BTV061 Damien Jurado : This Fabulous Century LP

Damien Jurado
“This Fabulous Century” (btv061)
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Track listing:
A side
1 It Ain’t Me
2 Jump Out the Window
3 Headlights
4 Backseat Iowa
5 The Deep End
6 1988 — Remove the Past
7 The Transmitter the Man (Electric Version)B side
8 Aberdeen
9 Drunk on You
10 The Transmitter the Man
11 Under Water
12 Silver Dollar Eyes
13 Pushing Your Coffin
This Fabulous Century has been a work in progress as a vinyl release for nearly two years. After Burnt Toast Vinyl released Damien Jurado’s Four Songs one-sided LP, lots of ideas were thrown around for another vinyl project. Jurado is a very prolific song-writer whose limited run cassette demos circulated before his debut Motorcycle 7” was released on Sub Pop in 1995. Originally, this was to be collected for the vinyl release, but Damien had other things in mind.


This Fabulous Century is a collection of (lucky) thirteen demo songs recorded after Waters Ave. South, but before his ground-breaking Rehearsals for Departure. The songs are much rawer than the material that would become that album, at times lo-fi and sloppy, but always quintessentially Damien Jurado. It is for the Jurado completist, but that isn’t code for “this album is bad.” Damien shines in ways one would never expect, songs hinted at in 2002’s Secretly Canadian Big Let Down 7” and more fully polished and realized here, but also with very catchy pop gems.

Damien collected the songs about a year ago, but never quite decided on the artwork. These being demos, Burnt Toast Vinyl enlisted Ethan Tripp to design the jacket as if it were an unauthorized bootleg. Images were collected off of the internet and from magazines, scanned, tweaked, photocopied, and assembled into the bizarre Rorschach blot looking cover. Jurado fell in love with the design and the LP was scheduled for release. It’s limited to 600 copies, 300 available for retail outlets, the other 300 available from Damien on tour and Burnt Toast Vinyl directly.



BTV064 Bosque Brown : Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller

Bosque Brown
“Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller” (btv064)
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Track listing:
1 Silver and Gold
2 Fine Lines
3 Hwy 377
4 No. 6
5 Fire Fight
6 Grazing Pastures
7 Still Afraid
8 Israel
9 Gina Anne
10 Red Roses
11 305 Bluebonnet

>Mara Lee Miller grew up in Stephenville, Texas, a small, isolated town. Growing up in small-town Texas would seem too confining for some, but for Mara, it has become the source of her inspiration. Attracted to the simple life lived by the people there and being constantly reminded of her own childhood memories, Mara has been secretly perfecting her own stripped-down blend of “truth-telling” and woe.

Mara was discovered by the folk singer Damien Jurado (Secretly Canadian/Sub Pop) in late 2002 during a tour that passed through Texas. After Jurado’s set, Mara’s husband Ryan handed him some of the home recordings that she had been working on while she shyly waited in another room, hoping that Jurado might offer some constructive criticism to help her hone her craft. Damien later fell in love with the recordings and introduced Burnt Toast Vinyl to Mara.

Those original four track recordings featured Mara singing breathy country-influenced vocals over sparse and simple guitar and serve as the seed for her full -length album. Damien Jurado compares her voice to “…the heartache of Kitty Wells and the lonesome howl of Robert Johnson.”

For all intents and purposes, Mara Miller is a solo singer songwriter, but has chosen the moniker Bosque Brown as the vehicle for her recordings. “I feel a connection with writers like Townes Van Zandt and John Prine,” Miller says. “There is something about being from Texas…when you hear others sing about it you just know.” Hank Williams Sr., Gram Parsons, and Gillian Welch are other influences, not so much musically, but for the timelessness of their music. Mara’s mother sings and plays piano, teaching her how to sing while growing up and sharing her love for old movies, which also influence Mara’s vocals and style. Her lyrics are simple and straightforward, about friends, family, love, the struggle between good and evil, or her feelings at the moment, not based on fictional storytelling.

Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller was recorded in Seattle by Eric Fisher (Rosie Thomas, Damien Jurado, Gathered in Song), a friend of Jurado who he entrusted with the recording project. Mara’s initial guitar and vocal tracks were recorded in their beautiful simplicity using her home recordings as a point of reference. Additional instrumentation and background vocals were gradually mixed in from various guest musicians, including Fisher and Jurado. David Bazan and T. W. Walsh (Pedro the Lion) mastered the final mixes. The result is a fuller version of Mara’s initial demos, keeping the sparse intimacy that characterizes Bosque Brown.< Bosque Brown Plays Mara Lee Miller will be released in Spring 2005 and Mara will hit the road with a handful of musicians to fully realize Bosque Brown. Her husband Ryan plays lap steel and bass, her sister Gina plays piano and adds vocal harmonies, and two new Texas friends, Winston and Jeremy, add drums and guitar.

BTV072 Unwed Sailor : The White Ox

Unwed Sailor
The White Ox (btv072)
Buy Online | cd / 2xLP
Track listing:
1 Shadows
2 Gila
3 Numbers
4 Night Diamond
5 Pelican
6 The End
Johnathon Ford went to Bloomington, IN to work on some remixes of an out-of-print Unwed Sailor 7”, The Magic Hedge, in the spring of 2005 with Dan Burton (Early Day Miners, Ativin). The two had previously worked together on the first Unwed Sailor full-length, The Faithful Anchor, and the Stateless collaboration between Unwed Sailor and Burton’s Early Day Miners. There were good vibes in the Burton basement studio and the remixes were quickly engulfed by the goal to finish the new full-length, The White Ox. Ford’s bass, guitar, keyboard, and percussion parts were joined by Burton‘s guitars, extra bass from Phillip Blackwell (Questions in Dialect), and drummer Matt Griffin (Early Day Miners) to mix up their medicine drawing on ambient production influences from Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois (with whom Dan Burton had interned). Back in Seattle, Ford later enlisted the help of Kevin Barrans (Rosie Thomas, Damien Jurado) to add pennywhistle and accordion parts which were recorded by Josh Myers, who recorded Jeremy Enigk’s forthcoming World Waits album.

The White Ox continues on from where The Marionette and the Music Box left off with “Shadows” echoing those staccato melodies, but channeling them through a dark dream of ambient effects. Here, Ford and Burton are challenging their audience, the fans who loved the upbeat melodies of The Faithful Anchor and were charmed by the sweet fairy-tale aspects of MarionetteThe White Ox is brooding, washed in the night air darkness to which “Shadows” alludes. Surprisingly, for the traditionally instrumental Unwed Sailor, both “Gila” and “Numbers” feature Burton’s vocals, with Ford’s murmuring falsetto providing the haunting background for “Gila’s” almost gothic melody. Johnathon Ford grew up in Oklahoma and there are hints of Native American imagery in the album’s themes and spacious sensation and “Night Diamond’s” shimmering countermelody evoking nocturnal sounds in open country, culminating in “Pelican’s” airy, birdlike pennywhistle melodies. These music elements all connect to the cover images of both the Circles ep and The White Ox album. UK artist James Marsh was enlisted for the cover artwork for both. His distinct mystical images have also graced the album covers of every one of legendary band Talk Talk’s releases.