Howard Eynon, "Village Hills" (Earth)
Even if you're immersed in the wyrd-folque world, you may not know about Howard Eynon, who grew up on a dairy farm in Tasmania, "milking cows, driving tractors, riding horses and blowing up tree stumps with gelignite and would often spend days on end in the bush without seeing another living soul." I certainly didn't, until an e-mail last month notified me about a show that the troubadour is playing on August 10 at Cafe Racer. The Earth label reissued Eynon's long-lost 1974 gem, So What If Im Standing in Apricot Jam [sic], in 2014 (Seattle's Light in the Attic distributes the title). If you dig Donovan, Syd Barrett's solo career, Kevin Ayers, Simon Finn, and others of their eccentric, idyllic ilk, you'll enjoy Apricot Jam, which some experts consider to be one of the rarest private-press, magic-mushroom-friendly folk recordings in history. It's a gentle, odd trip, for sure.
At seven-plus minutes, "Village Hill" is the longest track on Apricot Jam, and its pensive acoustic-guitar figure spangles and curls like a Bert Jansch meditation, as Eynon solemnly recites a narrative about making the nature scene, to paraphrase Sonic Youth. Later on, a Third Ear Band-like violin lends the track an elegant turbulence. Epic as a Walt Whitman poem, mate.
I don't know if this factoid will make you like the music more, but Eynon is also an actor who appeared in Mad Max and The Man from Snowy River. Do with that information what you will. I bet Howard has some amazing stories to tell between songs.