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I Am the Resurrection: Tribute to John Fahey

Tribute to John Fahey Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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I Am the Resurrection: Tribute to John Fahey + The Revenge of Blind Joe Death: The John Fahey Tribute Album + Friends of Fahey Tribute
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 14, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,550 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Death of the Clayton Peacock
2. Sunflower River Blues
3. Variation on 'Commemorative Transfiguration & Communion at ...
4. Sligo River Blues
5. Dance of Death
6. The Singing Bridge of Memphis, Tennessee (Brooklyn Bridge Version: The ...)
7. Bean Vine Blues, No. 2
8. The Portland Cement Factory at Monolith, CA
9. Dance of the Inhabitants of the Palace of King Phillip XIV of Spain
10. Joe Kirby Blues
11. Medley: John Hurt Shiva Shankarah
12. When the Catfish Is in Bloom
13. My Grandfather's Clock

Editorial Reviews

An idiosyncratic folk favorite and a huge influence on acoustic guitarists, the reclusive John Fahey reemerged as an unlikely inspiration on a younger generation of indie underground rockers during the years before his death in 2001. The result is this freewheeling, wide-ranging tribute that is much more concerned with capturing his unpredictable spirit than mummifying a musical form. Sonic Youth's Lee Renaldo makes his interpretation a noise collage of electric guitar, traffic sounds, and spoken word. Sufjan Stevens melds a propulsive intro to a stripped-down, harmony-laden hymn. Coproducer M. Ward plays barbed-wire electric guitar, while Giant Sand's Howe Gelb interprets Fahey on solo piano that is part barrelhouse, part music box. Only Peter Case's gorgeous rendition of "When the Catfish Is in Bloom" could be confused with one of the "American primitive guitar" master's own recordings, but everything here has its own internal logic. Fahey devotees, old and new, will love the tribute--a collection that should inspire fans of these artists to seek out the source. --Don McLeese

Product Description

I Am The Resurrection : A Tribute To John Fahey contains 13 reworkings by such artists as Calexico, Devendra Banhart, Sufjan Stevens, Cul De Sac, Grandaddy and M. Ward (who is producing the entire project). Vanguard. 2006.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fine Tribute to the `Broccoli of American Guitar Music' February 20, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I'll say up front I am a Fahey Fanatic, and here are the two reasons I got this disc from Amazon: a. I was curious as to what this disc might offer to me musically, and b. to point me to Fahey-like artists to fill the void now that Himself has deceased.

I was tentative about my purchase because it is a tribute album. Most tribute albums typically contain one pearl in a bowlful of cacca. I was hoping that this was the exception.

But 'I Am The Resurrection' turns out to be a great tribute to the John Fahey gestalt---that beautiful fingerpicking guitar style, the immense span of his musical dabblings, the fascinating and imperfect person he was.

Fahey has always been the broccoli of American guitar music. Nutritious and good for you, but plainly not to everyone's liking. It took a lot of guts for these musicians to get their creative arms around such an esoteric task. I imagine it was also one heckuva `gas' to creatively tackle it. I salute the artists who contributed to this work, as well as M Ward and Steve Brower whose vision produced it.

I initially expected to hear tracks of imitative playing style, the artist taking a Fahey recording and playing it as faithfully as John would. Those who try succeed:
Devendra Banhart on *Sligo River Blues* performs a classic paean to classic Fahey.
Cul De Sac boldly does *Portland Cement Factory.* My expectations here were high-- these guys actually played with Fahey for a while and they picked a tough tune to do. The only way to improve on it would be to turn down the volume on the cement factory noise just a bit.
When the Catfish Is in Bloom*, a song from Fahey's Vanguard years, in Peter Case's playing style almost sounds like The Master. But Case stays unique and non-copying.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As much as I dislike tribute albums... November 16, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I've had to make an exception for this one, on two accounts. First, John was a friend of mine, long ago, in my childhood and early adolescence, and then again, late in his life, after we had reconnected; Second, this is a remarkable album, and I generally dislike "tribute" albums. The very notion of trying to create a tribute to John struck me as ambitious at least, if not downright hubris-driven. I was of course right on the first count, but definitely wrong on the second, and the ambition is largely fulfilled here: it is a tribute, and a nice one. The artists involved seem, without exception, to understand what they were undertaking, even if it was a Mission Impossible. Some come close. A few clearly fall far short of the mark, but all do so with love and a genuine understanding, I think, of what this project was about. It's something any of us who ever knew John would have liked to try, but never had the nerve. Thank god some good volk got up the nerve. Peter case is probably the most eerily accurate in his rendering of "When the Catfish Is In Bloom", which has always taken me back to those early days when I was an awestruck teen who would listen to John noodle, compose and play as he and the other older guys sat around on the grassy slope at the edge of the Takoma Park rec center ballfield across the street from my house, at night. This is almost time travel, something John managed to introduce me to, first in theory, and later from beyond the grave with his recordings. Sufjan Stevens seems also to have captured the spirit, if not the precise duplication of notes, on his lovely "Commemorative Transfiguration and Communion at Magruder Park. Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tribute to a Guitar Master April 28, 2006
Format:Audio CD
John Fahey's music and style have long been a benchmark for all contemporary acoustic guitar music, and it's great that many alternative and "freak-folk" artists have rediscovered and connected with him. This tribute album is testimonial to that, and the interpretations of Fahey's songs, mostly on acoustic and electric guitar with accompaniment, run the gamut from reverent to loose. Peter Case comes closest, perhaps, to "channeling" the Fahey sound in "When the Catfish is in Bloom". Devendra Banhart and Calexico also do a fine job with "Sligo River Blues" and "Dance of Death", respectively. Co-producer M. Ward gives the fuzzbox treatment to "Bean Vine Blues #2", a tune that sounds strikingly like a Scott Joplin rag; and Sufjan Stevens remakes "Commemorative Transfiguration and Communion at Magruder Park" his own, complete with a spiritual chorus. (Stevens has found a soulmate in Fahey, who also loved long, convoluted song titles.) Cul de Sac imbues "The Portland Cement Factory at Monmouth, CA" with a touch of industrial noise, which seems strangely appropriate. And Howie Gelb plays a mean barrelhouse piano on "My Grandfather's Clock", the only track not featuring guitar. The musicianship in this mostly-instrumental collection is uniformly accomplished, and though you may not find every performance endearing, there is a lot to like and appreciate here. It's a fitting tribute to one of the true guitar masters of the 20th century.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fahey would be pleased... February 17, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I Am The Resurrection

Not me personally, although if I believed in an afterlife, I'd say John Fahey is somewhere smiling about this. I Am The Resurrection: A Tribute to John Fahey is one of the best tribute albums I've heard, insofar as it captures the spirit of the original artist without being merely imitative. This beautifully put together album features M Ward and Stephen Brower as executive producers and a wide range of artists (M Ward himself, Sufjan Stevens, Howe Gelb, Lee Ranaldo, Calexico, Cul de Sac and more). The gorgeous cover art by John King, the wizard who does the art for M Ward's albums, made me grab it off the counter before I even knew what CD it was.
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