In Search of Blind Joe Death
August 17, 2013 8:58 PM   Subscribe

A new film has been released about guitarist John Fahey titled “In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey” (NYTimes review). Trailer can be viewed here, and an interview with director James Cunningham on WNYC's Leonard Lopate show can be heard here.

In addition to listening to his early work, to get a good idea of Fahey in the 1960's, the original notes (booklets inserted into the old black and white covered LPs in the style of the old Folkways albums) are worth a look:
Vol. 1 Blind Joe Death, Vol. 2 Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes, and Vol. 3 The Dance of Death and Other Plantation Favorites
posted by indices (9 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
John Fahey previously.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:10 PM on August 17, 2013

God rest his soul.
posted by King Sky Prawn at 9:13 PM on August 17, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, you gotta read his utterly strange and unique memoir How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life. It's something else.
posted by ovvl at 9:26 PM on August 17, 2013 [3 favorites]

I live in D.C. not far from Fahey's childhood home, and am often in or around places recorded in his song titles - I've read a few articles and listened to many of his records, but look forward to finding out more about a guy who is, quietly, one of the real bards of this place.
posted by ryanshepard at 9:34 PM on August 17, 2013

I am getting a copy of How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life right away. It looks like one hell of a read.
posted by dougzilla at 12:18 AM on August 18, 2013

The New Possibility is always in heavy rotation at my house around Christmas time.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:39 AM on August 18, 2013

Glad to see this make it out. A previous attempt by another film-maker “John Fahey: The Legacy of Blind Joe Death” was shut down after just one showing a few years ago.
posted by scruss at 6:04 AM on August 18, 2013

Should be James Cullingham above; sorry about that. Also, an interesting interview of record collector (and friend of John Fahey) Joe Bussard by Marc Minsker, creator of the previous documentary effort.
posted by indices at 8:48 AM on August 18, 2013

This may have been posted somewhere before, but if you are a guitar player and a fan of John Fahey, this CD and book collection is kind of amazing. Fahey describes how to play a bunch of his songs while having a good time, making mistakes, telling stories. It's fun to listen to even if you have no intention of learning to play anything. Probably available elsewhere too.
posted by freakazoid at 9:01 AM on August 18, 2013 [3 favorites]

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