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So Near, So Fahey

Stuart Bailie | 21:45 UK time, Wednesday, 12 May 2010

I saw John Fahey at the Elmwood Hall in Belfast, 1999. It was only a few years later that I appreciated his legendary value. There he was, in a baggy T-shirt that failed to flatter his pendulous chest. The beard was long and white and unfortunately the grey marl shorts were too short and too wide. A sudden shift in posture was akin to 'Basic Instinct' for mad people.

John didn't care, of course. Instead, he started improvising and ignoring the audience's implied interest in his fine catalogue - Delta blues with hints of free jazz and avant pluckings. Nope, this was off the menu for the first half of the show, which rambled merrily and minus any kind of discernible pattern. So I went home early. Apparently the second half was better. Either way, it was the chance to witness a ferociously artistic individual and I gave him less shrift than was politely due.

STUART BAILIE

BBC Radio Ulster, 92-95 FM

Online: www.bbc.co.uk/radioulster

Mondays, ten - midnight

Playlist 10.05.10

Lee Dorsey - Four Corners (Soul Jazz)
The Magic Theatre - Summer Sun (Roto Disc)
The La's - Timeless Melody (Go! Dsics)
Band Of Horses - Compliments (Columbia)
Elizabeth Cook -Blackland Farmer (Proper)
John Fahey - Atlantic High (Rounder)
Johnny Flynn - The Water (Transgressive)
The Triffids - Save What You Can (Domino)
Captain Kennedy - Sweetest Friend (white)
Tracey Thorne - Why Does The Wind (Buzzin Fly)
Dan Sartain - Ruby Carrot (One little Indian)
The Persuasions - Ain't That Good News (Rounder)
Lone Wolf - Keep Your Eyes On The Road (Bella Union)

Carly Simon - Why (Arista)
Two Door Cinema Club - Undercover Martyn (Kitsune)
Johnny Flynn - Kentucky Pill (Transgressive)
Los Lobos - The Road To Gila Bend (EMI)
Villagers - To Be Counted Among Men (Domino)
Jacques Brel - Quand on a que l'Amour (Not Now)
Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu (Strut)
Eric Bell - Belfast Blues (Vinnie Lombardo)
Dylan Leblanc - If Time Was For Wasting (Rough Trade)
Daniel Lanois - The Maker (Opal)
Mary Gauthier - Mama Here Mama Gone (Proper)
NI Soul Troop - Jeckyl And Hyde (white)
Oscar Peterson - Wave (GTV)

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