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MP3 Jason Camlot - Mr. Fedora

Folk Noir: Spare and intimate recordings of hauntingly lyrical songs that feature bravura fingerpicking, killer melodic hooks and intense wordplay.

14 MP3 Songs in this album (73:14) !
Related styles: FOLK: Folk Pop, FOLK: Angry

People who are interested in Leonard Cohen Nick Drake Nick Cave should consider this download.

Jason Camlot is a Montreal songwriter and poet. His poetry collections include The Animal Library (2000), Attention All Typewriters (2005) and The Debaucher (2008). Musically speaking, Camlot played drums in the SF punk outfit The Tuning Knives, led by Robert McNiell (thereafter of The Softs, and now of The Country Teasers). He has collaborated with superb finger-style player and songwriter Kenny Smilovitch for years in the folk noir duo Letterbomb. More recently, he plays bass with the Montreal based Rawk Group Puggy Hammer, which released its debut record Rock Like Idiots in 2004. Camlot’s 4-Track distortion-pop recordings are available from iTunes and other places as the digital download, JC SPED: Affect.

Back in the mid-1990s, while oscillating between San Francisco and Montreal, Camlot released three legendary cassette albums in quick succession: O Glee (1994), Mr. Fedora (1995) and Letterbomb (with Kenny Smilovitch) (1996).

Two digital download releases via the Urban Myth Recordings Collective—O Glee and Mr. Fedora—represent a documentary compilation of this extended annus mirabilis of song writing and recording, featuring his first two acoustic records in their entirety, plus selections of unreleased studio recordings from this extremely creative period of medium-grade depression and impermanent exile.

Released in the throes of eighties overproduction and the midst of grunge, Camlot''s intimate, opaquely confessional songs went unheralded. Recorded sparely, superficially "folk", yet filled with bravura fingerpicking, monstrous, angular hooks and intense wordplay that verges on incantation, where did Jason Camlot fit in? Eric Matthews was dabbling with orchestras. Elliot Smith was still playing grunge in Heatmiser. (Leonard Cohen? he was that old guy playing synth pop and dating that blonde twentysomething actress... you know, the guy Don Henley and Trisha Yearwood covered.)

Nonetheless, Camlot''s tapes traveled by word of mouth through the Canadian indie-rock underground over the following decade, to the point where they had been traded and burned enough times that erstwhile fans Dan and Chris of the Urban Myth Recording Collective decided it was time to do something about it. They found Camlot in Montreal at his job teaching Victorian literature at Concordia University. Duly impressed by such punk-rock cred, UM asked him if they could digitally re-release these two cult recordings, with the addition of some ‘extras’ that compliment the sparse originals. Camlot obliged, pulling a select number of full band and Letterbomb tracks out of a shoebox and fitting them in at the end of the original track lists. The UM dudes reconvened, redesigned the covers, pushed the project forward. Now that these two compilations are out, Urban Myth Recordings looks forward to releasing two more collections of Camlot''s material that have been recorded but remain unmixed, as well as a proposed album of brand new material.

Mr. Fedora: The original tape cover of Mr. Fedora featured a monoprint with red sun and lone figure in a chasm by artist David Armstrong. This image has been reproduced in the digital re-issue. First fold/ typed over a photograph of Jason Camlot playing live at Bistro 4 in red and yellow print: “all songs written and performed by jason camlot. songs 3,4,5,7,10 engineered by goran petrovic at l’office, montreal. songs 1,2,6,8,9 engineered by david plank at sharkbite, oakland. mastered by rod shearer at northern piranha, montreal. cover monoprint from la grande sale of david armstrong’s mind. photo by heather pepper. design by doug raphael. 1996." Second fold/ Black and white image of a fedora. On the verso of the tape cover cardboard was randomly printed text from Genesis 19, the verses that describe the destruction of Sodom and Gemorrah (upon which some of the language of the song “Mr. Fedora” is based). The Letterbomb versions of select songs at the end of the digital re-issue were recorded at DNA Studios in one night. Letterbomb is Jason Camlot (Guitar and Vocals) and Kenny Smilovitch (Guitar, Charango, Vocals). On these Letterbomb recordings, Alex Macrae plays upright bass.

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