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Guitarist John Fahey Dies at 61

Guitarist John Fahey, whose innovative acoustic style influenced a

generation of musicians, died on Feb. 23 at age 61 after undergoing a

sextuple bypass operation in Salem, Oregon two days prior.

Fahey was born

in Maryland in 1939 and started playing guitar at age 13. After graduating

from American University, Fahey moved to California in 1963, where he

began his long recording career, established his own label, Takoma

Records, and was instrumental in the rediscovery of blues artists Skip

James and Bukka White. Takoma’s catalog is now owned by Fantasy Records,

and Fahey’s Takoma LPs are now being reissued on CD. In the early 1990s he

began Revenant to reissue classic recordings of early blues, old time

music, and avant-garde jazz. Fahey had just completed a new album at the

time of his death.

Originally Published