The master guitarist Sir Richard Bishop should be known to everyone who stops by this page once or on a regular basis. If not…well, there’s little I can say other than: get to listening. A member of Sun City Girls, co-owner of Sublime Frequencies Records, and one of the most incredibly nimble and wise six-string players you’re ever likely to experience on album or – God willing – in concert.
To that end (and this might be old news to fans and followers of Sir Richard’s work) you can get yourself easily caught up with his work by visiting this Deli Radio page, which features streaming and downloadable versions of all the solo material he has released in 1998.
Once acquainted with how Sir Richard plays and how easily he is able to shift his sound from blues to jazz to folk to Eastern melodies to drones, now you might be ready to dip into new material. Lucky for you, he has two new albums available for purchase: The Unrock Tapes features eight tracks, six of which were only available on tour CD-Rs, the other two are previously unreleased; Intermezzo has been released on Ideologic Organ, the label run by Stephen O’Malley of Sunn0))) infamy and highlights a dazzling array of Sir Richard’s multi-faceted musical personality.
The next step for newbies is to hear how Sir Richard handles himself in a group setting. A great place to start is the new outfit he is a part of, called Rangda. The trio also features Ben Chasny (Six Organs Of Admittance) playing bass and probably the best modern drummer around Chris Corsano. They have a new album Formerly Extinct that is set to be released on Drag City on September 18th, and if their first effort False Flag is any indication, it is going to be another high-powered free jazz-style blast to the synapses.
Finally, you owe it to yourself to see the man perform live. That’s where things get a little tricky for you. If you’re lucky enough to live in or near Morocco this September, you can catch Sir Richard playing as part of the Academy at Zahar Festival alongside his brother Alvarius B, Eyvind Kang & Jessika Kenny, and Stephen O’Malley. And if you happen to be in Europe this November, you can see him opening up for the Swans’ current run of tour dates. Click here for the complete list of those appearances.
Now, before you go running off to seek out more, how about a taste of Sir Richard in action to send you on your way? Here he is with his Freak of Araby Ensemble, performing in 2009 at one of my favorite venues, The Stork Club, in Oakland. If you don’t love it like I think you will, please submit a refund request to the home office.