I’ll begin this series with the last song on the tape, Believer, because it tail-ends with a few seconds of hubbub where I put the jangling-string-ends-guitar down & turn off the recorder.
Sweet! Found this just today and subscribed. Cannot express how much of an influence RB has had on me. Saw RB at The Glass House in Pomona, CA many years back. Was already blown away by his guitar playing and lyrics, but when I saw him working that peddle board with the Danelectro- I think right around the time of The Hill. Can’t wait to hear these demos!
I was 17 when I walked into talespinner records in black mountain, NC and my friend Jay (the owner) said "hey man, you gotta hear this record". He pushed play on the in-store multidisc shuffler (this was 1998) and a clangy, gritty guitar flopped out, followed by the line "I wrote it out in stones where the road divides." I was immediately on board. He mentioned something about this guy, Richard Buckner, coming through town soon, and that was the last I heard of it until several weeks later when my mother bound and gagged me and forced me to go with her to a Kelly Willis show. Now, Kelly Willis is great, but hanging out at "the show" with your mom is never great for a teenager. But as we walked in, I glanced at the merch table and saw that same record Jay had played for me weeks earlier. Turns out it was a Kelly Willis AND Richard Buckner show. And it was beautiful. In fact, after seeing/hearing that sweet Danelectro, I went out and found one for myself. Okay, so going to shows with mom is fine, I guess. Anyway, I bought the record there at the show and later approached Richard and went all gawkward fanboy on him, asking if he would sign it. He smiled, seemingly surprised, and said sure he would. I played that thing endlessly in all of my CD players. I still have it, and I still listen to it. For me, it was one of those unique albums that shifted something in my brain and changed my idea of songwriting. It's not just a good album, it's important.❤️
Found extractions today and subscribed because, well because it’s you. Just finished listening to all the tracks posted here and read the posts and comments too. My completist tendencies coming out.
What struck me the most, was how much the solo acoustic tracks took me back to the Undertow show in my living room in Albuquerque. A show where my cat, Maire, would have gladly continued on the tour with you if you were willing to leave your case open for her to snuggle in. It was the first show you’d played in Albuquerque after the harmonica fiasco and shitty venue promoters. And it was warm, relaxed and beautiful. I have a medium quality recording of it if you’d ever like the digital files.
The intimacy of these recordings is beautiful. Thank you for sharing some of your archives with us.
This is awesome, this album was bought from Randy at Acme Comics in Columbia, SC around 2006 and was my introduction to you! Never looked back as you swiftly became my favorite songwriter of all time. Thanks so much Richard
“Why you’re no sentimental hoarder, you’re just remarkably prepared for anything & then some. Good work, you forward-thinking Archivist you.”
Noooooo this is a trap!! (To which I am extremely susceptible.)
Vividly remember unwrapping Since in August 1998 during a weeklong trip to NY from the Bay Area, which was a scouting trip to see if my wife might possibly agree to move to the Hudson Valley from her (and my) beloved Bay Area. We listened to the CD all week as we tooled around New Paltz and its environs. Luckily, on the second day, the oppressive humidity broke and we were treated to four or five days of rare gorgeous weather. It was a magical week and enough to convince her to make the cross country leap the next year, which has been a blessing. I love all of your albums and I associate each with a time in my life when I first listened to it (Bloomed was on the first of many trips to Yosemite, etc.). Believer is such a great opener to a great album, with possibly my favorite first line of any song ever. Thank you for digging this out and gifting it to us.
Memories are hazy of myself at 19 or 20 but think I saw you around ‘98 or 99 in Murfreesboro, TN at a coffee shop called Red Rose. And I distinctly remember again at the Bluebird in Nashville. That was one of my favorite shows ever. By yourself, you played everything. Since is as important an album to me as any other in my life. Anyway, sorry to gush; had to tell you. I’m glad you stumbled across it. I’m doing the same thing in my dad’s attic in Memphis- what to find a reason to keep- what to take a picture on my phone and look at for the last time. Decision fatigue is a thing. Thanks for all the brand new melodies.
An office I worked in was awash in promo CDs and I happened to grab Since. (I paid for all your others gladly!) So this would have been the first song of yours I ever heard, driving to or from work. Seems to me that about 1/4 way through Believer I was intrigued and by the time Faithful Shooter ended I was sold and on the 2nd or 3rd listen of the entire thing I was obsessed. I have so many memories of driving on this or that LA street with this or that song from Since playing. It will always be my favorite RB record...maybe? I thank you!
I too have lugged boxes of mix tapes and cassettes ripped from the radio in Brazil and Spain from place to place, and I can’t bear to get rid of them — despite also not owning a working cassette player. Same goes for mini disc recordings direct from the soundboard at a great Lambchop show. Maybe someday I’ll hear them again. But for now I will just enjoy this stripped-down demo of the song that introduced me to your work (and one of my all-time favorite 2-minute songs!). I love how it steps back from the urgency of the full-band recording on record. Hope you are well Richard.
Love this. I’m happy to have lived through the age of analog audio miniaturization, portability, packaging and consumerism which enables me to listen to your song on an iPhone and recollect a warbled past, warm and comforting.
I loved hearing the track - even the long string ends jingling have a place in the raw beauty of the song. Took me back to small (I mean really intimate) shows in Edmonton in the mid to late 90s.
Glad your dive into past treasures have yielded this cassette of memory. Mine are usually less profound, but I enjoy the submersion from time to time.
Looking forward to more!
So glad to have found this sub stack and this post. I’ve always loved your records and what feeling is this to read and listen about a time close to our hearts that seems so long ago?
Quite a find! Glad you keep stuff. By the way, came across my selective service card just last week. (I’m also a keeper.) And I have a 1970’s era Panasonic portable cassette player--the one with the handle--that is still hanging on. Was into collecting those bootleg live tapes they used to sell in select record shops in NYC and Chicago. Play ‘em on the Panasonic every so often.
Keep cleaning out! Looking forward to more treasures! ✌🏻
Love this!! Literally was just whinging about the absence of the ol cassette days this morning at breakfast. Nothing like a good rant over French toast.
Beautiful song. Great memories.
Richard- if I was to send an invitation, should I send it to the Kingston address?
raw’r & timeless.