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The New Possibility: John Fahey's Guitar Soli Christmas Album/Christmas With John Fahey, Vol. II (Reissue)

The New Possibility: John Fahey's Guitar Soli Christmas Album/Christmas With John Fahey, Vol. II (Reissue)

October 3, 2006

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: October 3, 2006
  • Release Date: October 3, 2006
  • Label: Fantasy Records
  • Copyright: (C) 1993 Fantasy, Inc.
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:13:34
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000UB15TO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,589 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

If the album has a fault, it is a tiny one.
Robert Moore
In all those years, I heard the album as very downbeat for Christmas..
Michael Nielsen
Fahey's solo guitar playing is beautifully done.
Catladytobe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By ---- John D on November 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Back in the 70's I bought the New Possibility on vinyl and my wife and I couldn't take it off the turntable. It was our first west coast Christmas in Vancouver and just knowing that John Fahey was just down the coast made it feel even better. I realize he has recorded other xmas favorites; but this is by far the best. It's sparse, crisp, simple and beautiful.....all at the same time. I eventually purchased it on CD and then it disappeared from the shelves. Thank God it's back in CD format again! Make this a Christmas gift to yourself. You won't be sorry.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By C. H Smith on December 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
That John Fahey considered Volume 1 of this project more than just a Christmas album when it was first released in 1968 was evident from his liner notes, which linked its purpose to the writings of historian and theologian Paul Tillich. A Volume 2 was recorded a few years later, but the original recordings soon went out of print and Fahey confused the issue by re-recording and re-issuing the original titles some years after that in completely inferior versions. This cd release resurrects the original recordings, and we should all be very grateful! This is a great classic of the solo acoustic guitar, not to mention Christmas music, and it warms one's heart to listen to it year after year, knowing that one can, when all is said and done, yet ignore the tons of schmaltz that is always being foisted on us in the name of commercialism and nostalgia. Only people with little imagination could not like this wonderful work.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By jimnypivo VINE VOICE on December 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I won't spend a lot of time on this review to describe each song and how differently Fahey plays the old Christmas carols we all grew up hearing in church, or the radio. To hear him play *Silent Night* or *Joy to the World* are reason enough.

I've had this recording in one media or another for over thirty years, and every Christmas another person comments on how beautiful it is and asks me who the artist is.

'The New Possibility' is ideal to play in the background of any Holiday activity. I especially like to hear it at Christmas Dinner or to have it playing while the family Unwrapping ritual is performed.

In my opinion this is Fahey's best and most well-rounded album of all. I bet it was also his most lucrative. It is focused, reverant, and joyful. I listen to it at all times of the year.

If you want to capture a bit of the old-time feel of Christmas this year, pick up 'The New Possibility' by John Fahey. You'll be playing it for years and years. It might well become your Christmas favorite, too.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Kent Reynolds on December 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I first encountered John Fahey's work in the mid-70's and like anyone with any sense was much impressed. As my musical tastes evolved away from "folk" and "bluegrass", I put Mr. Fahey's guitar playing into the back of my mind. When I went looking for a Christmas guitar recording a couple of weeks ago and found "The New Possibility" I smiled and said, "Oh yeah this guy was good." I was wrong, he is much, much better than that. For anyone with an Episcopal and/or Southern background, this is a must recording for Christmas or anytime. In addition to the classic hymns and carols, you will recognize bits from the Hymn book blended into other pieces flavored with bluegrass. For anyone who is a guitar fan and is not familiar with John Fahey this is a great choice for the holiday. You will be introduced to his great technique as well as his sense of humor and imagination. For anyone who enjoys Windham Hill's Winter Solstice recordings, you have to get this CD -- if Windham Hill is a Hershey's Kiss, Fahey is Godiva.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most improbable great albums ever released. If there is one indisputable fact it is that almost all of the standard Christmas hymns and carols are tired and stale and simply worn out. But if you think you've heard "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" a few times too many, you need to hear John Fahey do it. On song after song he plays a version that seems to bring out all of the beauty that has been hidden for longer than any of us can remember. "What Child Is This?" becomes one of the most beautiful melodies you can think of. And his "Auld Lang Syne" will bring tears to your eyes. "The Bells of St. Mary's" is another gem, but the real miracle on the album might be what he does to "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman," to which he gives a bluesy turn.

By any standard John Fahey was one of the great guitarists of the past half-century. He was a true innovator, applying with astonishing musical sophistication finger picking to a staggering range of material that had been completely neglected by previous guitarists. Although Fahey was technically a brilliant guitarist, his work always seems as much the product of a brilliant musicologist as a musician. He almost certainly knew more about musical theory than any other guitarist who played a steel string guitar. He also developed a style whereby he would sometimes play slightly behind the tempo, giving his compositions a highly unique lilt. If you listen to his most famous disciple, Leo Kottke, and Fahey back to back, you will see how Fahey played as if he were almost reluctant to release the notes, whereas Kottke is always rushing forward.

If the album has a fault, it is a tiny one. There is perhaps less variation in the tempos of the various songs than one might wish.
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