For those of you inclined otherwise on Record Store Day—or immune to its charms—we are happy to announce that we now have copies of our RSD 2016 exclusive release, the first-ever reissue of Mike Cooper and Derek Hall’s Out of the Shades EP (originally pressed in an edition of only 200 copies in 1965), for sale directly from our website. The EP is available as a limited-edition 45rpm vinyl 7”—featuring heavy-duty color jacket, restored original artwork, and notes—as well as (for the first time) digitally, below.
Purchase the 7″ ($7, $1 per inch) or MP3s ($4):
Named for The Shades, the Reading, UK folk club where he regularly performed, and which employed and housed guitar prodigy Derek Hall—who later played on Mike Cooper’s 1969 debut LP Oh Really!? and was, in his estimation, “a guitarist who could actually match Davey Graham both in technique and musical ideas”—this little-heard EP of Mike’s earliest recordings was released by local label Kennet Recordings in 1965. The songs were recorded live to a single microphone in the kitchen/bathroom/former outhouse of Mike’s rambling Georgian apartment, on a portable Ferrograph reel-to-reel that the engineer otherwise used for “recording birds and trains.”
Highly recommended if you like Michael Chapman, Jackson C. Frank, Davey Graham, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Wizz Jones, or Clive Palmer.
Check out this feature on Cooper from the April 2016 issue of The Wire:
Right from the start Cooper’s career trajectory is highly specific—a respected British blues exponent who drifted off in several unexpected directions all at once, like a glistening drop of oil emulsifying its way through some kitsch, liquid-filled ornament.
– Clive Bell, The Wire
Though the material on the EP is firmly rooted in the folk/blues idiom, the multitudinous musical avenues that Mike would later explore in his career are bubbling just under the surface. Heartily recommended.
– Austin Matthews, Shindig!
If your heart has ever warmed to Davey Graham’s mixture of suaveness, globe-spanning curiosity, and slick picking, you have room in it for this little record.
– Bill Meyer, Dusted
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8.6: Best New Reissue. Sung verses alternate with extended jamming like honey running from a spoon… the gracefully exhaled quality of a master statement.
Best Reissues of 2014. A folk-rooted prodigy navigating the rapids of psychedelia.
– Rolling Stone
9/10. Exceptional LPs. Stinging playing… A completely blitzing rapprochement of folk, blues, free improvisation, and avant-garde tactics.
Gorgeous, tender, moving… A work of art that experimented with the idea of music being one vast universe with song being its poetic and foundational heart.
4 stars. Warm folk songs venturing into Pharaoh Sanders-inspired skronk.
Cooper was forging connections between folk and experimental musics long before America got New or Weird.
– The Wire
Trout Steel really steals the show.
– The Guardian