Brought to light by fellow Tompkins Square alum Duck Baker during a visit to Rochester, New York in support of his own Les Blues du Richmond release last year, guitarist Kinloch (pronounced “Kin-law”) Nelson (b. 1950) is the latest addition to the label’s growing stable of hereto hidden gems. A past student of Stanley Watson and Gene Bertoncini at the Eastman School of Music, and a former teacher himself at the Hochstein Music School, Nelson’s CV is strikingly stocked considering his under-the-radar status prior to Baker’s intervention. Having founded the Guitar Society of Rochester and authored the book Alternative Guitar Tunings, it is now time for Nelson’s music to reach a wider audience in its own right with the release of Partly On Time, which collects recordings Nelson made as a teenager between 1968 and 1970. Brought up on a diet of Donovan, Simon and Garfunkel, and Bob Dylan, the nascent Nelson was more than happy to take the opportunity to record when it presented itself during a visit with his sister at Dartmouth College – good fortune saw that he was installed in the WDCR studios and committed to tape by one of the station’s presenters, Dave Graves, who in turn passed the results on to the Mamas and Papas’ John Phillips. Initially impressed and eager to have Nelson record alongside his friend Carter Redd, Phillips’ interest gradually waned as Redd couldn’t make the dates. Consequently all that remains are the tracks presented here by Tompkins Square – three featuring Carter Redd from the original WDCR sessions, and the rest Nelson alone from various subsequent dates.
“Solitudes,” presented below, is a gently bucolic instrumental that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Nick Drake record, at least until it falls into practical silence in its midsection, kept awake only by the soft brush of friction ridges and the solitary pluck of strings that twinkle like newly ignited stars in the dark.
Partly on Time: Recordings 1968-1970 will be released by Tompkins Square on 22 March. Nelson will embark on a short tour in support of the collection and you can catch him at the venues below:
6 April: Rochester Bop Shop / 8 April: Brooklyn Troost / 11 April: Philadelphia TBC / 12 April: Washington DC Rhizome (with Max Ochs) / 14 April: Harrisburg Artisan Guitar Show / 15 April: Boston Lilypad