This sublime compilation on Light In The Attic showcases the very best of the Tumbleweed Records label and is out on Friday. The Tumbleweed label was founded in February, 1971, by Larry Ray and Bill Szymczyk. They had fled an earthquake and a debauched L.A. music scene to claim their own slice of utopia in Denver, Colorado. The pair met at ABC-Dunhill, where Ray was general manager and Szymczyk arrived after his first hit as a burgeoning engineer/producer with BB King’s The Thrill is Gone. In Denver, Ray and Szymczyk secured multi-million-dollar financing from Gulf + Western, where executives thought they were funding the “hippie movement’s next big thing”.
But instead of producing the next Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix, Ray and Szymczyk released music by innovators and idiosyncratic artists such as Pete McCabe, emotive songwriters like Robb Kunkel and Danny Holien, or psych-folk rocker Arthur Gee. They also released more established musicians like Albert Collins and Dewey Terry (of Don & Dewey fame), while launching the career of Michael Stanley.
Ray would go on to various opportunities, including producing five country albums alongside Bill Halverson, while Szymczyk would soon skyrocket to fame after producing The Eagles’ Hotel California.