Poet, composer, street musician and cosmologist Moondog (Louis Thomas Hardin, 1916-1999) learned rhythm from American Indians and counterpoint from J.S. Bach. Many of his recordings feature instruments he built himself: trimba, yukh, tuji, oo. Sometimes you can hear in the background the streets of New York, where Moondog often slept. In addition, he was blind, due to an accident when he was 15. Sometime in the '50s, fed up with being mistaken on the street for Christ (his regular busking spot was uptown on Sixth) Moondog put on a Viking costume, with spear and horned helmet; and he dressed like this until the late-70s (by which time he was working with orchestras in Germany).
Originally released in 2005 and reissued here in 2016, The Viking of Sixth Avenue is the first overview of Moondog's amazing artistic life - including recordings spanning from 1949 till 1995, with numerous 78s and various other vanished records revived for the first time (not to mention a couple of Weegee photographs. Tremendous gatefold presentation and one of Honest John Record's most impressive documents to date.
"This selection of 36 of his pieces for percussion, brass and the odd howling canine, and occasional, madrigal-like songs, is both ethereal and earthy, sounding old as the hills and utterly out of time. Sometimes it's almost jazz, mostly it's that rare thing in music: unique. Moondog was a creature of an entirely lost New York." - The Guardian