John Fahey's technique is highly distinctive -- a single steel-strung guitar with a roar of sound, suddenly getting quiet and gentle, then playful, then angry, up and down and around. Where classical guitarists defined themselves by fluidity and technique, Fahey, and Leo Kottke like him, defined himself by the feeling involved in the playing. While there's structure to the music, it can, at any moment, veer off to some other place for a quick visit -- "Lion" is very much of that nature.
There's really very little one can say about Fahey and his music -- here he is, dead center in the stereo image, no apologies, and no safety net, having an energetic ball, as comfortable hinting at classical music as he is at evolving Delta blues playing into his own brand of performance, or playing bottleneck Hawaiian style. This, too, may be the only time you'll hear a studio recording where the performer retunes his guitar at several points during the track, changing scales as he switches from Indian themes to figures that have more than a hint of a chuckle in them to passages that manage to combine both with hillbilly stomp (the rambling "Interlude/The Portland Cement Factory/Requiem For Mississippi John Hurt," definitely one of those numbers that demands a live performance to watch his fingers). An excellent John Fahey outing, essentially examining his inspirations and drawing once again from them. It's beautifully recorded and mastered, and performed brilliantly. For those with the stamina to attempt to master some of the pieces, the album comes complete with a tablature book. This one is highly recommended -- would-be serious guitarists take note.