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The Legend Of Blind Joe Death

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The Legend Of Blind Joe Death album cover
01
On Doing An Evil Deed Blues
5:08
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02
St. Louis Blues
4:53
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03
Poor Boy Long Ways From Home
3:12
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04
Uncloudy Day
3:24
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05
John Henry
3:21
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06
In Christ There Is No East Or West
2:22
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07
Desperate Man Blues
4:06
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08
Sun Gonna Shine In My Back Door Someday Blues
3:33
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09
Sligo River Blues
3:05
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10
On Doing An Evil Deed Blues
3:57
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11
St. Louis Blues
3:17
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12
Poor Boy Long Ways From Home
2:24
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13
Uncloudy Day
2:23
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14
John Henry
2:06
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15
In Christ There Is No East Or West
2:44
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16
Desperate Man Blues
3:59
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17
Sun Gonna Shine In My Back Door Someday Blues
4:37
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18
Sligo River Blues
2:34
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19
I'm Gonna Do All I Can For My Lord
1:25
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20
The Transcendental Waterfall
10:36
 
21
West Coast Blues
1:26
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 21   Total Length: 74:32

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Wondering Sound

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Amanda Petrusich

Contributor

Amanda Petrusich is the author of the forthcoming DO NOT SELL AT ANY PRICE (Scribner), a book about collectors of rare 78 rpm records (if you’ve got a basement...more »

10.14.09
Shattering notions of what an acoustic guitar should do
2006 | Label: Concord Records, Inc.

Fahey pulled on disparate American strings, incorporating blues, noise and traditional folk into his acoustic visions, defining and then shattering notions of what an acoustic guitar should and shouldn't do. Fahey had been weirdly preoccupied with a self-fabricated hero, the nonexistent Blind Joe Death, repeatedly re-recording and reissuing his 1959 debut LP, a tribute to Blind Joe, with new renditions and sequencing in 1964 and 1967. This collection, released in 1996, collects nearly all the… read more »

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One of a kind

DrR

I saw Fahey play in a club in NY in the early 80's, the place was almost empty. I got the feeling that most of the world does not know or appreciate the genius of what this man can do. This particular album has been a mainstay in my house for decades. Listen to genius.

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Yes

tal4jesus

This is primal blues and americana. Lovely dissonance, lilting oblique bends, and a sense of foreboding. Absolutely wonderful.

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Very Nice

Tookelso

Excellent diversity.

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essential Americana

freeimprov

John Fahey almost invented fingerstyle steel-string guitar as a solo instrument. Before Fahey came along, guitar was an accompaniment instrument, and instrumental excursions were rare. Fahey started on a firm foundation of country blues, but added elements from classical and avant-garde, plus long flights of improvisation. At first it sounds primitive, even crude, but the more you listen, the more subtleties you hear. His breakthroughs led to Leo Kottke and ultimately the Windham Hill approach in America, and also influenced the British folk guitar movement. The tracks on this album go back to Fahey's earliest work, and also re-recordings of tracks - not just with better equipment, but with another decades' worth of conception. It's well worth getting the whole album, not just one set of tracks. You can hear his evolution as a player.

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They Say All Music Guide

The saga of Blind Joe Death is an extremely confusing one, for those listeners who haven’t been following Fahey’s career from the beginning. In short: Fahey originally recorded Blind Joe Death in 1959, in an extremely rare, self-released edition of less than 100 copies. Though few heard it, his debut album was a groundbreaker on the acoustic folk scene in its unusually experimental approach to blues and folk styles, though its innovations sound relatively tame when compared to the best of Fahey’s subsequent work. Fahey reissued the album in 1964 on Takoma, re-recording some of the cuts, and dropping one selection (“West Coast Blues”). In 1967, when the album was issued for the stereo market, Fahey re-recorded the entire album from scratch, resulting in performances of the exact same new material, but with improved fidelity and technique. This reissue does us all a mammoth favor by combining the 1964 and 1967 editions of the album (which, to make matters more confusing, bore the exact same catalog number, Takoma 1002) onto one 75-minute disc. A previously unreleased 1964 version of “West Coast Blues,” a song which had been on the 1959 edition of Blind Joe Death but was left off subsequent configurations, is added as a bonus cut. Completists should note that this is not the final word in the Blind Joe Death saga. Several of the versions originally presented on the 1959 album that were re-recorded for both the 1964 and 1967 remakes are still absent, for space reasons and because the compilers themselves feel that the later renditions are notably superior. Still, it’s a near-definitive package of the important Blind Joe Death material, with extensive historical liner notes explaining the circumstances that gave rise to its various incarnations. – Richie Unterberger

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