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John Fahey - Vol. 1 Blind Joe Death LP
4 Men with Beards reissue.
For his first Takoma release, Fahey essentially presented an altered version of his extremely limited-edition (less than 100 copies), self-pressed 1959 debut. All but one of the songs from that legendary 1959 effort are here, but some of them are 1964 re-recordings, as Fahey felt (correctly) that his technique had improved so much that they would benefit from being recut. The album's mystique probably owes more to the 1959 record's rarity (and utter oddity in the context of its era) than the music, in which Fahey's experimental blues-folk acoustic fusion is just beginning to take shape. It remains a very interesting record from a historical perspective, however, as few if any other guitarists were attempting to interpret blues and folk idioms in such an idiosyncratic fashion in the late '50s and early '60s. No need to look for the rare original 1964 album; all the cuts have been reissued on the CD compilation The Legend of Blind Joe Death, which also includes the entirety of the version of Blind Joe Death that he re-recorded yet again for Takoma in 1967.