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Peter Walker

Has anybody seen our freedoms?


"Peter Walker is an American original, as eclectic and enigmatic as the songs he writes. The legendary seventy-five year old raga/psychedelic/folk acoustic guitarist, who was schooled by masters such as Ravi Shankar, and Ali Akbar Khan, has been described by Larry Coryell as, “One of the most original practitioners of contemporary music” and proclaimed by the Beatles’ press agent Derek Taylor as “Perhaps the greatest guitarist in the world.” His music, celebrated by the late Jack Rose, James Blackshaw, Steffen Basho-Junghans, Thurston Moore, and Greg Davis, all contributed original compositions to the 2006 tribute album, A Raga For Peter Walker. In the mid-‘60s, while musical director to Timothy Leary’s LSD explorations, Walker released the classic Rainy Day Raga LP in 1966, and 1968’s influential Second Poem to Karmela or Gypsies Are Important, both on Vanguard Records. Following that, Peter Walker disappeared from recording for almost forty years, but never stopped practicing, learning, and reaching. Now, Delmore Recording Society is proud to announce the release of a lost studio session from 1970. Recorded at Mercury Studios, NYC. Has Anybody Seen Our Freedoms? is Peter Walker’s manifesto. A solo guitar/vocal album, all one take, no overdubs, that could have been Peter’s classic third album had it been released at the time. (Peter had been storing the reels in a converted bread truck for decades). While his previous two records are incredible collaborative efforts, the playing of Bruce Langhorne, Jeremy Steig, and John Blair as important to the final product as Peter’s, this album is 100 proof Walker. A requiem to the 1960s, chronicling lovers on the run, anti-war movement adventures, and living off the grid in Mexico, California, Detroit, and NYC., the album begins gently, with love and war songs, (and a version of the trad. "Pretty Bird," that is unlike any other), before going on the rough and urgent ride of "Fifty Miles,” (on two flat tires, a story detailed in the liner notes), and culminating with "Wonder," a song where Peter summons all the elements into one long journey, bringing us back down at the end as if we were at one of Timothy Leary's “celebrations.” Peter’s wondrous guitar playing and otherworldly vocals create the effect of a record encoded with some deeper wisdom being channeled directly to your ears. At the time of the recording, Peter was living at the infamous Garwood Mansion near Detroit, working as the incumbent opening act for their weekly, all night concerts / parties (as he had been at the Café Au Go Go throughout the ‘60s, and at the Joyous Lake in the 70s). William Kunstler stopped by to speak about the John Sinclair trial, and the two had an immediate rapport. Kunstler was a major influence on Peter’s anti-war involvement and leadership, and on his later decision to get a para-legal degree and represent immigrant taxi drivers in NYC in the 1970s. The two of them are picturedtogether on the album cover." (boomkat)

Cat. number: DE025
Year: 2014

All tunes one take, no overdubs. Comes in gatefold digipak. Recorded in December 1970.