A visionary new documentary about the hugely influential musician, composer, musicologist, outsider artist and all round eccentric, John Fahey, known as the father of American Primitive Guitar. Fahey’s music stretches the boundaries of past musical traditions, creating a complex musical dialogue primarily with his steel stringed solo guitar, transcending Delta influences to include bluegrass, classical, jazz, musique concrète, and gothic industrial ambience. With live music by Steffen Basho Junghans and Cam Deas presented by Architects of Harmonic Rooms.
John Fahey was a student of mythology and a master trickster throughout his life. At the outset of his recording career, Fahey shape-shifted into the legendary Blind Joe Death. His first album for his Takoma Records label is co-credited to said Blind Joe Death and John Fahey.
Fahey fabricated that mythic persona from the rich tapestry of lives lived by blues musicians he admired…including the real life Blind Willie Johnson and Blind Blake. Fahey’s use of the Blind Joe Death persona was part gag and part tribute – Fahey never shied from the irony of his own biography. He was, after all, a white suburbanite who was widely considered a master of the blues and inventor of ‘American primitive guitar’.
Steffen Basho-Junghans and Cam Deas represent two generations of Fahey disciples, although it must be noted that both guitarists have taken the more Avant-garde side of Fahey’s approach and have even been credited as taking the whole ‘Takoma movement’ in new and fresh directions. They will be recording together for the first time here in Ouse Recordings Studios and have each prepared a piece for the screening.
Recommended rating: cert 15.