traumatic harmony
the pataphysical study of randomized sound
2.25.2006
John Fahey - Red Cross

All I have to say is that I can think of few things I would rather come home to after a cold night in New York City of not enough drinks and a few too many cigarettes is this album. Somehow or other Fahey manages to capture perfect melancholy with just an acoustic guitar and an echo pedal. It's almost as if Fahey is speaking from beyond the grave (he died shortly after this album was recorded), a ghostly recollection of a life's worth of acoustic guitar picking. I want to simultaneously burst into tears and scream in joy. And his rendition of "Summertime" is possibly the most soul-crushing version yet put to tape. We should all hope to someday make a musical statement this complete. 
Comments:
I totally agree with your beautiful review of Red Cross. Few instrumentalists are able to express as much emotion as John Fahey. Speaking of messages from the grave: Have you heard John's track on the "Friends of Fahey Tribute" album, released on Slackertone Records in March? It's a beautiful Fahey track called "Why haven't I heard from you?" that starts out with John talking. (I think it's a message from someone's answering machine. Worth checking out.
 
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7/29/2008

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