Monday, December 20, 2021

John Fahey - Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (The Fonotone Years 1958-1965) [2011] (5 x CD's)

 

JOHN FAHEY

John Fahey - Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (The Fonotone Years 1958-1965) [2011] (5 x CD's)

A rich exploration of Appalachian roots, Delta blues, and country, this isn't just a celebration of the grandfather of steel-string guitar fingerpicking, it's a history of American music.

Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You: The Fonotone Years, 1958–1965 is the title of a box set compilation of recordings by American fingerstyle guitarist and composer John Fahey, released in 2011. The collection consists of 115 tracks on five CDs. The mostly unreleased material was recorded for Joe Bussard's Fonotone label. The original reel-to-reel tapes used for 78-rpm records were remastered and a large amount of documentary data is included in an 88-page hardcover book. The project was completed by Glenn Jones, Dean Blackwood and Lance Ledbetter of Dust-to-Digital.

Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You: The Fonotone Years, 1958-1965 is a massive John Fahey document that was a full decade in the making by Dean Blackwood of Revenant, guitarist Glenn Jones, and Lance Ledbetter of Dust-to-Digital. Released a full decade after Fahey's death, it contains 115 tracks compiling the guitarist's complete 78-rpm recordings for Joe Bussard's Fonotone label -- solo, as Blind Thomas, the Mississippi Swampers, etc. - remastered from the original reel-to-reel tapes. These are Fahey's earliest recordings, the vast majority of which are previously unreleased on CD. The 12" x 12" collection also contains an 88-page hardback book with essays and track annotations by Jones and contributions from Eddie Dean, Claudio Guerrieri, Malcolm Kirton, Mike Stewart, and R. Anthony Lee, as well as a previously unpublished 1967 interview by Douglas Blazek. (Allmusic review by Thom Jurek)

The set was dedicated to John's mother, Jane C. Hayes and the late musician Jack Rose.

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Track lists


CD1

01 John Fahey Interview With John Fahey on Fonotone Records and Joe Bussard 2:59

02 John Fahey Franklin Blues 3:15

03 John Fahey Smoketown Strut 3:14

04 John Fahey Steel Guitar Rag 3:24

05 John Fahey Takoma Park Pool Hall Blues 3:32

06 John Fahey Buck Dancer's Choice 3:19

07 John Fahey Medley: Pretty Polly, Shortnin' Bread 3:40

08 John Fahey Barbara Namkin Blues 3:13

09 John Fahey In Christ There is No East Or West 3:57

10 John Fahey Stak 'o Lee Blues [Louis Collins] 3:24

11 John Fahey The Transcendental Waterfall 3:01

12 John Fahey John Henry 3:09

13 John Fahey Over the Hill Blues 3:57

14 John Fahey St. Louis Blues 4:06

15 John Fahey On Doing an Evil Deed Blues 3:29

16 John Fahey Reinumeration Blues [Brenda's Blues] 2:08

17 John Fahey The Transcendental Waterfall 5:09

18 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Mississippi Boweavil Blues 2:46

19 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Green River Blues 2:59

20 John Fahey Over the Hill Blues 2:44

21 John Fahey Libba's Rag 3:08

22 John Fahey Chris's Rag 3:14


CD2

01 John Fahey St. Louis Tickle 3:12

02 John Fahey Pat Sullivan's Blues 3:24

03 John Fahey Blind Blues [Martin's Esso Blues] 2:41

04 John Fahey Poor Boy Blues (Vocal) 3:36

05 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Long Time Town Blues 3:29

06 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Gulf Port Island Blues 3:32

07 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Blind Thomas Blues Part 1 3:20

08 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Blind Thomas Blues Part 2 3:24

09 John Fahey as Blind Thomas New Newport News Blues #2 (Instrumental) 2:56

10 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Wanda Russell's Blues (Instrumental) 3:21

11 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Going Away to Leave You Blues 3:13

12 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Lay My Burden Down 2:28

13 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Hill High Blues (Instrumental) 3:06

14 John Fahey as Blind Thomas John Henry (Instrumental) 2:54

15 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Paint Brush Blues (Instrumental) 3:18

16 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Blind Thomas Blues Part 3 3:11

17 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Blind Thomas Blues Part 4 3:29

18 John Fahey as Blind Thomas You Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond 3:00

19 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin' Bed 3:11

20 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Banty Rooster Blues 3:13

21 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Tom Rushen Blues 3:35


CD3

01 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Yallaboosha River Blues 3:43

02 John Fahey as Blind Thomas You Gonna Miss Me 3:20

03 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Wissenschaftlich River Blues Part 1 3:17

04 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Wissenschaftlich River Blues Part 2 3:29

05 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Zekiah Swamp Blues 3:25

06 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Nobody's Business 3:12

07 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Going Crabbing Talking Blues Part 1 3:09

08 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Going Crabbing Talking Blues Part 2 3:15

09 John Fahey as Blind Thomas You Better Get Right So God Can Use You 3:27

10 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Weissman Blues (Instrumental) 3:06

11 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Dasein River Blues (Instrumental) 3:13

12 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Racemic Tartrate River Blues Part 1 (Instrumental) 3:11

13 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Racemic Tartrate River Blues Part 2 (Instrumental) 3:13

14 John Fahey Smoky Ordinary Blues [Dance of the Inhabitants] 3:01

15 John Fahey as Blind Thomas I Shall Not Be Moved (One Mo' Glas O' Whiskey Fo' Thee Road) 3:07

16 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Old Country Rock (Instrumental) 3:11

17 John Fahey as Blind Thomas Little Hat Blues (Instrumental) 3:19

18 John Fahey Guitar Solo Title Unknown [Revelation on the Banks of the Pawtuxent] 2:57

19 John Fahey Guitar Solo Title Unknown [Night Train to Valhalla] 3:27

20 John Fahey Some Summer Day 5:44

21 John Fahey The Langley Two-Step 1:37

22 John Fahey Dream of the Origin of the French Broad River 2:53


CD4

01 John Fahey & Nancy McLean Saint John's Hornpipe 1:12

02 John Fahey & Nancy McLean Sail Away Ladies 1:16

03 John Fahey & Nancy McLean Dreaming Under the B & O Trestle 3:19

04 John Fahey & Nancy McLean 900 Miles 4:36

05 John Fahey & Nancy McLean Prince George's Dance 2:59

06 John Fahey & Nancy McLean Improvisation for Flute and Guitar 3:33

07 John Fahey Dorothy, Calvert Street Blues [Brenda's Blues] 1:40

08 John Fahey Brenda's Blues 0:46

09 John Fahey Buck Dancer's Choice 1:29

10 John Fahey Night Train to Valhalla 4:22

11 John Fahey & Fran Vandiver In the Pines 2:49

12 John Fahey & Fran Vandiver Pretty Polly 3:31

13 John Fahey & Fran Vandiver Take This Hammer 4:09

14 John Fahey Yazoo Basin Blues 6:38

15 John Fahey Stomping Tonight on the (Old) Pennsylvania, Alabama Border 3:47

16 John Fahey Smoky Ordinary Blues, [Dance of the Inhabitants] 2:22

17 John Fahey Revelation on the Banks of the Pawtuxent 3:17

18 John Fahey Bean Vine Blues [Pea Vine Blues] 2:18

19 Mississippi Swampers Green Blues 2:46

20 Mississippi Swampers Stone Pony 2:50


CD5

01 John Fahey Dorothy, Calvert Street Blues [Brenda's Blues] 0:57

02 John Fahey Days Have Gone By 3:11

03 John Fahey Some Summer Day 3:47

04 John Fahey's Shuffle Band Texas & Pacific Blues [My Bucket's Got a Hole in It] 2:09

05 John Fahey's Shuffle Band John Henry Blues 2:38

06 John Fahey Brenda's Blues 1:49

07 John Fahey St. Patrick's Hymn 1:52

08 John Fahey Bicycle Built for Two 1:24

09 John Fahey The Blues You Saved for Me 1:35

10 John Fahey House Carpenter 1:30

11 John Fahey How Long 2:25

12 John Fahey The Portland Cement Factory at Monolith, California 4:32

13 John Fahey You Take the E Train [The Last Steam Engine Train] 2:33

14 John Fahey I Sing a Song of the Saints of God 3:14

15 John Fahey How Long 2:11

16 John Fahey O Jesus I Have Promised 3:06

17 John Fahey Untitled 1:09

18 John Fahey Medley: Untitled,O Jesus I Have Promised 3:24

19 John Fahey I Am a Rake and Rambling Boy 1:46

20 John Fahey Medley: Goodbye Old Paint, Whoopee Ti-Yi-Yo, Git Along Little Doggies 1:25

21 John Fahey Goodbye Old Paint 1:00

22 John Fahey Simple Gifts 0:53

23 John Fahey Untitled 1:37

24 John Fahey Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie 1:41

25 John Fahey Goodbye Old Paint 1:16

26 John Fahey Western Medley 6:01

27 John Fahey Durgan Park 2:06

28 John Fahey The Bitter Lemon 2:46

29 John Fahey Old Southern Medley (Fragment) 0:12

30 John Fahey Bottleneck Blues 2:59

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10 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this massive, hard to find Fahey set!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi cgm,
      This is such a great listen. Enjoy!

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. What an amazing artist! What a great set. I had never heard of John Fahey. I feel somehow I have been missing out as I admire great acoustic guitar masters. Thank you for turning me on to another gifted master of the fret board.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Unknown,
      Isn't it great to find new music that moves you...

      Cheers.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for this Butterboy. He was certainly a talented yet strange man (judging from what I've read about him) despite his talent and fretboard prowess he was pretty well unknown beyond a small cult following, and died lonely and bitter in dire poverty. I often wondered why he didn't switch to an electric guitar and join a blues band like Canned Heat (he would have made a fine replacement for the Owl after he died, playing the Delta style, open tunings, that the Owl used.) He could have made some decent money and widely increased his name & popularity, and continued with his solo acoustic recordings at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bob Mac,
      Ia glad this set has opened many thoughts of this great artist.
      Despite his cult following I too am surprised that he was not more regarded however I read that he was ranked 35th on Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list. He may have been a difficult genius and didn't really connect well with other musicians... Peter Green left the planet for a long while too.

      Cheers.

      Delete
  4. As a John Fahey enthusiast, I already have this set, though I'm glad to see it posted here for others to check out. In response to Bob Mac, I would say that Fahey was not the type who could have joined a band: he was too curmudgeonly, idiosyncratic, and fiercely independent for that. Of course, he was also brilliant, hilarious, and totally committed to his art, but that's an entirely different set of considerations. Sometime during the late 1980s or early 1990s, I went to see him play at a small club in Southern California. Part-way through the performance, he stopped, lit up a cigarette, and sat there surveying the audience as he smoked. His observation at the time was that, since there would eventually be an intermission for the audience, he figured he was entitled to an intermission, too. I ended up chatting with him for a bit after the show. He mentioned that he was sick and tired of his landlord, whom (he said) he felt like blowing away with a 12-gauge shotgun. But Fahey couldn't possibly have gotten by as a workaday musician, not if his life depended on it -- which, unfortunately, is more or less how things finally went for him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Crab Devil,
      Thank you for sharing your experience with John Fahey. It offers a good insight into the man and his playing. He seems to have been a complex and random personality.

      Cheers.

      Delete
  5. “Past has come back to haunt me” and I like it!!
    Thank you Butterboy.Best wishes for Christmas time!!

    ReplyDelete