Mudcat Café message #1315779 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75122   Message #1315779
Posted By: Jerry Rasmussen
03-Nov-04 - 07:03 PM
Thread Name: Little known '60s Folk Singers
Subject: RE: Little known 1960's Folk Singers
My friend Luke Faust was legendary in Greenwich Village, BEFORE Bob Dylan arrived. He's mentioned in the liner notes of Dylan's first album. Luke was the finest clawhammer banjo player I ever heard, and a brilliantly innovative musician on any instrument he could get his hands on. Part of the reason that he was so legendary was that he really wasn't all that interested in performing, so when he showed up on the street and was going in to some coffee house to perform, word would spread.

I met Luke in 1961 and we immediately clocked, musically. We drew from the same well.. The Anthology Of American Folk Music and the re-issues of musicians recorded back in the 20's and 30's. Our opportunites to perform were limited because when Dylan arrived, nobody was interested in people who sang traditional music any more.
Peter LaFarge (who did become reasonably well known) made a prophetic statement in the early 60's that if you didn't write your own songs, you'd never make it. Luke and I wrote songs allright. Unfortunately, they sounded as much like out-takes from the Anthology Of American Folk Music as we could make them, so our audience was very limited. In 1964, I left New York, and Luke did some playing around.. first with The Insect Trust, a psychedelic/blues/folk rock band who cut two albums for Capital Records. (The second album had a lithograph of Hoboken on the cover, done by Luke. And, from time to time, Luke would surface as part of Pete Stampfel and the Bottle Caps.
Pete was known primarily for being at least one half of the Holy Modal Rounders.

Luke still lives in Hoboken and does some music, but I don't keep in as close touch with him as I used to. I've never met anyone who had the brilliance and creativity that he had.