13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
If there is a best Fahey album this is it,
This review is from: John Fahey, Vol. 4: The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party and Other Excursions (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.