For over a decade, Tompkins Square has released some of our favorite records. Founder Josh Rosenthal – an avid record collector and the author of The Record Store of the Mind – has a knack for unearthing rare albums from unsung guitar heroes and legends alike; he’s also championed up-and-coming guitar heroes such as Ryley Walker and Daniel Bachman and launched the essential Imaginational Anthem compilation series. Tompkins Square is, quite simply, the modern day version of John Fahey’s original Takoma Records.
To celebrate the label’s tenth anniversary, Rosenthal did something far cooler than pop open a bottle of champagne: He commissioned a guitar build from Trevor Healy of Healy Guitars (himself a fine guitarist). Upon receiving the instrument, Rosenthal then took a cross-country roadtrip with his daughters to visit some of Tompkins Squares’ favorite artists. The video you see here is the result of that trip. It’s amazing to see the likes of Peter Walker, Harry Taussig, Max Ochs, Don Bickoff and others performing today.
As for the guitar itself? It’s what Healy calls his RM model (named after one of his clients, Raymond Morin). It’s a Jumbo loosely based on the Euphonon guitar that Stefan Grossman used to play. The 14-fret Healy guitar has a Sitka top and Honduran mahogany back and sides. The headstock even pays a slight homage to Fahey’s old Bacon & Day Señorita. Best thing about the TS instrument? Rosenthal is up for lending it out to performers in the Bay Area.