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.