John Fahey

Blind Joe Death

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For his first Takoma release, Fahey essentially presented an altered version of his extremely limited-edition (less than 100 copies), self-pressed 1959 debut. All but one of the songs from that legendary 1959 effort are here, but some of them are 1964 re-recordings, as Fahey felt (correctly) that his technique had improved so much that they would benefit from being recut. The album's mystique probably owes more to its rarity (and utter oddity in the context of its era) than the music, in which Fahey's experimental blues-folk acoustic fusion is just beginning to take shape. It remains a very interesting record from a historical perspective, however, as few if any other guitarists were attempting to interpret blues and folk idioms in such an idiosyncratic fashion in the late '50s and early '60s.

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