the late John Fahey and his Takoma Records, which released music from artists like Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho, Bukka White, Max Ochs, and many more. It only makes sense that an up-and-comer like Mark Fosson submitted demos to the label back in the late ’70s. Unfortunately, as the story goes, the label folded and the master recordings reverted back to Fosson. Let’s fast-forward in time, through the ’80s with Fosson’s country-tinged project The Bum Steers, and, through the ’90s with his soundtrack work, and finally we arrive in 2005 with solo album Jesus on a Greyhound, the Takoma Sessions release by Drag City Records in 2006, and his most recent release, a collection of late ’70s home records Digging in the Dust via the Tompkins Square label.

Over the years, Fosson has amassed a cult-like status and following in the right circles. And rightly so – the passage of time has done nothing to diminish Fosson’s creative powers. I posit that his life of music-making has only enhanced his talents, grown them exponentially. Proudly and boldly, Fosson’s music treads the fine line between viruosic (not too much to be overbaring) and melodic (not too much to be mind-numbingly repetitive).

That’s how we found him – at the current height of his powers. Back in May, we invited Fosson to perform a Folkadelphia Session and, while he was in town, to play a show, which he did at the Random Tea Room. Both session and show showcased his guitar-playing and lesser known, at least by us, his emotive singing and songwriting. The guy’s the full package! Let us present to you Mark Fosson’s Folkadelphia Session, one that will certainly wish you had a guitar in your hands to pick along.

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