Dir: James Cullingham
Print Source: James Cullingham
John Fahey was the legendary musician whose guitar playing drew on blues and folk traditions, jazz and experimentalism to create what was described as American primitivism. He made his first recordings with Joe Bussard (the subject of the great documentary Desperate Man Blues) and carved a career that would see him release a string of groundbreaking albums that influenced everybody from The Who’s Pete Townsend to Sonic Youth.
In 1959 Fahey founded Takoma Records – one of the first independent record labels – and hunted down blues legend Bukka White, getting the bluesman into the studio to record an album for the label. Over the following decades he was instrumental in releasing records by the likes of Charlie Patton, the Stanley Brothers and Dock Boggs and many others on his Revenant Records label.
Alongside music, Fahey also painted and wrote, his work appeared on the cover of Sonic Youth’s The Eternal and he won a Grammy for his liner notes for Revenant’s Anthology of American Folk Music.This beautifully shot documentary takes the audience through Fahey’s life and music. What emerges is his powerful commitment to all forms of music and a life dedicated to playing, recording and sharing it. Fahey emerges as something of a sonic visionary and a fan.
Told through archive footage, interviews with colleagues and contemporaries and some astonishing music, the film - named itself after Fahey’s fondness for titling his own records after a mythical figure - offers a fascinating vision of an American great.
Sun 7th, 4:15pm, SX
Sat 13th 8:00pm, C4 Luna
Sun 14th 2:30pm, C4 Luna
The Earth Wins