Rick Deitrick – Coyote Canyon

Any new release of Rick Deitrick’s music is worth celebrating, yet Coyote Canyon is one of those rare archival compilations of unreleased music that is just as essential as an original album.

Deitrick, who came to light as a result of being included in Tompkins Square’s infamous eighth volume of their Imaginational Anthem series, which focused on private press solo guitar music, has been a fiercely original and unorthodox musician for well over the last 50 years. On this and his previous two records (both also available from Tompkins Square—1978’s classic privately-pressed Gentle Wilderness and the River Sun River Moon rarities collection), Deitrick proves himself to be an intuitive and inventive fingerpicker that deserves to be studied and analyzed just as much as his more well-known contemporaries.

On songs like the unpredictable “Tumbleweedin,'” Deitrick plays his instrument with the loose cadence and slapdash energy that one observes in nature (in this specific case, the movements and sudden stops of a tuft of tumbleweed rolling across the landscape). He intentionally avoids the folk and blues influences that dominated solo guitar music of the time, and opts to instead find the patterns, hints of melodies and lyrical phrases in the earth’s natural forces. Then translate them beautifully through his elegant fingerpicking.

Deitrick also employs this elemental approach to composing and playing when he tries to express his rawest emotions, like the mournful “Roy’s Rain,” of which he wrote for a friend that died tragically in a car accident. He plays as though the strings on his instrument are an extension of his wounded soul.

If records by Eli Winter, Daniel Bachman and Chris Corsano have been getting plenty of time on your turntable lately, then you need to get this album when Tompkins Square releases it this Friday. Do not miss out! Click here to preorder it from Bandcamp and click here to preorder it straight from the label’s website.


If you like what you’re reading, please help keep RCU thriving. You can show your support by becoming a patron at our Patreon account or you can make a donation to our PayPal account below.

As always, please also consider donating to any of these sites to help fight racial injustice.


Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and Thewaster.com and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: