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John Fahey, Vol. 4: The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party and Other Excursions CD


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Biography

John Fahey (February 28, 1939 – February 22, 2001) was an American fingerstyle guitarist and composer who pioneered the steel-string acoustic guitar as a solo instrument. His style has been greatly influential and has been described as the foundation of American Primitivism, a term borrowed from painting and referring mainly to the self-taught nature of the music and its minimalist ... Read more in Amazon's John Fahey Store

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John Fahey, Vol. 4: The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party and Other Excursions + Days Have Gone By Volume 6
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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Dec. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Ace
  • ASIN: B000050XGR
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,147 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party
2. Knott's Berry Farm Molly
3. Will the Circle Be Unbroken
4. Guitar Excursion Into The Unknown
5. 900 Miles
6. Sail Away Ladies
7. Oh Come, Oh Come Emanuel

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By P. Bryant VINE VOICE on 31 Oct. 2000
Format: Audio CD
My personal favourite Fahey album, originally released in late 1966, containing the exciting, gorgeous and mesmerising title track, all 19 minutes of it and not a note wasted, each section brilliantly melodic and crisp, and so superior to the more meandering works of later years. As well as that, the truly exotic guitar/veena 6 minute epic "Sail Away Ladies" with Blind Owl Wilson of Canned Heat, the guitar/church organ duet (has there ever been another one of those anywhere?) "Will the Circle be Unbroken" in which a rather dirgy Old Timey hymn is turned into a horror movie soundtrack, and, as if that wasn't deranged enough, "Guitar Excursion into the Unknown" which was too frightening for Fahey when he composed it in 1962, but here it is. So stylistically this is all over the place, unlike "America" or "Fare Forward Voyager" which have coherence, grace and calm. "San Bernardino" has anything but, it careens all over the place. If you like Fahey, you know you need this. If you've never heard him, start here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul of London on 6 Jun. 2012
Format: Audio CD
The sleeve-notes to this reissue CD explain why John Fahey did not like this album. The long title track describes musically what was not a happy evening for him, and I can imagine why, once having got it down in music, he didn't want to ponder too much over it. But Fahey's discomfiture is, perhaps perversely, the listener's pleasure, and the title track is for me one of the very best things that he ever recorded.

Back in the mid-1970s I was by chance visiting the home of a chap who since then has had quite a career as a music journalist and biographer. From the record-player came this astonishing solo guitar tune, long and at times exhilarating, at others quiet and reflective. 'Who's this?', I asked. 'John Fahey', came the reply. I just had to buy it. It wasn't that easy finding his LPs, but they would turn up as imports in the now-closed Dobell's folk and blues shop or occasionally in the chain shops, and a few were issued here. This one, with its bright orange cover, was an import and cost a few bob, but it was worth it, and its re-release, Fahey's worries notwithstanding, was most welcome.

The 19-minute title track is a delight, with its changing moods and tempi, and the slide interlude is unsurpassed. This complex but wonderfully flowing track alone is worth the price of the CD. Other gems are the chirpy guitar/veena duet 'Sail Away Ladies', the downright weird organ/guitar duet 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken?', the beautiful guitar and flute rendering of '900 Miles', and the closing hymn 'O Come, O Come Emanuel'. Fahey often ended his albums with a sombre hymn, and whilst I am not a religious bloke, I do like his renderings of hymns and this is about the best of them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tom Evans on 18 Mar. 2009
Format: Audio CD
It shows my age that I first owned this on vinyl, when it was new. It sounded beautiful, brilliant and other-worldly. The mix of traditional American folk and blues guitar, avant-garde experiment and a touch of religion, and the slow lazy rhythms, was a heady brew. I lost the album on the way, and hadn't heard it for over 30 years: unlike most things, it is just as fresh and good the second time around. Fahey was an original, clearly an impossible man, and not everything of his works. But this is one to discover if you want to hear what his (very sophisticated) American primitivism was all about. It is also a historic document of a moment and place in twentieth-century musical culture.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
One of the all time greatest recordings 12 Jan. 2001
By "girgia" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am so glad to be able to finally listen to this without the crackles and pops on my vinyl to tape recording.
This is the album that sets Fahey on a pinnacle of guitar virtuosity and creative genius. It is as much an exporation of sound as it is an emotional tour de force as Fahey zigs, zags, and pirouettes from the still center into hypersonic overdrive across a moody and melodic soundscape.
I first heard this on an old Tom Donahue radio show on KMPX in SF in 1967. I was sitting in a parlor in Oakland and was just blown away completely and still am.
I even like what some call "filler."
When "Days Have Gone By" finally gets rereleased my Fahey void will be filled.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Fahey's First Symphony for solo guitar 3 Nov. 2000
By rash67 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This music IS the Old South. Dusty country roads, cotton and tobacco fields. I am amazed this has not been used as a soundtrack!
The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party (GSBBP) stands as Fahey's towering achievement, a Symphony for Solo Guitar (sonata sounds too confining). It is the first, most approachable and most coherent of his long works. I am not exaggerating when I say it is so good, it should be covered by other artists - John Williams? If complex blues works by Winton Marsallis can be called "Classical", certainly this can.
It starts with a major key sunny Ragtime Gallop, and then descends into mysterious minor key in a musings and inventions sounding alternatively Spanish, Bluesy, Native American and even Raga-esque. It holds ones interest for the entire 20 some minutes (not like many of the other over-long jamming pieces of the 60's). His other two long masterpieces on America are somewhat more dissonant and take longer to develop. Fahey once said he trying to create a symphony for the solo guitar and he certainly succeded here!
Guitar fanatics NOTE: all the sounds you here were created with one acoustic guitar, 4 microphones, a tape loop (echoplex) and a tape recorder. None of the zillions of gismos that today's guitarists use!
Knott's Barry Farm Molly uses tape editing and backward tape (two years before the Beatles "Sgt Pepper's"). Fahey's Guitar turns to rubber and then back to a guitar!
The liner notes state Fahey doesn't like this record.
He played the Birchmere a decade ago, I sat in front of him (I tuned his guitar for him!) I asked him when this was going to be on CD. He also told me that night that he didn't like this recording. I guess it's because of the personal events happening to him when he recorded it. I guess Tacoma Park, MD, where Fahey grew up, was once a pretty wild place.
However I must add, the rest of the album is filler. From amaturish to awful. That's why I can only give it fours stars. Maybe that's what he didn't like it. But GSBBP and Molly, are brilliant. There is 25 minutes of the best most musically satisfying stuff he ever did. Not short 4 minutes blues and ragtime, coherent exposition in a classical idiom.
And you get Fahey's zany album notes written by one of his many alter-egos.
And those parts definately worth having!
My favorite Fahey record 31 Dec. 2014
By N. Harpe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Had this in vinyl many moons ago. My favorite Fahey record. I was reading the book "Blind Owl Blues" which mentioned this record.
Five Stars 25 Feb. 2015
By jason eggers - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Perfect background music to set a mood.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fahey's San Bernadino Vol 4 8 Jan. 2013
By rschust - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have the original vinyl but it is worn. This replaces it for listening: the sound from the CD is fine. The service and price were exemplary for this rare item.
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