Though he was far from being a household name, the late John Fahey (1939-2001) was one of the finest and most unique acoustic guitarists America has ever produced. Duke Ellington used the phrase "beyond category" as his supreme compliment - it fits Fahey perfectly. He drew upon virtually the whole of American music and beyond for his style: various strains of folk and blues, ragtime, classical, jazz, the avant-garde, jug band music and Indian music, all filtered, mutated and molded by a mischievous imagination, an anti-reverent sense of humor and tremendous finger-picking technique. Fahey is one of the few players - Albert Ayler is another - who can sound eerily stark, completely relaxed and possessed by a sense of wonder simultaneously while soloing, as if the lines between "tension" and "release" have been blurred. For his 1975 album Old Fashioned Love, Fahey served up a platter that was likely to bewilder his audience - of course, he wouldn’t have it any other way. Over half the album was/is glistening, intricate acoustic guitar solos and duos, the kind of stuff he was known for: inspired co-minglings of extended country blues, down-home country picking and Indian music. For the rest he "collaborated" with a small band of Dixieland, trad-jazz and big band vets for an easygoing, jaunty trip down jazz standard lane, Dixieland-style. ANYone who values the possibilities of the solo acoustic guitar owes it to him/herself to hear Fahey, period.
Artist / Group Name:John Fahey & His Orchestra
CD Title:Old Fashioned Love
Reissue Original Release:1975
Record Label:Takoma / Fantasy
Musicians:J.F., Woody Mann: acoustic guitar; Britt Woodman: trombone; Allan Reuss: banjo, guitar; Dick Cary: piano; Nick Fatool: drums; Ira Westley: tuba; others.