The Sentinel

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Category Archives: American Primitive

Jim O’Rourke – 94 The Long Way

Some Americana with electric, country flourishes with the (always welcome) addition of brass. Lovely, warm stuff from O’Rourke’s 1997 album ‘Bad Timing’.


Jim O’Rourke – There’s Hell in Hello, But More in Goodbye

This is from O’Rourke’s 1997 album ‘Bad Timing’; a beautiful album that has any seasoned listener coming to the realisation that Jim is a big John Fahey fan, as there is a huge influence from the Appalachian folk/Indian raga/ Bluegrass maestro on this work. Jim makes music as hauntingly affective as Fahey’s for sure, and the opener ‘There’s Hell In Hello But More In Goodbye’ is a perfect example of that, while possibly being the least like a strict homage.

Starting off in pure John Fahey style, the track then moves into the kind of territory that Tortoise traversed at their most minimal, as well as inspired. Of course, Jim had close dealings with Tortoise so the comparison isn’t that much of a surprise.

Brilliant piece of music from a beautiful album.

John Fahey – Variations On The Coocoo

Mesmerising stuff from John Fahey and his magic strings. This is from his 1965 album ‘The Dance of Death And Other Plantation Favorites’

John Fahey – A Raga Called Pat Part One

Some low tech field recordings give way to some haunting bluegrass that quickly evolves into a kind of Hillbilly raga dervish. Amazing stuff from his brilliant 1967 album ‘Days Have Gone By’.

Henry Flynt – Blue Sky, Highway And Thyme

Mosey on down to the land of Avant-Garde Hillbilly music a la Henry Flynt. This is pretty minimal stuff; bravely so, and is from the 2002 collection ‘Back Porch Hillbilly Blues Volume 1’. From sometime in the ’60’s…..that’s the best we can do.

John Fahey – Wine & Roses (Live)

The man himself playing live in Hamburg, 1978. Truly magical.

John Fahey – When The Fire & Roses Are One

Pure magic from Fahey here, as ever. Incredible stuff from one man and his guitar; from his 1973 album ‘Fare Forward Voyagers’.

John Fahey – Fare Forward Voyagers

Bluegrass, Appalachian folk, Indian raga’s; all blended into the Fahey magick. Fahey’s term for this was ‘American Primitive’; an incredible display of what one man can conjure from an acoustic guitar. This is from the album ‘Fare Forward Voyagers (Soldier’s Choice)’ (1973).

John Fahey – Jesus Is A Dying Bedmaker

Opening track from 1971’s ‘America’, and Fahey is as magical as ever.

John Fahey – The Great San Bernadino Birthday Party

Epic Fahey opening track from 1966’s Volume 4. Various snippets of Fahey’s beuatiful guitar style pieced together and ending up sounding like the soundtrack to walking through a forest. You have the shaded areas, and parts where you are walking out into a clearing with the sun beating down on you.


Laurence Johns

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