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Originally released on ATCO in November 1968, singer-songwriter Scott Fagan’s bewitching debut album, South Atlantic Blues, is a genuine lost classic – a mystical, mythical and deeply soulful folk-rock masterpiece.
Remastered from the original tapes, South Atlantic Blues is due to be reissued for the very first time on CD and vinyl by Saint Cecilia Knows – the same label that released the acclaimed 2011 Mickey Newbury box set, An American Trilogy – in association with Scott Fagan’s own lil’fish records.
An epic song cycle about Fagan’s hard-scrabble life in the Virgin Islands (where he was raised and lived until 19, before returning to his birthplace, New York City), wrapped around an impassioned love story, South Atlantic Blues is driven by Fagan’s dense, allusive lyrics and experimental production that infuses his folk song stylings with R&B, jazz and Caribbean island rhythms. Front and centre on the record though is Fagan’s remarkable voice, rich with emotion and longing, which has been described as “somewhere between Scott Walker, Tim Hardin, early Bowie and Donovan”. The album’s iconic cover photo, a portrait of a twenty-year-old Fagan, was shot by legendary photographer, Joel Brodsky, who took the famous ‘Young Lion’ photos of Jim Morrison and also shot the cover of Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks – released the same month as South Atlantic Blues.