I first met music writer Justin F. Farrar in Austin, TX, in the same hotel where Lyndon Johnson is rumored to have mapped out the assassination of Kennedy. At the time, Farrar had recently taken a job as music editor in the grim city of Cleveland, Ohio. I asked him: “How’s Cleveland?” His response: “Cold!”
Truer words were never spoken.
He has since moved on to a better existence in the mountains on Western North Carolina where, among other things, he hosts a weekly radio program for Asheville Free Media called Strawberry Flats. This week, I’ll be a guest on his show, where we plan to discuss the awe-inspiring archival label Mississippi Records, which I wrote about droolingly for the Oxford American‘s 11th Annual Music Issue, hands down the finest music publication in the country.
Farrar has provided details on the show, which I’ve pasted below. Click here Friday at 5 p.m. (EST) or 2 p.m. (PST) to listen live. I’ll be on about halfway an hour into the show, following Farrar’s tribute to the late Jack Rose, the brilliant guitarist who died of a heart attack this week at age 38.
Now about this week’s show, it’s a special one for sure. DJ Greg Lyon of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (which precedes Strawberry Flats Radio every Friday here on Asheville FM) will join me for an all-encompassing spotlight on the archival label Mississippi Records. Over the last several years, the shadowy, Portland, Oregon-based independent has evolved into one of the country’s hippest sources for vintage folk obscurity: gospel, country blues, old time, wild-ass world jams and so much more. Not to be pigeonholed, the imprint has also released numerous titles from the worlds of punk (De Kift) and hippie troubadour weirdness (Michael Hurley). (BTW, my latest Mississippi acquisition is Hurley’s seven-inch EP, with singer Betsy Nichols. It’s super-sweet.)
In addition to spinning a ton a killer tunes from the Mississippi stable, Greg and I we’ll talk via phone with Seattle music writer and pal Brian James Barr. His fantastic profile on the label appears in Oxford American’sannual Southern music issue, which hit newsstands on December 1. Not only does the new O.A. come packed with good writing, it boasts a sprawling compilation CD as well. Do check it out.