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John Fahey


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John Fahey (February 28, 1939–February 22, 2001) combined American folk, blues, Indian raga, 20th century modernism and European classical into a musical gestalt he called “American Primitive”, establishing a form of classical music (“concert music” as he conceptualized it) for solo steel-string acoustic guitar with the emotive and compositional complexity of kindred classical forms from Arabic, Persian, Turkic, Indic, Malian and other traditions. His efforts to elevate his instrument in this way ran in parallel to his British counterparts like Davey Graham and John Renbourn.

Widely heralded as one of the greatest fingerstyle guitarists of all time, it is rare to find a solo fingerstyle steel-string acoustic guitarist worth their salt that does not cite Fahey as an influence. A very diverse array of artists, including Slint, Cul de Sac (with whom he has also collaborated on a 1997 record), Sonic Youth, and Jim O’Rourke also acknowledge his influence.

Late in his life he began recording increasingly experimental music.


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  • fergalmc

    America, is of course fantastic too.

    21 Jul 11:31am Reply
  • beautifuldaddy

    just watched In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey and it's pretty amazing for a fan. highly recommend it

    29 Jun 2:39am Reply
  • beautifuldaddy

    america is probably my favorite

    28 Jun 7:38am Reply
  • fergalmc

    In my opinion, there is no way that FFV has the conception, depth and variety of The Voice of the Turtle, The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death or The Yellow Princess. Each to their own, I guess.

    19 May 6:43am Reply
  • Steam-Reigns

    Fare Forward is my religious experience as an atheist. Been my favorite record for a few years now, since I first heard it.

    10 Apr 3:50pm Reply
  • wiseblood-

    Fare forward, my beautiful friends.

    27 Mar 10:09pm Reply
  • Padocore

    His music is like SpongeBob SquarePants Soundtrack on acid.

    22 Mar 10:56am Reply
  • BallerCraig

    "no no no no no ... yes yes yes yes yes..."

    20 Mar 4:53pm Reply
  • Akayz7

    fantastic player he was.. sent me places.

    12 Mar 4:32pm Reply
  • IncredibleDog

    Никогда бы не подумал что можно те же самые приемы игры использовать ТАК. Просто перевернул мои представления о игре на гитаре. Просто невероятно. Спасибо.

    1 Mar 10:56pm Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    гениальность его в том, что он играет очень просто, скромно, но при этом это трогает до глубины души, что переводит его в разряд великих мастеров гитары типа хендрикса и дейла (хотя, думаю сам джонни харкнул бы мне в лицо за такую оценку его творчества).

    27 Feb 2:50am Reply
  • Monty__

    I seriously doubt that I'll ever hear another guitar piece that moves me as much as Dry Bones in the Valley does. It's the pinnacle of all recorded music.

    18 Feb 9:29pm Reply
  • beautifuldaddy

    my first fahey was requia, I think it's a good place to start, it's a more relaxed fahey

    14 Feb 4:32am Reply
  • Tuntury

    RIP Adam Cooley.

    13 Feb 8:10pm Reply
  • fergalmc

    RIP Adam Cooley.

    12 Feb 2:30am Reply
  • mecchaumai

    I do like this. How have I never heard him before. I don't understand.

    10 Jan 12:05am Reply
  • fergalmc

    New Possibility is a fine recording. Merry Christmas!

    25 Dec 2013 Reply
  • fergalmc

    The Transfiguration Of Blind Joe Death is as good a place to start as any.

    25 Dec 2013 Reply
  • fieldmuzick

    "But Fahey, perhaps knowing full well what he was doing, released his most successful album to date on Takoma, the first installment of his holiday records, The New Possibility: John Fahey’s Guitar Soli Christmas Album. The album is significant musically since, for the time, holiday music, like practically any other style of music, had never been played in a heavy syncopated, acoustic-steel string blues guitar fashion. But Fahey, in a shrewd business moment, knew the potential: “I was in the back of a record store one July, and I saw all these cartons of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas Album. The clerk said it always sells out. So I got the idea to do Christmas albums that would sell every year." -- Nick Schillace, Master Thesis

    24 Dec 2013 Reply
  • warmandcrispy

    his christmas album, that is

    24 Dec 2013 Reply
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