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A poor boy a long was from home: Fahey at The New Varsity 1981

John Fahey at The New Varsity 10/11/1981:
On The Sunny Side Of The Ocean/Spanish Two-Step
Lion
Steamboat Gwine 'Round De Bend [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Dec 19, 2012 - 7 comments

Robbie Basho Archive Live Shows

Robbie Basho, "the father of the American Raga," recorded for John Fahey's Takoma label. He's often grouped with Fahey, Max Ochs, and Sandy Bull as a progenitor of "guitar soli," complex avant garde acoustic guitar (and other stringed instrument) playing. The Basho archives has posted two live shows, one from 1978, and the second from 1982, for streaming or download, and a 1983 radio interview and show for streaming.
posted by OmieWise on Jan 15, 2012 - 10 comments

O Black and Unknown Bards - Among Other Things, Regarding The White Invention of The Blues

...The narrative of the blues got hijacked by rock ’n’ roll, which rode a wave of youth consumers to global domination. Back behind the split, there was something else: a deeper, riper source. Many people who have written about this body of music have noticed it. Robert Palmer called it Deep Blues. We’re talking about strains within strains, sure, but listen to something like Ishman Bracey’s ''Woman Woman Blues,'' his tattered yet somehow impeccable falsetto when he sings, ''She got coal-black curly hair.'' Songs like that were not made for dancing. Not even for singing along. They were made for listening. For grown-ups. They were chamber compositions. Listen to Blind Willie Johnson’s "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.'' It has no words. It’s hummed by a blind preacher incapable of playing an impure note on the guitar. We have to go against our training here and suspend anthropological thinking; it doesn’t serve at these strata. The noble ambition not to be the kind of people who unwittingly fetishize and exoticize black or poor-white folk poverty has allowed us to remain the kind of people who don’t stop to wonder whether the serious treatment of certain folk forms as essentially high- or higher-art forms might have originated with the folk themselves.
From Unknown Bards: The blues becomes apparent to itself by one John Jeremiah Sullivan. I came across it while browsing Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers On The Albums That Changed Their Lives. For Sullivan, that album was American Primitive, Vol. II: Pre-War Revenants (1897 - 1939), which is my favorite CD of the year. Which came out in 2005 while I just got around to buying it this year. Foolish me. It is a piece of art in itself in every respect--all CDs should have such production values. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Aug 6, 2009 - 50 comments

Wrath of the Grapevine: The Roots of John Fahey

So, about 9 months ago I started working on this compilation... Until yesterday, however, I hadn't seen a tracklist from the mysterious 10-cd set called the VrootzBox, so this is not a derivative work, however similar it may be...I should mention that not all of these songs are songs that he covered or copped licks from. Most of the music he has made mention to, though a few of the songs were recorded after his formative years and one or two he never would have heard. But they are presented to give an illustration of the styles he drew from (such as gamelan, which he grew up playing in his neighbor's back yard).
Wrath of the Grapevine: The Roots of John Fahey
via FaheyGuitarPlayers
posted by y2karl on Jun 1, 2008 - 12 comments

John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers

John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers
John Fahey - Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Phillip XIV
Clips from a 2 hour performance at the Euphoria Tavern in Portland, Oregon from 1976. Among the cognoscenti at FaheyGuitarPlayers, the consensus is that these clips display Fahey in rare form on a very good night.
Apart from Fahey, Bohemia Visual Music aka Mike Nastra, the contributor of these clips, provides an interesting assortment of way too hip YouTubery offerings including, among others, Spike Jones, Dimandas Galas, Gene Krupa, Tuxedo Moon, Sun Ra, Pere Ubu and the Holy Modal Rounders.
posted by y2karl on Oct 16, 2007 - 9 comments

How To Pick a Fight With y2karl

While some people like their Kottkes all modern & full of links, I'll take mine old skool. Ladies & gentlemen, the greatest 12 string slide guitarist that ever lived.
posted by jonson on Jun 28, 2007 - 47 comments

I Remember Blind Joe Death

John Fahey - 1969, Part 1
John Fahey - 1969, Part 2
John Fahey - 1969, Part 3
John Fahey - 1969, Part 4
See also The Thong Club
And Previously
Via FaheyGuitarPlayers
posted by y2karl on Jun 21, 2007 - 35 comments

Turtle sex, chiropractic death, and peyote under the pillow: a year-by-year account of American primitive guitar

...Record collectors are typically thought of as irascible loners, but in the Washington of the ’50s and early ’60s, there existed a group of scruffy young blues and folk fans who could’ve given the Illuminati a run for their all-seeing eyes. They thought of themselves as the guardians of a tradition the rest of the world had either forgotten or misinterpreted. They adopted fake names. They invented strange mythologies. They hatched plans to bring their favorite historical figures back from the dead--or at least back from the commercial oblivion to which the music biz had consigned them. But most of all, they inspired admiration and awe. Though they never used the term themselves, this bunch of vintage-78 obsessives was known by others as the East Coast Blues Mafia.
The Thong Club
via FaheyGuitarPlayers

posted by y2karl on Jul 13, 2006 - 20 comments

John Fahey - American Primitive Guitar

John Fahey - American Primitive Guitar. I got an e-mail from a listener about a John Fahey song I played on my show today and it prompted me to revisit his website. I've been listening to him ever since '67 or so. He died last year due to complications during a coronary bypass operation--I realized again today how I miss him. (more inside)
posted by y2karl on Mar 22, 2002 - 14 comments

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