dfbm #100 - Morning Raga Pt. 17 – 1000 Rose Edition
Welcome to the 100th digital mixtape on Dying For Bad Music.
I'm using this milestone to highlight an upcoming festival of American Primitive Solo Guitar music, which will take place in Takoma Park, Maryland, the town where the young John Fahey evoked the Great Koonklaster. From April 13th till 15th, venues in Takoma Park will host around 30 shows and events, all centered around the music genre and the legacy of one of the most interesting music personalities in the last 100 years1.
When the guitarist John Fahey sat down to record “The Takoma Park Pool Hall Blues” for Fonotone Records in 1958 he could not have imagined that he was starting an artistic movement or that generations of players would follow in his footsteps. The number of players who have since taken up the American Primitive mantle has grown exponentially year-by-year and album-by-album. The term has come to refer to a certain approach to playing the guitar (or banjo) that favors emotion and mood over virtuosity for its own sake. It is only fitting that this festival is being staged in Takoma Park, Fahey’s boyhood home, and that 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of his very first recordings.
-- Press Release
The following mix consists of (almost) all artists you will be able to see there live.
The organizers Jesse Sheppard, Kathy Harr, Glenn Jones, Margaret Holt and Steve Korn managed to invite seasoned legends like Peter Walker, Max Ochs, Don Bikoff, Georg Stavis or Mark Fossom as well as younger players like Daniel Bachman, Sarah Louise, Rob Noyes, Nick Schillace, Marissa Anderson and Will Csorba.
Also, planned are panels with people who worked with or have written about Fahey, the screening of Voice of the Eagle: The Enigma of Robbie Basho and rare John Fahey and Jack Rose footage.
If you are not sold yet, read this interview with organizer Jesse Sheppard or listen to the Fretboard Journal podcast with Glenn Jones and then go to their website to get your weekend pass (or if you are tight in time or money, they have day passes now).
This is going to be the comic con for guitar nerds. A once in a life time opportunity to see so many talents, heroes and friends - a get together of all the people you might know from twitter, facebook or your favorite music blog.
To make it extra nerdy, I created an online app that you can load on your phone and it shows you places around Takoma Park that are referenced in John Fahey's song titles or that he mentioned in his book "How Bluegrass Destroyed my Life" (added by Simone Romei). The map also includes places connected to Robbie Basho, Daniel Bachman, Richard Osborn, Jack Rose and other guitarists. If you are traveling you might be near a location that inspired one or another song or record cover.
Visit https://map.dyingforbadmusic.com/discover#12.0000/38.9736/-77.0179 and add the link to your home screen.
To round up this great event, there is a new compilation with extensive liner notes by Glenn Jones, called Thousand Incarnations Of The Rose: American Primitive Guitar & Banjo 1963-1974, which gives a great entry point into the world of American fingerstyle guitar and banjo.
- Alexander (alexander)
- Dylan Golden Aycock Hurry Autumn
- Danny Paul Grody The Sitting Tree
- Nick Schillace Your Memories Of Oklahoma
- Chuck Johnson Golden Rose at Dawn
- Daniel Bachman Seven Pines
- Nathan Bowles Blank Range - Hog Jank II
- Will Csorba Impressions of Susan (Fahey)
- Richard Osborn Still I Will Be Merry
- Itasca Serpentine Creek
- Don Bikoff Demise of the Zundapp
- Joseph Allred Holy Blue Window (for Daniel)
- George Stavis Goblins
- Peter Walker Steel String In C Major
- Max Ochs Hooray For Another Day
- Rob Noyes vi
- Harry Taussig Above The Mountain's Scarlet Ring
- Isasa Aina
- Mark Fosson Blue March Improvisation
- Alexander Turnquist Standing At The Entrance Of A Hidden City
- Matt Sowell Luke 7
- Willie Lane 9v Power On Earth
- Marisa Anderson Canaan's Land
- Sarah Louise Evidence Of A Bear
- Glenn Jones A Lark in Earnest
- Peter Lang Thoth Song
- Charlie Schmidt Acidalia Planitia
With that being said, the festival is not a Fahey tribute per se, even if it takes place in the town Fahey named his influential record label after and all the participants are playing a style of American fingerstyle guitar that goes beyond blues picking and that was somehow established by John A. Fahey and jokingly called "American Primitive". ↩