John Fahey was born into a musical household and spent his formative years in Tacoma, Maryland. His father working as a government official, both of his parents being fond of playing the piano. Musical tastes range from classical music to bluegrass. The teenage John Fahey developed a fascination for the guitar and is especially interested in the sounds and myths of classic country blues and bluegrass. He successfully works on a degree in philosophy and religion and heads out West in 1963 to continue his studies in California. At this time, examples of John Fahey’s original music for guitar have been put onto vinyl already. A couple of friends talk the reluctant (and gas-pumping) musician/academic into investing some small funds into the recording and pressing of just 100 copies of an album that was to gain legendary status in the years to come: BLIND JOE DEATH. On the surface the name of a long lost black bluesman, but in reality the first of Fahey’s many inventions and pseudonyms. BJD - an alter ego that was to re-surface time and again and a debut release that already featured some of Fahey’s one-of-a-kind prose. The almost grotesque „musicologist“ liner notes on the album’s cover provide a first taste of his many quasi-surrealistic writings to come. “Blind Joe Death“ establishes an almost allegorical connection from Fahey to the early practioners of black Southern country blues. At the same time the guitarist manages to found his own label “Takoma Records“, a company that over the years turns into a forum for up-and-coming players like Robbie Basho and Leo Kottke.
John Fahey’s life ended by kidney failure following multiple bypass surgery. Some obituaries appeared that recognize his trailblazing musical legacy as a pioneer of American guitar music, but to get to the bottom of his musical and spiritual cosmos remains an almost inconceivable task to this day. It’s a world that hasn’t lost any of its strange darkness and bewildering mystery, weird humor and intellectual richness. John Fahey has remained a mystery - both as a person and as an artist. His music still stands as an expression of intrepid individuality. Many successors like Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, Alex De Grassi and William Ackerman have profited immensely from the groundbreaking work he did in the course of a career that lasted almost forty years.
In this series, John teaches a wide variety of instrumental solos. Critics have called John's style American Primitive Guitar. For the intermediate guitarist. 56 page tab/music book with three compact discs.
Lesson One: A general discussion of pattern picking and the use of the alternate bass. In Christ There Is No East Or West, Take A Look At That Baby and Some Summer Day.
Lesson Two: One of John's most requested multi-sectioned composition is Indian Pacific Railroad Blues, also known as Beverley. This tune demonstrates how John composes in the fingerpicking idiom. Also taught is another very requested and imitated instrumental, John's The Last Steam Engine Train.
Lesson Three: When The Springtime Comes Again and The Approaching Of The Disco Void. A discussion of improvisational ideas in relationship to fingerstyle compositions concludes this lesson.
Level 2/3 • 56 page tab/music book with three compact discs
Review: Learn from the Best. This book is great for fans of John Fahey's style and of the fingerpicking style in general. The book includes some of Fahey's most recognized tunes and are included in tab and standard notation. If you are comfortable with both types of notation, learning these songs should be easy and fun.
If you are on this page, its likely that you are already a follower of Fahey's style. Apart from the songs contained in the book, which I assume most of you are already intimately familiar with and love, the book contains a wonderful article written about John Fahey that covers just about every aspect of the man. Moreover, the book includes 3 audio discs of Fahey's guidance through particular techniques, methods, and theories. These treasures are what really make this book distinct from other music instruction book and far more of a personal experience. – Antipholous S/Amazon Customer Review
Review: Excellent book. This book is a very useful introduction to Fahey's playing style. He takes you step by step through each piece and explains his picking technique in great detail. He has a very relaxed and open-minded teaching approach. I found it encouraging that he doesn't insist that his pieces should be played or interpreted in one way. After learning several of the songs in this book, I feel like have a good foundation for learning more Fahey tunes. – H.B. Goode/Amazon Customer Review