This month’s edition of The Out Door is a dedicated to the legacy of Loren Connors, as seen through the eyes of his many collaborators and contemporaries. In this bonus section, some of them tell us what their favorite Connors record is, and why.
(above: Loren Connors, photo by Hans Van Der Linden)
ANDREW BURNS: The ones that stuck in my head as the definitive ones were the first ones I heard - In Pittsburgh, Bluesmaster 1, and Bluesmaster 2. I started DJing at WREK in 1991, and the great Thomas Peake said “I heard you like guitars. Listen to these.” And he handed me those records, white sleeves with 3x5 photos glued to the front, hand-written titles. That afternoon certainly was a turning point for me musically, guiding me in one way or another to where I am now.
DAVID DANIELL: It would be hard for me to single out a particular favorite record of his, but that era of the mid/late 90s, when he was turning out 7-inch records regularly, the work he was doing then would be my favorite era of his music. If I could own only one Loren release (instead of the forty or so that I actually do own) I would cheat and have it be the triple-CD singles compilation on Family Vineyard.
DAVID GRUBBS: My first immersion into Loren’s playing was his solo work, so that’s still my favorite. In Pittsburgh is one of those records that altered my musical orientation, but it probably could have been any of the Guitar Roberts St. Joan LPs.
JANDEK: I like some of his earlier blues things, and I also like the kind of things that he does when he just sits down and goes off somewhere. One of my favorites is Calloden Harvest. I find it intoxicating. It’s just kind of haunting. It also has an excellent photographic portrait of Loren from the top of his head to the middle of his thighs. He has a sad face. It’s a beautiful picture.
ALAN LICHT: The Dark Paintings of Rothko—the first few notes he plays are just devastating.
BILL ORCUTT: I like all the records I have by him, particularly the Dagget-era discs, probably because I’m partial to room recordings and the vibe on those records is just incredible.
JIM O’ROURKE: A favorite is tough, the one that really struck me early on was of course In Pittsburgh, but since then I have had many that really stick out for me.
JOZEF VAN WISSEM: My favorite record of his is Red Mars because of its dream-like quality.