Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album

John Fahey

Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album

One of acoustic music's true innovators and eccentrics, John Fahey was a crucial figure in expanding the boundaries of the acoustic guitar over the last few decades. His music was so eclectic that it's arguable whether he should be defined as a "folk" artist. In a career that saw him issue several dozen albums, he drew from blues, Native American music, Indian ragas, experimental dissonance, and pop. His good friend Dr. Demento has noted that Fahey "was the first to demonstrate that the finger-picking techniques of traditional country and blues steel-string guitar could be used to express a world of non-traditional musical ideas -- harmonies and melodies you'd associate with Bartok, Charles Ives, or maybe the music of India." The more meditative aspects of his work foreshadowed new age music, yet Fahey played with a fierce imagination and versatility that outshone any of the guitarists in that category. His idiosyncrasy may have limited him to a cult following, but it also ensured that his work continues to sound fresh.
Fahey was a colorful figure from the time he became an accomplished guitarist in his teens. Already a collector of rare early blues and country music, he made his first album in 1959, ascribing part of it to the pseudonymous "Blind Joe Death." Only 95 copies of the LP were pressed, making it a coveted collector's item today. (In the 1960s, Fahey would re-record the material for wider circulation.) In college, he wrote a thesis on Charley Patton (an exotic subject at the time). Yet Fahey did not perform publicly for money until the mid-'60s, after his third album.
Fahey's early albums for Takoma in the mid-'60s laid out much of the territory he would explore. His instrumentals, filtering numerous genres of music into his own style, evoked haunting and open spaces. At times they could be soothing and plaintive; at other times they were disquieting, even dissonant. The more experimental aspects of his material even foreshadowed psychedelia in their lengthy improvisations (some cuts lasted as long as 20 minutes), use of Indian modes, unpredictable stylistic shifts, and overall eerie strangeness. His persona as a weirdo of sorts was amplified by his bizarre and lengthy song titles and liner notes. He also employed odd guitar tunings that continue to exert an overlooked influence on contemporary musicians to this day.
Fahey remained consistently popular on a cult level through the mid-'80s. His most commercially successful efforts, oddly, were probably his Christmas albums, which are among the more interesting holiday records of any genre. For a time he ran the Takoma label, where he was instrumental in starting the career of Leo Kottke (who owes much of his stylistic inspiration to Fahey), as well as promoting lesser-known talents like Robbie Basho. He was a catalyst in other subtle ways, helping to form Canned Heat by introducing Al Wilson (who played on a Fahey album in 1965) to Bob Hite, and rediscovering Delta bluesman Bukka White with his friend Ed Denson.
Fahey sold Takoma to Chrysalis in the mid-'70s, but continued to record regularly, and also tour (though his live performances were erratic). In 1986, he contracted Epstein-Barr syndrome, a long-lasting viral infection that, combined with diabetes and other health problems, sapped his energy and resources. Although the Epstein-Barr virus was finally overcome, the mid-'90s found him living in poverty in Oregon, where he paid his rent by pawning his guitar and reselling rare classical records. The appearance of a major career retrospective on Rhino, Return of the Repressed, in 1994 boosted his profile to its highest level in years. In 1997, he returned to active recording with City of Refuge and was planning a Revenant definitive package of Charley Patton's work when he died following sextuple-bypass surgery at the age of 61. The Fahey discography is dauntingly large and diverse; the neophyte is advised to start with the two-disc Return of the Repressed, but those who wish to dig deeper will be very pleased with Takoma's extensive reissues, which started to appear in the late nineties.

Biography Credit to Allmusic.com

Title Mix/Edit Artist Genre Tools
Sunflower River Blues main mix Dale Miller Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
Dale Miller
Keywords:
Acoustic/Unplugged and Sentimental
Scene Descriptions:
Best Friends, Heartbreak, In Love, and Make-Up
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Featured Instruments:
Acoustic Guitar
Tempo:
Moderate
BPM:
90
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #1
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68073
main mix 3:13 160k MP3
Desperate Man Blues main mix Charlie Schmidt Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
Charlie Schmidt
Keywords:
Acoustic/Unplugged and Sentimental
Scene Descriptions:
Best Friends, In Love, Make-Out, and Make-Up
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Featured Instruments:
Acoustic Guitar
Tempo:
Medium Fast
BPM:
95
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #5
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68075
main mix 3:38 160k MP3
Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Phillip XIV Of Spain main mix Canned Fish Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
Canned Fish
Keywords:
Bright and Feel-Good
Scene Descriptions:
Best Friends, Heartbreak, In Love, and Road Trip
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Subgenres:
Blues-Rock and Folk-Rock
Featured Instruments:
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, and Harmonica
Tempo:
Medium Fast
BPM:
120
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #6
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68076
main mix 4:09 160k MP3
In Christ There Is No East Or West main mix Peter Lang Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
Peter Lang
Keywords:
Bright, Feel-Good, and Sentimental
Scene Descriptions:
Best Friends, Heartbreak, In Love, Make-Out, Make-Up, and Road Trip
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Featured Instruments:
Acoustic Guitar
Tempo:
Medium Fast
BPM:
80
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #9
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68077
main mix 2:09 160k MP3
Joe Kirby Blues main mix Terry Robb Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
Terry Robb
Keywords:
Acoustic/Unplugged and Sentimental
Scene Descriptions:
Goodbye, Heartbreak, In Love, and Rainy Day
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Featured Instruments:
Acoustic Guitar
Tempo:
Medium Slow
BPM:
75
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #10
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68079
main mix 3:06 160k MP3
The Yellow Princess main mix Sean Smith Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
Sean Smith
Keywords:
Acoustic/Unplugged and Sentimental
Scene Descriptions:
Best Friends, Heartbreak, In Love, Make-Out, and Morning After
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Featured Instruments:
Acoustic Guitar
Tempo:
Moderate
BPM:
80
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #11
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68080
main mix 5:35 160k MP3
Steamboat Gwine 'Round De Bend/How Green Was My Valley (Medley) main mix John Schott/Henry Kaiser Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
John Schott/Henry Kaiser
Keywords:
Funky/Groove and Sentimental
Scene Descriptions:
Goodbye, Heartbreak, and Rainy Day
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Subgenres:
Folk-Rock
Tempo:
Medium Slow
BPM:
65
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #12
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68081
main mix 7:10 160k MP3
Red Pony main mix Nick Schillace Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
Nick Schillace
Keywords:
Acoustic/Unplugged and Sentimental
Scene Descriptions:
Goodbye, Heartbreak, In Love, and Morning After
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Featured Instruments:
Acoustic Guitar
Tempo:
Moderate
BPM:
115
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #13
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68082
main mix 3:25 160k MP3
Days Have Gone By In The Halls Of Valhalla main mix Andrew Stranglen Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
Andrew Stranglen
Keywords:
Acoustic/Unplugged and Sentimental
Scene Descriptions:
Best Friends, Goodbye, Heartbreak, and In Love
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Featured Instruments:
Acoustic Guitar
Tempo:
Moderate
BPM:
75
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #17
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68083
main mix 2:37 160k MP3
On The Banks of The Owchita main mix Nels Cline & Elliot Sharp Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
Nels Cline & Elliot Sharp
Keywords:
Acoustic/Unplugged and Sentimental
Scene Descriptions:
Best Friends, Goodbye, Heartbreak, In Love, and Rainy Day
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Featured Instruments:
Acoustic Guitar
Tempo:
Moderate
BPM:
100
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #18
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68084
main mix 3:42 160k MP3
Jesus Is A Dying-Bed Maker main mix Pat O'Connell Country, Folk, Rock
Artist:
Pat O'Connell
Keywords:
Acoustic/Unplugged and Sentimental
Scene Descriptions:
Best Friends, Goodbye, Heartbreak, and In Love
Genres:
Country, Folk, and Rock
Featured Instruments:
Acoustic Guitar
Tempo:
Medium Slow
BPM:
80
CD/Track #:
Revenge Of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album, #19
Release Date:
2007
Track ID:
68085
main mix 3:56 160k MP3
Take Me Back