Tompkins Square Label Presents American Primitive Guitar Masters Harry Taussig & Max Ochs - Private Parlor Show (($10 before & $15 day of show))

Harry Taussig

Taussig was born and raised in Los Angeles and attended school in Eagle Rock, California. In 1963 he graduated with a BS in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, where he also studied anthropology and music history. Inspired by blues instrumentalist Elizabeth Cotten and Mozart's requiem, Taussig took up banjo and 12-string guitar and performed on radio station KPFK’s “Midnight Special” folk music program.

In 1964 Taussig took a job as a physicist for Ford-Aeronutronics Corporation in Orange County and began studying art and photography with John Upton at Orange Coast College. In 1965 he recorded his first solo album, Fate is Only Once, under the name Harry Taussig. Played in a single 45-minute take, the record is partially improvised and, according to Taussig, full of mistakes. Issued on a private label, few copies of the original record existed, making it a collectors item for fans of American primitivism and fingerstyle guitar.

The following year Taussig recorded two songs for the compilation Contemporary Guitar: Spring '67 for John Fahey's Takoma label. The album featured similar American primitivists, including Fahey, Max Ochs, Robbie Basho and Bukka White. Taussig's only live performances during this period were informal sessions for friends. He taught guitar for some years and wrote several books on guitar and autoharp instruction for Oak Publications before retiring from music altogether.

In 2006 the label Tompkins Square Records reissued Fate is Only Once—the only album Taussig had recorded to date—41 years after its original release. In 2012 Taussig put together a second album—Fate is Only Twice—at home on a laptop, affording him the luxury of recording the multiple takes he was denied by the 1965 recording process. In 2013 he made his public performance debut at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas where Wired Magazine listed him as one of the top 50 performances.

In 2014 Tompkins Square released Taussig's third album, The Diamond of Lost Alphabets, and 2016 his fourth album, Too Late to Die Young, in which the guitarist explored polyrhythms and unconventional time signatures. Tompkins Square also commissioned Brooklyn-based experimental musician Kid Williams to remix some of Taussig's original material, and in June 2016 released Beyond The Confession: Kid Millions Reworks Harry Taussig. With engineer Matthew Cullen, Millions overdubbed guitars, drums and organs onto selected tracks from Taussig's first three albums, melding Taussig's compositions into a new soundscape.

Max Ochs

Max Ochs is a fingerstyle acoustic guitarist and folklorist who recorded for Takoma Records among other labels. His family moved to Annapolis, Maryland in 1945, where Ochs spent his adolescence. His friendship and association with guitarist John Fahey led to many music collaborations, including that of Mississippi John Hurt who spent weeks teaching Ochs older picking styles.

After attending high school in Annapolis, Ochs studied at the University of Maryland, College Park where he became friends with Ed Denson in a creative writing class. Denson, along with John Fahey, went on to form Takoma Records in Berkeley, California in 1963. Without a degree, Ochs left University of Maryland and moved to New York City where he lived from 1961 to 1965. During his time in New York, he collaborated with Buzzy Linhart and was a founding member of the folk-raga group, the Seventh Sons. After leaving New York and heading west in 1965, Ochs was invited to appear with fellow University of Maryland student and fingerstyle guitarist Robbie Basho, as well as John Fahey and Harry Taussig on a Takoma Records release titled Contemporary Guitar. The LP presents a collection of fingerstyle guitar songs often performed in a subtle and sometimes improvised manner. His later CD, Letter to the Editor was received with critical acclaim on Ochs returned to College Park and received his degree in 1970.

Now based in Severna Park, Maryland, Ochs continues to perform, write and record songs in an early folk and blues tradition. He was the curator of the folk music series at 333 Coffeehouse in Annapolis for over a decade.

Tompkins Square Label

San Francisco based Tompkins Square releases sumptuous compilations of rare blues and folk, as well as music by modern artists who have been influenced by that music and uphold its rich heritage. Tompkins Square began in New York in 2006 and has released albums by modern musicians like James Blackshaw, Daniel Bachman, Hiss Golden Messenger and A Broken Consort. The label also specialises in beautifully packaged reissues and compilations featuring legends like Arizona Dranes, Charlie Louvin, Tim Buckley and Red Fox Chasers.

$10.00 - $15.00


$10 before and $15 day of show online and at the door.

Private Parlor Shows are open to all friends and fans of The Lost Church and the performers.

Seating is first come, first served. We recommend you buy in advance to ensure being a part of the event (parlor shows often sell out), but you can also try purchasing at the door on the night of the show.

Online sales are active until 9:30pm the night of show (unless sold out). You can purchase tickets right at the door using a card via your phone and the above link. That old-fashioned cash is also accepted, of course.

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