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WASHINGTON PHILLIPS Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams

Our label’s inaugural release, 2003’s Goodbye, Babylon, included two recordings by a mysterious gospel musician from Texas named Washington Phillips, who died in 1954. After fielding inquires about the hauntingly beautiful songs from listeners around the world, in 2013, we checked in with Michael Corcoran, the leading researcher on Phillips, to see if any new information had been uncovered. Indeed, Michael had some leads, but he would need a working budget to track them down. Three years later, after combing through various archives and talking with the last surviving people from the Simsboro-area who remembered Phillips, we now know the name of Phillips’ homemade instrument (the Manzarene); when, where and how he died; and many anecdotes about what his life was like.

We are excited to share this story in Washington Phillips and His Manzarene Dreams, a new book by Corcoran accompanied by recordings made by Phillips between 1927-29. To ensure a superior listening experience, we tracked down the most pristine original copies of Phillips’ 78-rpm records, created high resolution transfers and had the audio expertly remastered for the best-sounding Phillips reissue to date. Hear the sublime, hypnotic and ethereal music of Washington Phillips in clarity like never before!

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