Honest Jon’s record store opened on Portabello Road in London in 1974. In 2002, Damon Albarn jumped on board to start a record label with the owners. Aside from fronting label bands like The Good The Bad and The Queen and Rocketjuice and the Moon, Albarn has also been behind the scenes, helping to cultivate compilations like the excellent London is the Place for Me series,which collects Black English music from the post-World War II period.
Young Tiger’s “Calypso Be”
Honest Jon’s has done some awesome reissue, retrospective, and collection work; dealing with music that is outside the scope of most reissue labels- ones that make their bones bringing back out of print cult albums (which is also awesome). The compilation Sprigs of Time, for instance, is a collection of 78s from the EMI archives going all the way back to 1903! An anthropological thirst has also informed a lot of the label’s original releases, like Mali Music from 2002.
Check out their website to get the full scope of this prolific label.
– Submitted by Justin Main, Music Design