Jan 30th, 2010, 07:43 PM
my current musical obsession.
The man has dozens of albums, mostly solo acoustic guitar stuff. A few albums here and there with other people accompanying with other instruments. A few songs along the way in which he plays with another guitarist. Some of his later albums have weird electronic stuff added as he started experimenting more.
Generally six-string acoustic. Rarely a 12-string (I only know one song off the top of my head in which he used 12-string, and that's "America").
I haven't heard any of the "orchestra" stuff and only two duets (one with another guitarist, one with a flutist). Most of the music is just him, alone, with a guitar, making excellent songs. Six strings, two hands, one track, no vocals.
He was a young student of philosophy and collector of records. A very lonely and sad person with a natural ability to make beautiful music. Alcoholic to the end, he died in the early 2000s.
"Red Pony" (published as "Wine and Roses" for some reason - an original composition)
"Poor Boy" aka "Poor Boy Long Ways From Home" aka "Po' Boy Blues" - a traditional blues song, his version is based on Booker "Bukka" White's (a man who would not have returned to making blues music in the 60's if not for John Fahey, actually)
"Tell Her To Come Back Home" (the first part is an original composition and the second and longer part is his rendition of an Uncle Dave Macon song though he turns it into something far more beautiful. The audio in this clip is pretty low quality, it's definitely not that tinny on the album)
Unfortunately "Dance of Death" is not on Youtube. If you're interested in the songs posted here, buy/download Dance of Death and Other Plantation Favorites. Most of it is your standard Fahey fare, but it includes "Dance of Death" and "Variations of the Coocoo" and the studio version of "Red Pony" (listed as "Wine and Roses"), as well as a 10-minute song that is a few different variations on a song that originally came to be "On the Sunny Side of the Ocean," an outstanding song on another excellent album.
No, but now that you mention him I'll have to look into him.
I've been trying to get into Leo Kottke but he's so hit-or-miss and the damn vocals don't help at all. There's this kid named James Blackshaw that seems like he'd be pretty cool, but I only know one song (and it's 16 minutes long). Jack Rose also seemed cool and he just died last month unfortunately.
But I don't know, John Fahey's totally got enough of a catalogue to keep me interested for a while.