Blind Joe Death

Blind Joe Death is the first album by American fingerstyle guitarist and composer John Fahey. There are three different versions of the album, and the original self-released edition of fewer than 100 copies is extremely rare. It was one of the first albums recorded and produced by an independent artist.

The recording of steel string acoustic guitar solos was "incredibly avant-garde" in 1959. It was released on Takoma Records, Fahey's own creation. It was not marketed and made no impression on the American record-buying public.

Its popularity, significance in guitar music, and critical reception has steadily increased over the years. The 1967 release received five stars in the second edition of the Rolling Stone Record Guide.

Music historian Richie Unterberger characterized the impact of Blind Joe Death, noting it as being "a very interesting record from a historical perspective...as few if any other guitarists were attempting to interpret blues and folk idioms in such an idiosyncratic fashion in the late '50s and early '60s." Richard Cook of the NewStatesman wrote "Only 100 copies were pressed. Incredibly, it was still enough of a milestone to secure him an almost worldwide reputation."

On April 6, 2011, the album was deemed by the Library of Congress to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically important" and added to the United States National Recording Registry for the year 2010.

Read more about Blind Joe DeathHistory, Reissues, Reception, Legacy, Personnel

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