AN underrated West Coast guitarist, the great and mysterious John Fahey, is best known for gloomy, weird, angular records like "Blind Joe Death" and "The Voice of the Turtle" that begin in Charley Patton territory and in some ways anticipate the anti-folk movement.
But for me, Fahey and his "American primitivist" style is most important as part of my Christmas experience, and has been for decades now. Around this time of year, I develop this weirdly atavistic connection -- the kind I would surely find corny in others -- to my Anglo-Irish roots, and I play a lot of dark Celtic folk music, old and new. But there's nothing I play as often, or soak up as deeply, as Fahey's solo acoustic Christmas record, "The New Possibility," which I know from my parents.
In some ways -- I'm glad to say -- it's as gloomy, weird and angular as his other work. Fahey (who died in '01 -- here is his posthumous website) was an odd cat.
Here he is