John Fahey – The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death

The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death

John FaheyThe Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death Riverboat RB-1 (1965)

By the time he recorded The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death, John Fahey was beginning to experiment.  He was drawing in influence not just from country, blues and folk, but also Euro-classical and Indian classical traditions.  What holds this album back from being great is that he’s going in too many different directions.  He doesn’t quit fit everything together as seamlessly as he would later on The Yellow Princess or in as sweeping and epic a way as on America, and for that matter the experiments are a bit more tepid than on the likes of Guitar Vol. 4 (The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party and Other Excursions), which is admittedly a bit uneven.  Fahey admirers will nonetheless dig this, and it still holds the potential to open a few eyes and ears for the unconverted too.  If you have the option, though, head for The Yellow Princess and America first to hear the ideas here more fully realized.