July 8, 2019
Today we're listening to John Fahey, part of a weeklong journey from '50s fingerstyle solo guitar to the ambient slide guitar of today. Fahey's bluesy, soulful playing calms you down. He was a pioneer of fingerstyle, which involves plucking guitar strings directly with your fingertips or -nails. His tracks have the improvisational vibe of a guy noodling on his porch. Fahey's most influential work was Blind Joe Death, originally released in 1959. The version that's available on most streaming services today is the 1996 re-issue, called The Legend of Blind Joe Death. In the '60s and '70s, Fahey branched out, incorporating the raga of Indian music and field recordings (which decades later would feature prominently in ambient electronic music production). You can hear these influences on 1967’s Days Have Gone By. Our last recommendation, On Air, is a live recording of Fahey playing for a German radio station made in 1978 and released posthumously in 2005.
Have a nice start to your week.