John Fahey fans will be pleased to hear that the first definitive biography of the legendary American Primitive guitarist will be published in June 2014 by Chicago Review Press. Dance of Death: The Life Of John Fahey–American Guitarist was written by Steve Lowenthal who is also a writer and editor of Swingset Magazine, runs the label Plastic Records and curates the Vin du Select Qualitie series of solo acoustic guitar releases such as the discordant ballads of Thurston Moore.
A resurgence and interest in John Fahey’s music and life continues to bubble to the surface with the latest being James Cullingham’s biographical documentary In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey which has been screened widely and will be out soon on DVD via Tamarack Productions (this should be out on DVD in November).
Some think of him as a foundational figure in American folk music. Fahey himself, however, insisted “I am not a volk, how can I be a volk? I’m from the suburbs.” All jesting aside, Fahey, as both musician and musicologist, made a fundamental contribution to the global understanding of classical American musics such as Delta blues, Appalachian bluegrass and New Orleans jazz.
Further details on the book are being kept under wraps until nearer publication. If you’re wanting to learn more about Fahey then check out www.johnfahey.com which has heaps of resources including tablatures for guitarists. Also this blog is worth checking.