A Stone's Throw by Russell Potter on Tompkins Square (the album features a black and white photo of Russell Potter sttod slightly awkardly with a guitar against a wall made up of wooden planks; the artist name and album title are printed above and below the photograph in small black serif uppercase text in the wide white border).

Russell Potter - A Stone's Throw


  • £22.99

A Stone's Throw, originally self-released by Russell Potter in 1979, features the solo guitar compositions of Russell Potter, recorded in the last waning days of the initial American Primitive explosion. 

A then obsessed teenaged devotee of John Fahey, Robbie Basho, and Leo Kottke at a time when punk and new wave were ascendant, Potter harnessed a similar DIY ethos to his own ends by starting his own label & self-publishing his first record, A Stone’s Throw, while a freshman enrolled at Goddard College in Vermont in 1979. Assembled at the legendary Boddie Records in Potter’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, and sprinkled liberally with references to his heroes, from the initial record label name of Fonytone (which more than a little recalls Fahey’s earliest record label, Fonotone), to the arcane song titles and references to obscure rags. 

Even as he looks to his elders, Potter’s debut release nimbly evinces a complete mastery of his form and is all the more remarkable for one of such tender years, as only the chutzpah of youth can account for such moves as successfully grafting one of your own composition to one of John Fahey’s, as he does here. There’s a very immediate, lovely, and real homespun quality to Potter’s chiming twelve-string compositions that puts it in the realm of those classic records that seem to simply exist outside of time. 

Shortly after A Stones Throw, Potter produced & released a 45rpm single by an Ohio bluegrass band featuring the cult singer songwriter Bob Frank performing a cover of Devo’s ‘Mongoloid’, before moving on to his second (and sadly final) album the following year, Neither Here Nor There

Though these albums landed at a time when American Primitive guitar music’s 1960's & 1970's heyday was in the rear view mirror, they absolutely look ahead to the genre’s eventual 21st Century resurrection, anticipating both in form & content many of the same concerns you find in the great contemporary work of the last two decades by Jack Rose, Glenn Jones, Daniel Bachman, et al., and as such provide about as fine a stepping stone between these two eras as you’re likely to find. 


  1. Blue Wind Boy 
  2. Classic Rag 
  3. Red and White 
  4. To No End 
  5. The Assassination of Stephan Grossman / Lemon Rag 
  6. Weeping Willow / Grow Rich While You Sleep 
  7. The Night Roads 
  8. That Without Which 
  9. Satan's Fare Thee Well 
  10. Midnight on the Flying Express 
  11. Orleans 
  12. Police Dog Blues Jam 
  13. A Stone's Throw 
  14. Red Oak Rag 
  15. Over the Hills and Far Away 
  16. Blue Wind Boy (12 String Version) 


  • US import 
  • Limited pressing of 500 copies 
  • Includes liner notes 
  • Part of Tompkins Square's series of private press reissues 



also available: 
Russell Potter - Neither Here Nor There   LP 


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American Primitive Guitar collection 
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