June 20, 2008
John Fahey - Yes! Jesus Loves Me (Takoma, 1980)...
Although not necessarily the sort of figure you'd have down as a conventional Christian, John Fahey in fact recorded his debut album Blind Joe Death on consecrated ground, at a church in his native Takoma Park, Maryland. Some twenty-one years later (in 1980) Fahey took on a full album of Christian music and 'guitar hymns', although the cover-mounted sleeve imagery suggests Fahey's grip on the religion was somewhat askew: check out the stags and scythe-bearing skeletons at the foot of the crucifix. Fahey's interpretation of the music collected on this album is often similarly irreverent, reshaping the hymns and traditionals into ragtime or bluegrass formats. Illustrative of this is the flamboyant swing given to the collection's opening song: 'Yes! Jesus Loves Me', from which the collection derives its title. On this album Fahey doesn't just arbitrarily corrupt sacred songs with 'the Devil's music'. Although the reverberating string bends of 'Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel' deliver a bluesy twang, other pieces, such as 'Holy, Holy, Holy' are beautifully plucked, sounding extremely comfortable in their straight-laced devotional format. Another magnificent entry in the Fahey catalogue, and one worth getting evangelical over - Boomkat
Posted by Stiles