John Fahey – Vol 3: Dance of Death & Other Plantation Favorites Takoma C 1004 (1965)
As a guitarist John Fahey’s talents grew quickly in the early 1960s. Vol 3: Dance of Death & Other Plantation Favorites was definitely his most accomplished album to date (though later re-recordings of his first two albums are just as good). He was still operating in reach of the traditional blues, folk and country material he drew from. Excursions into the realm of tape manipulation, field recording overdubs, and experimental guitar techniques still lay in the future. But his trademark ability to take traditional forms and re-purpose them into something a little darker and more existential — by way of trying to play a “symphony” on a single steel string acoustic guitar — coalesced here. Surely one of the man’s best efforts. Worthy of plenty of spins.