First U.S. Release For Vashti Bunyan Album
On October 11, more than 30 years after the album's
initial appearance and four years after its United Kingdom
re-issue on the Spinney label, DiCristina Records will
release British singer/songwriter Vashti Bunyan's Just
Another Diamond Day for the first time in the United
Originally issued in 1970 and produced by Joe Boyd (the
Incredible String Band, Nick Drake, Fairport Convention,
Richard and Linda Thompson, R.E.M., 10,000 Maniacs),
Just Another Diamond Day was Bunyan's first and
only album and stands as a highlight of British folk
music. "New Folk" star Devendra Banhard calls
Bunyan "the living Nick Drake."
Recorded with the help of members of the Incredible
String Band (Robin Williamson) and Fairport Convention
(Dave Swarbrick and Simon Nicol), the album contains
songs inspired by Bunyan's travels throughout England
and Scotland. Just Another Diamond Day garnered
little attention after its release; eventually, Bunyan
retreated from music in order to continue her travels
and raise a family.
Bunyan's absence from the public eye, however, did not
stop her from becoming something of a celebrity to those
who managed to find copies of her recording. Among her
most vocal supporters is Banhart, who asked Bunyan to
sing with him on the title track of his recent album
Rejoicing in the Hands. In an interview earlier
this year with Neumu's Jennifer Kelly, Banhart explained
Bunyan's influence on his career: "Vashti is the
reason I play music and the first person ever to support
me musically, and one of the reasons I want to write
music and play music."
The reissue of Just Another Diamond Day includes
several bonus tracks culled from acetate demos and home-recorded
tape. Among the extras are "Love Song," the
B-side of "Train Song;" "Winter Is Blue"
and "I'd Like to Walk Around in Your Mind,"
two unreleased acetate recordings dating from 1966 and
1967, respectively; and "Iris's Song Version Two."
Bunyan is currently working on an album of new songs.
"She really has not lost any of anything, you know,"
Banhart told Kelly. "She's the same person. It's
unbelievable, and that really, really does not happen.
Diamond Day came out 30 years ago and she sounds
exactly the same [now]. And I have a lot of the new
songs, and they're better or just as good, and that's
unbelievable." Lee Templeton [Monday, September