Posted by themusicsover on February 22, 2010
February 28, 1939 – February 22, 2001
John Fahey was an influential folk and blues guitarist who is revered for his minimalistic steel string finger-picking style of play. Fahey bought his first guitar at the age of 13, and by the time he was 20, he was making his own recordings. Besides his amazing guitar skill, what separated Fahey from most other musicians at the time, was that he started his own record label, Takoma Records through which to release while he was still just a teenager. Through all this, Fahey continued his education, eventually earning a Master’s degree in folklore from UCLA. As a musicologist, Fahey tracked down the long forgotten blues great, Bukka White whom he recorded and helped re-launch a career during the folk and blues revival of the early ’60s. And he did the same for Skip James. Fahey continued to release his own outstanding guitar-centric albums throughout the ’70s while helping to launch the careers of the likes of Leo Kottke, George Winston and Robbie Basho. In recent years, he has been noted as a direct influence by such contemporary musicians as M. Ward, Sufjan Stevens, Devendra Banhart, and Sonic Youth’s Lee Renaldo. Health and financial problems plagued John Fahey during his final years, and he was reportedly living out of cheap hotels until on February 22, 2001, he died following bypass surgery at the age of 61.
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