John Fahey: Poor Boy

It seems that when one falls in love with music, when it becomes something one feels the need to know everything about, the more one moves forward, the further back one ends up. Or perhaps that’s just my own experience. I may be a special case (feel free to define “special” however you want there), but I find when I fall in love with a new artist, I want to know what moved him, who influenced her, what did they listen to that caused them to pick instruments and play? I’ve found many favorite artists whom I might never have heard otherwise that way: Doc Watson, Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Django Reinhardt, etc.

So when A.A. Bondy listed “John Fahey’s right hand” alongside influences/inspirations like trains, people who play bowed saws and James Jamerson’s pointer finger, I had to look Fahey up to satisfy my curiosity. And, as with many of these backwards discoveries, I felt stupid for having never heard of the man before.

John Fahey was an exceptional finger-picking guitarist who was born in Washington, D.C., in February … Continue reading