I Am the Resurrection: A Tribute to John Fahey

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The most common method of tribute album compilation involves corralling the biggest names possible, regardless of their empathy to the artist being lionized, and throwing the results together in hopes that things will hang together, if only by a thread. M. Ward, who assembled this loving homage to the late guitar guru, managed to craft the polar opposite by seeking out performers -- some with moderate profiles, others all but unknown -- who've clearly carried the torch that John Fahey passed on when he died in 2001. Ward himself is one of the more reverent participants; his take on "Bean Vine Blues #2" resonates with much the same hushed intensity that Fahey himself ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
The most common method of tribute album compilation involves corralling the biggest names possible, regardless of their empathy to the artist being lionized, and throwing the results together in hopes that things will hang together, if only by a thread. M. Ward, who assembled this loving homage to the late guitar guru, managed to craft the polar opposite by seeking out performers -- some with moderate profiles, others all but unknown -- who've clearly carried the torch that John Fahey passed on when he died in 2001. Ward himself is one of the more reverent participants; his take on "Bean Vine Blues #2" resonates with much the same hushed intensity that Fahey himself projected. Devendra Banhart is similarly deferential in handling "Sligo River Blues." But it's most intriguing to hear artists take a few liberties with Fahey's work, something the late guitarist would no doubt appreciate, given the interpretive spin he often put on traditional music. Sufjan Stevens, for instance, manages to work his trademark vocal arrangements -- wordless wisps, as usual -- into "Commemorative Transfiguration and Communion at Magruder Park," an elegy into which he also deftly incorporates a bit of the "Hallelujah Chorus." Calexico take a more corporeal route into the heart of "Dance of Death," using Fahey's serpentine melody as a back-alley entry to a beautifully menacing film noir landscape, while Grandaddy put an Indian spin on "Dance of the Inhabitants of the Palace of King Philip XIV of Spain." I Am the Resurrection doesn't have much to offer folks who demand that music grab them by the shoulders and shake them silly, but for those who prefer a more intimate interaction, it's hard to imagine a more moving collection of sounds.
All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
The late John Fahey was to fingerpickers or simply "pickers" what Jimmy Smith was to soul-jazz/hard bop organ -- Fahey, in other words, wrote the book on fingerpicking, an earthy, rootsy, instrumental style of folk-rock acoustic guitar playing. And just as Smith influenced countless organists, the seminal Fahey was a musical guru for Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho, Stefan Grossman, Duck Baker, Peter Lang, Michael Gulezian, and many other acoustic guitar-playing instrumentalists who surfaced in the '60s and '70s. Given his impact on folk-rock, Fahey is well deserving of a tribute -- especially from fingerpickers. But the interesting thing about this Fahey tribute compilation, I Am the Resurrection: A Tribute to John Fahey, is the fact that it isn't dominated by fingerpickers and Fahey disciples. The songs are familiar -- at least if one is heavily into Fahey's work -- but what the artists do to them are not. Hearing Peter Case formerly of the Plimsouls on "When the Catfish Is in Bloom," Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth fame on "The Singing Bridge of Memphis, Brooklyn Bridge Version: The Coelcanth," or the Fruit Bats on "Death of the Clayton Peacock" is a lot like hearing rock en español artists saluting Mexican norteño legends los Tigres del Norte on the Fonovisa compilation El Mas Grande Homenaje a los Tigres del Norte -- it isn't the first thing you would expect, but it generally works. And the fact that most of these artists interpret Fahey's material instead of offering carbon copies of the original versions keeps the intrigue factor high. Some purists will inevitably insist that a Fahey tribute should adhere to an all-pickers-all-the-time policy, but clearly, this compilation wasn't assembled with purists in mind. And while the disc is a bit uneven, I Am the Resurrection is full of pleasant surprises and is a memorable demonstration of the fact that Fahey's compositions can be useful well beyond the fingerpicker field.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/14/2006
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • UPC: 015707978927
  • Catalog Number: 79789
  • Sales rank: 334,726

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Death of the Clayton Peacock - Fruit Bats (3:01)
  2. 2 Sunflower River Blues - Pelt (3:18)
  3. 3 Variation on 'Commemorative Transfiguration & Communion at ... - Sufjan Stevens (4:18)
  4. 4 Sligo River Blues - Devendra Banhart (3:11)
  5. 5 Dance of Death - Calexico (6:36)
  6. 6 The Singing Bridge of Memphis, Tennessee (Brooklyn Bridge Version: The ...) - Lee Ranaldo (2:50)
  7. 7 Bean Vine Blues, No. 2 - M. Ward (1:45)
  8. 8 The Portland Cement Factory at Monolith, CA - Cul de Sac (4:34)
  9. 9 Dance of the Inhabitants of the Palace of King Phillip XIV of Spain - Granddaddy (2:41)
  10. 10 Joe Kirby Blues - Victor Krummenacher (5:03)
  11. 11 Medley: John Hurt Shiva Shankarah - Currituck County (7:31)
  12. 12 When the Catfish Is in Bloom - Peter Case (7:30)
  13. 13 My Grandfather's Clock - Howe Gelb (2:03)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Lee Ranaldo Guitar
Robin Amos electronics
Joey Burns Guitar, Vocals, Upright Bass
John Hanes Drums
David Immerglück Guitar
Bruce Kaphan Lap Steel Guitar
Victor Krummenacher Bass
Jack Rose Guitar
John Convertino Drums, Marimbas
Howe Gelb Piano (Upright)
Michael Knobloch Drums
Dan Strack Track Performer
Glenn Jones Guitar
Kevin Barker Percussion, Electric Guitar, Recorder, Vocals, Track Performer
Sufjan Stevens Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Bass, Flute, Percussion, Drums, Electric Guitar, Oboe, Recorder, Triangle, Vocals, Track Performer, Shaker
Michael Bloom Bass
M. Ward Guitar
Rosie Thomas Background Vocals
Devendra Banhart Track Performer
Mike Gangloff Banjo
Eric Klee Johnson Track Performer
Otto Hauser Percussion, Drums, Track Performer
Patrick Best Bass
Lazy 8 Chorale Voices
Technical Credits
Sandy Bull Inspiration
Peter Case Author
Lee Ranaldo Engineer, Author
John Fahey Composer
Joey Burns Author
David Immerglück Producer, Author
Kevin Jarvis Engineer
Bruce Kaphan Producer, Author
Victor Krummenacher Producer, Author
Jim Waters Engineer
Howe Gelb Author
Glenn Jones Liner Notes
Kevin Barker Engineer, Liner Notes
Kevin Nettleingham Mastering
Sufjan Stevens Producer, Engineer, Author
M. Ward Executive Producer, Author, Audio Production
Devendra Banhart Author
Mike Coykendall Engineer
Mike Gangloff Author
Stephen Brower Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Eric Klee Johnson Author
Aaron Mullan Engineer
Mikel Dimmick Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Better than most, not as great as it could have been

    Acoustic steel-string guitar maverick John Fahey was an iconoclast, visionary, legend and an innovative composer. He’s frequently lumped into the folk genre and misunderstood. Fahey influenced many avant, alternative and indie-rockers, including current or former members of Sonic Youth, Giant Sand and the Plimsouls, among others. The most enlightening tracks on this tribute reinterpret rather than mimic. Sufjan Stevens uplifts and lays bare Fahey’s spirituality during “Variation on ‘Commemorative Transfiguration & Communion at Magruder Park.’” Calexico fleshes out “Dance of Death,” incorporating Southwest themes, Delta blues and Eastern drone. Cul de Sac’s live take of “The Portland Cement Factory at Monolith, CA” is propelled by noisy dissonance. However, Currituck Co.’s medley is a lukewarm, Grateful Dead-like jam. Lee Ranaldo’s reinvention of “The Singing Bridge of Memphis, Tennessee” is uninspiring. And Howe Gelb’s piano solo rendition of “My Grandfather’s Clock” weakly winds down this Fahey homage. Yet, more often than not, Fahey’s imagination and talent radiates, and that’s the point.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews