A prolific and seemingly tireless artist, iconic guitar-picker John Fahey created some of his most enduring music in the final decade of his life. The two-disc collection SEA CHANGES & COELACANTHS provides a thorough look at the time Fahey spent with the Table of the Elements label, a period that saw an inspired synthesis of his deep folk roots and restless experimentalism.
The collection comprises three recordings: the studio album WOMBLIFE; the live album GEORGIA STOMPS, ATLANTA STRUTS, AND OTHER CONTEMPORARY DANCE FAVORITES; and the four-part improv composition "Hard Time Empty Bottle Blues." The key aesthetic elements of Fahey's musical vision are present throughout: improvised drones, cracked soundscapes, and odd tunings posited against traditional ragtime, bluegrass, and blues. SEA CHANGES & COELACANTHS is as much an introduction to the Fahey canon as to a specific time in the artist's life, and despite the subtitle it's essential listening for all.