VDSQ Announces New Albums of 21st Century Guitar by Mark McGuire, Chuck Johnson, and Anthony Pasquarosa

VDSQ, the LA-based label specializing in music by innovative guitarists, has announced three new releases out June 2nd: Ideas of Beginnings by Mark McGuire, Balsams by Chuck Johnson, and Abbandonato Da Dio Nazione by Anthony Pasquarosa. While all share a common influence of American Primitivism, they approach the style from drastically different angles, each moving away from any sort of traditional notion of the genre towards expansive horizons. From the cosmic melodicism of McGuire’s acoustic meditations to the deep ambience of Johnson’s pedal steel and Pasquarosa’s imagined spaghetti Western soundtrack, these albums brilliantly build engrossing sound-worlds within the seemingly endless palate of 21st Century Guitar.

All albums are available for pre-order: http://www.vdsqrecords.com/

Mark McGuire reminds us why he is among the most beloved guitarists of our new age. McGuire returns to VDSQ with a beautiful album of fractal introspection, a succinct collection of deeply melodic and emotive themes. Ideas of Beginnings is a direct statement of modern guitar, running the gamut from brightly focused acoustic compositions to late night electricvapor trails. Ideas of Beginnings is another highlight from this iconic 21st Century guitarist.

Mark McGuire first came to national prominence as one third of legendary drone/psychedelic collective Emeralds and quickly ignited a new movement of New Age transcendence in American underground music. In 2009 Mark released his first solo album, VDSQ Solo Acoustic Vol. 2 to wide acclaim. Since then, Mark has released albums on Editions Mego, Dead Oceans and toured the world several times. Having reached a status as a contemporary guitar legend its with great joy we find his return to VDSQ in 2017 with Ideas of Beginnings.

Mark McGuire – Ideas of Beginnings

(June 2nd, VDSQ)

1.    Beginner

2.    The Girls

3.    Skipping Stones

4.    Smile From Up North

5.    Late Summer Early Evening

6.    The Clock Strikes With Soft Rain

7.    Serpent Mount Coyote Song

8.    To Continue

9.    Beginning Of Winter

10. By The Light Of The Freezing Pond

11.  Eleven Sevens

Chuck Johnson’s pedal steel guitar debut delivers a group of pieces for ambient meditation.  Recorded in a single two-week session during late 2015, and subsequently arranged/constructed/treated in the studio in spring of 2016, Balsams is awash in layers of tonal perfection. The album constantly evolves while maintaining a unified approach across both sides. Balsams is a record that lives outside genre and time, one that continues to develop with each successive deep listen. A unique expansion in the VDSQ catalog, Balsams is an album created in the hopes of providing solace and regenerative energies for many years to come.

Chuck Johnson has released several instrumental guitar LPs over the last five years on labels like Three Lobed and Trouble in Mind, easily claiming the respect and admiration of the solo guitar community. Rather than focus solely on American Primitive, Johnson’s wide palate, used often for his soundtrack work, is on full display on Balsams, an LP owing more to Eno/Budd than Fahey or Basho. A consummate musician at the height of his powers, Chuck Johnson delivers perhaps his most unique and enjoyable work to date with this pedal steel perfection. Fans of drone, minimalism and modern composition take note.

Chuck Johnson – Balsams

(June 2nd – VDSQ)


1.    Calamus

2.    Riga Black

3.    Moonstone

4.    Eye On The Sparrow

5.    Labradorite Eye

6.    Brahmi

Anthony Pasquarosa focuses the third eye back to 1910 to conjure a lysergic spaghetti Western experience. Expect to be transported to another realm where gunshots, galloping horses and psychedelic gunslingers mark the terrain. Pasquarosa reveals himself to be a master stylist and his third full length for VDSQ shows the widescreen breadth of his cinematic vision. Abbandonato Da Dio Nazione is expansively packaged with hand drawn artwork from the guitarist himself. Western’s have never sounded like this.

A Western Massachussettes musical alchemist, Anthony Pasquarosa was first introduced to wider audiences in 2014 with his solo guitar raga, VDSQ Solo Acoustic Vol. 7. A well respected member of the hardcore scene Pasquarosa played in nihilistic-charged bands such as SQRM, Aerosols and Viper. Lately he has focused on more psychedelic oriented projects such as Crystalline Roses, World Domination and Glue Bag, all having release LPs in recent years. In 2015 Pasquarosa released the Morning Meditations LP on VDSQ to wide acclaim, a transcendental minimalmasterwork with water sounds playing throughout the whole album. In 2017, Abbandonato Da Dio Nazione cements his status as one of today’s great modern guitar players, a master of infinite styles.

Anthony Pasquarosa – Abbandonato Da Dio Nazione

(June 2nd, VDSQ)


1.    Godforsaken Country (Sequence 1)

2.    Run For Life, Death Is Near (Sequence 1)

3.    Upon Nebraska Braries

4.    Godforsaken Country (Sequence 2)

5.    With Knives, Guns, and Revolvers

6.    Godforsaken Country (Sequence 3)

7.    What Makes A Man

8.    Run For Life, Death Is Near (Sequence 2)

9.    Run For Life, Death Is Near (Sequence 3)

10. The Robbing Of The Northfield Bank

11. Godforsaken Country (Sequence 4, End Credits)