February 29, 2012

Robbie Basho - Twilight Peaks


February 28, 2012

John Fahey Guitar Tab

Today I've got a guest post from Dale Cotton of Ontario, Canada.  Dale is often found on the Yahoo! Fahey forum.  

New Era Guitars
Here is a tab I made decades ago and have recently worked on some more. I realize there are already tabs for this piece available, but hopefully having a different read on the same piece will be of use to somebody out there. In particular I've made more of an attempt to visually indicate rhythm/duration than is usually provided. The main thing, of course, with double-thumbing is that the base line falls on the beat and the notes in the melody line either fall on the beat as well (pinch) or between beats (roll). Since we have recordings to imitate, we don't really need to have any more than that in the notation. For me, it's just easier to read music without losing my place when I can see markings that group notes together by beat. The exact nature of the markings isn't all that important.

Joe Kirby Blues

BTW: I've noticed that many people these days seem to scorn tab, if anything even more than they scorn sheet music, especially in the realm of folk and blues. The case seems to be that it's more authentic to learn by imitating a live performance, and if that's not available, to imitate a recording. No argument from me ... so far as it goes. But allow me to gently point out that tablature precedes even what we now call "standard" or sheet music notation by centuries. Tab was written and widely circulated in Europe from the medieval era, through the renaissance, and well into the baroque, especially for plucked string instruments like the lute and guitar. If tablatures had not been written down back then, there are hundreds of popular songs and instrumental compositions that would long since have vanished from the face of the planet. And many of these are much closer in spirit to what we now call finger picking than anything from the intervening centuries.

The very fact that John Fahey didn't have to (re-)invent open tunings seems to be due to the spread of two remarkable guitar compositions we still know today, and both of which John Fahey recorded: Spanish Fandango and Sebastopol. These were written in the mid-1800s in open tuning and were known throughout North America, not via recordings or live concerts, but via sheet music. These two compositions were used over and over again in the instruction books that went hand in hand with the sale of the wildly popular parlour guitar of that era. John was a student of blues history; he would have known this to be true.

A century later, I like many thousands of others were able to learn acoustic guitar after being seduced by Blind Joe Death and company, not via tracking down John Fahey, then somehow getting him to teach us how to play. Instead, we bought books of tablature by Happy Traum, Stefan Grossman, and others. An entire generation of amateur guitarists who can read tablature as easily as you can read this page was born. Yes, folks: somehow we made do without YouTube in that unimaginably primitive era. ;)

And just to complete the circle: it's not inconceivable that John Fahey's compositions will be rediscovered a thousand years from now, not via recordings on obsolete media whose every bit has long since been scrambled, but via yellowed and tattered paper tablatures uncovered in some archeological dig. I've read that JF carried a book of lute tablature in his guitar case when he traveled - and while my suspicion was that he thought it might prove useful for impressing impressionable young ladies ;) - I also suspect he had heard lute recordings that struck a chord and fully intended to have a go at the material. So the tablature connection with even as inveterately an ear player as JF was may not be *quite* as remote as we might otherwise believe.

Thanks to Dale for taking the time to work on a classic Fahey tune.  Be sure to visit his photography site at Daystar Visions.  The music specific page is HERE.

I also wish to present to you some tabs sent to me by Paul...

Is there anything better than this?  No.  So I suggest that if you haven't already, you sit right down and learn this.  Oh, and here is a tab of it!

And here's some more Fahey tab.  I think all of this is already out there but I also think it's good to get different interpretations of them out there so you might want to check these out even if you recognize that they are already tabbed out some where on the web.

Thanks to Paul for sending these to me.  He's been working hard lately tabbing and there is some more I'll be posting for him soon.  Some nice surprises for sure!!!
I've got some minor news regarding Fahey tabs.  I have it on good authority that Stropes is considering a re-issue of the long out-of-print Fahey Xmas tab book.  Some errors would be fixed and possibly even some songs would be added.  It is not currently a work in progress, I'm told, but the idea is there.  

February 27, 2012

John Fahey - San Francisco 1969 & Silverton, OR 1987 Bootlegs

John Fahey

The Matrix
San Francisco, California
United States of America

11 February 1969

John Fahey - acoustic guitar

01. Bicycle Built For Two 1:06
02. Stomping Tonight on the Pennsylvania Alabama Border 5:34
03. Some Summer Day 5:39
04. The Yellow Princess 12:58
Total Time: 25:19


Palace Theater, Silverton, OR.
01 - Sunny Side of the Ocean / Spanish Two Step /Spanish Fandango / Spanish Two Step (again)
02-Evening Mysteries of Ferry Street
03-Are You From Dixie?
04-Slide Medley
05-Deep River/Old Man River
06-You'll Find Her Name Written There
08 - Poor Boy Long Ways From Home 
09-Away in a Manger/Jesus Won't You Come by Here/Go Tell It on the Mountain
10 - Poor Boy (the OTHER Poor Boy!) / Steel Guitar Rag

Total time approx 53 minutes.

Download MP3

From the notes:
Excellent 'low-fi' recording. Nice sound. The taper used the pause button often. You will hear it 'rip' at the end of most all tracks. I did not attempt to remove them. This is a great performance. I am not familiar enough with all of titles to get a song/set-list together here. Anyhow, I have listened to this show a few times over the past couple of days. It's really swell. Enjoy .
It's an ok show that has it's moments in my opinion.  Sorry, I didn't get the setlist done. EDIT: setlist done by a reader, thank YOU!


February 26, 2012

American Primitive on the Web

It's not like I'm the only guy out here posting on the internet about John Fahey or his influences.  Today I present a few sites that you may want to check out if you don't know about them.

First up is a recently launched site by Ryan Leaf.  It's a beautiful site and Ryan has posts up about some of my favorite guitarists, Glenn Jones and RC Johnson to name a couple.  Both of whom he has hosted for house concerts.

He also does some nice playing himself.

Check it out at These Paths We Tread.

Here's a guitarist, Malcolm from France that emailed me a while back praising my blog.  Well that's a sure way to win my favor!  :)  Malcolm plays some of his original tunes on Youtube, so lets see a bump in those views.  You won't be disappointed!!

Up next is Daniel Bachman.
A guitarist (and more) formerly know as Sacred Harp.  The German label Dying For Bad Music has released a new 7" from Bachman.  Check it out.

Sacred Harp - Rappahannock (For J.R.) - Salem, Oregon from Paul Murray on Vimeo.

Check out the label site and a search for American Primitive turns up for interesting artists.  Check out Nick Castell.

This is of course only a small sampling of what you can find out there if you just look around.

February 25, 2012

Kirill Nikolai & Colin Treiber "Three Studies Of October & The Cemetery For Mt.Vernon In Spring"

The name Kirill Nikolai may (or may not) be familiar to you. He is a member of Still Light an experimental folk trio featuring the considerable talents of Lucy Hague and Sand Snowman. Still Light released their "Lything" debut album first on Apollolaan Recordings and then reissued on vinyl on the wonderful tonefloat label.

For this superb release Kirill has collaborated with guitarist Colin Treiber. This two EP set contains recordings from October 2010 and Spring 2011. The first EP has three acoustic pieces. The second EP contains five tracks, consisting of three acoustic pieces divided by two field recordings. In Kirill's words "a kind of homage to John Fahey".  This double 3" cdr set comes in a selection of rustic handmade cloth pouches.

"Three Studies Of October" EP
1. One
2. Two
3. Three
Kirill Nikolai - acoustic guitar, electric guitar Colin Treiber - acoustic guitar Recorded October 2010

"The Cemetery For Mt. Vernon In Spring" EP
1. Pt. I
2. Pt. II
3. Pt. III
4. Pt. IV
5. Pt. V 
Kirill Nikolai - 6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, field recordings Colin Treiber - acoustic guitar Recorded Spring 2011

Made in a limited hand numbered edition of 50 copies.

Available now at Reverb Worship  Scroll down to the Feb. 2nd date to find more info and ordering details.

Kirill and some of his associates opened for Arborea when they went through Denver.

February 24, 2012

John Fahey - Live at Swarthmore College 1968 & Carnegie Hall 1973

Great to hear such an enthusiastic crowd at this show.

A note on the quality of the recording.  Realize that this is a recording made by an audience member most likely on the sly and the year is 1968.  I don't know who did this but bless him!!

A note on the quality of the performance.  Fahey is in fine form and complete control of his guitar, his fingers and his musical pieces.  In short, playing like a stud.

Fair warning, when track three is over, it'll break your heart.

1. Some Summer Day/Joe Kirby Blues
2. The Death Of The Clayton Peacock/Worried Blues
3. Requiem For Russell Blaine Cooper/Variations On The Coocoo


Since this is such a short show I can offer both the lossless format and the mp3.

Download FLAC

Download Mp3

If you are not sure which to download, go with the MP3.

Carnegie Hall
And here is the Carnegie Hall show.  Wow, I think that means you've really made it!

Stupid piano!!!!  Just imagine Fahey sitting out there on that vast stage.  Just him and his guitar, sitting on a chair...playing...

This is a quite good recording, again for the time, 1973, but quite good even so.  I hope you enjoy this one, I love FFV.  Just one of my all time favorites and then he wraps it with Beverly.  Can't get much better for me!

Only MP3 for this one.

Download it here.


February 23, 2012

John Fahey - University Of Washington, 1973

John Fahey
Date: 1973, Jan. or Feb.
Location: Seattle, WA
Venue: University Of Washington
Source: FM radio broadcast

01. Dj Intro
02. thus Krishna on the battlefield -> fare forward voyagers
03. dance of the inhabitants of the palace of king Phillip XIV of Spain
04. sunflower river blues -> revolt of the dyke brigade -> requiem for Mississippi John Hurt
05. stomping tonight on the Pennsylvania / alabama border -> in christ there is no east or west -> beverly 06. DJ Outro

Length: 70:18

Recorded off of KOL FM. The sound is excellent. This show was broadcast about two weeks after it happened.

Art is included in download.

Get it here.

February 22, 2012

Guitar Holder Effigy of John Fahey

Wood and wire.  Old strings, new strings.  Solid wood and plywood.  It’s no matter to me, really.  Bare fingers and flatpicks, fretted notes, chords, and the old broken top of a wine bottle.  An acoustic guitar sings to my soul.  There is nothing quite like the sound of one.
The beautiful things that John Fahey did with the acoustic guitar speak to me because he did them within the realm of the wire and the wood and he did them solo.  Fahey was one of many that brought the acoustic into it’s own.  It wasn’t just for folkies anymore. 

Blues artists, all but forgotten, were also part of this acoustic awakening.  They played the instrument so skillfully that they sounded like a band.  And thankfully the blues artists that had slipped into obscurity were being sought out at the time and Fahey played a part in that as well.

Fahey is one of the important figures in setting the acoustic guitar on a course true to it’s nature and potential.  He wanted to play it like a one-man-symphony.  Thankfully there was enough interest in his music to keep that course for many decades and to this day it seems as strong as ever.

Today begins yet another Fahey Week here at Delta-Slider.  I hope you enjoy it.  I’ll start it off with this crazy/cool John Fahey guitar holder effigy.  Seems like I’ve seen it before but I’m not sure so I thought I would post it.  

Check this out at the Jim Pallas site

February 20, 2012

A Hard Road to Travel: A Tribute to John Fahey

Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 7:30pm

Solo guitar performances from
Tinh Mahoney
Rick Ruskin
RC Johnston
Sean Smith
plus others.
$13 advance, $15 day of show.

Located in North Portland's Historic Mississippi District: the acclaimed former neighborhood Baptist church turned recording studio turned music venue and home of the best burgers. The venue's three properties can also be rented for private events and recording sessions. Tickets to all Mississippi Studios shows are available at the main bar and online through Ticketbiscuit at: www.mississippistudios.com (there are NO service charges for tickets purchased in person at our bar box)
View event on facebook

February 14, 2012

Glenn Jones on European Tour

Glenn Jones is headed to France, Belgium, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal.

He's asking to borrow a 12-string guitar as he is travelling w/out.  How cool would it be to have Glenn do a show with your guitar?  Check his facebook page for info!!

Check my calendar of events for these tour dates, just click on the tap in the upper right of the page, just below the banner.

Or go to Front Porch Productions

February 10, 2012

Sean Siegfried - Backwoods

This one has been out a while. One of many good things that I miss or just fall behind on when it comes to posting.

Work and Worry has a nice review.

I wanted to get this posted because Sean Siegfried has now tabbed out all the music to this release, Backwoods.

You can purchase it on his site.

February 8, 2012

Yair Yona - World Behind Curtains

It usually takes me a couple times to process a new collection of music.  I like to let it sit on the aural palate for a bit to get a handle on it.  Yair Yona's sophomore effort, World Behind Curtains is no different.  My emerging feeling was that this was a movie soundtrack.  But after a listen or two that didn't seem quite right.  Sure, it's cinematic, sweeping and gorgeous.  But there's more.

The opening track was speaking to me like an overture of life.  It sounds like a journey.  And the opening piece struck me as a composite of life, everything is humming along nicely and suddenly reality comes barging in.  No matter, Yona keeps pickin' and grinin' because like all of us, what choice do we have?

As I continued to listen to this effort I couldn't help but feel that each piece was emblematic of the stages of life we all go through.  A fascinating journey populated by Yona's unique and inventive arrangement of instruments ranging from string quartets to bouzouki to electric guitar.  And all of this nicely anchored by his influences.

Yona likes to get his heroes, his influences, all right out in the open.  His first release had a song paying tribute to John Fahey.  In this release Glenn Jones and Leo Kottke both get mentions in song titles.

This release is no surprise when you listen to Skinny Fists and Russian Dance form his first release, Remember. Should have seen this coming.  But who knew he would be so fantastically good at it?

Everyone interested in the American Primitive genre needs to sit up and take notice of this release.  This is a beautiful effort and frankly there is nothing primitive about it.  The music is mature, confident and, thankfully as fresh as anything in the realm of this style to be found out there!

World Behind Curtains hits the streets Feb. 14th.

Pre-order now, also listen to streaming...oh and limited edition vinyl!

Strange Attractors Audio House

Yair Yona

February 3, 2012

Robbie Basho in Fretboard Journal

Be sure to check out the latest issue of the Fretboard Journal, #24 for an article on Robbie Basho.  Even better is that the article is authored by Buck Curran!

Buck and his wife Shanti are the group Arborea and recently released Red Planet to critical acclaim (yes, I reviewed it too but Rolling Stone is a bit bigger than me...for now...).

Buck is also the curator of the excellent Robbie Basho tribute release, We are all one, In the Sun.

Buck was also kind enough to write an article here on Delta-Slider about Jack Rose and his slide guitar.

Be sure to check out the online notes about the article HERE that happen to mention a collection of artists, every one of which you can find right here on Delta-Slider!  Hmmm...Delta-Slider sounds like a cool place to hang out.

Visit Arborea

February 2, 2012

Mary Flower

Good little interview with Mary Flower.  Check it: Mary Flower – Interview and Music

Here's a song from Mary's latest CD, Misery Loves Company, one I highly recommend.


And then there is this little gem.  I love it and it's on my list of songs to learn!  


February 1, 2012

Yair Yona - New Release Coming Soon

Yair Yona is set to release his latest effort "World Behind Curtains," Feb. 14th for Strange Attractors Audio House.

Go to Yona's site for a free download of the new single!

In case you aren't familiar with Yair Yona you should know that he is very prolific and always has plenty of music out there for the listening.  Below is a small sample to get you by till the release date of the new CD/LP/MP3.  Oh yes...vinyl!

Also, if you haven't downloaded this authorized live bootleg, you can get it HERE.