Search - John Fahey :: Great San Bernardino Birthday Party

Great San Bernardino Birthday Party
John Fahey
Great San Bernardino Birthday Party
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (7) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: John Fahey
Title: Great San Bernardino Birthday Party
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Takoma
Original Release Date: 10/17/2000
Re-Release Date: 10/24/2000
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Pop
Styles: Traditional Blues, Traditional Folk, Contemporary Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 025218650823, 029667982122

CD Reviews

One of the greatest of all records of guitar music
A. D. Lewis | Blackwood, S. Wales | 01/24/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"At last this magnificent recording appears on C.D. It is quite simply one of the greatest records of guitar music ever put together. The title track is a 19 minute tour de force, a tone poem, a saga of huge emotional range. Of all Fahey's extended compositions this is perhaps the most complete, the most satisfying and perfectly structured. There are moments of joyful optimism, gentle nostalgia, troubled uncertainty and sheer nightmare ( courtesy of some superb, haunting bottleneck). The piece draws to a close in the calm resignation of a simple, beautiful theme......but then the nightmare bottleneck returns right at the end, just when we think the darkness has lost its power. Incredible! The recording also features KNOTT'S BERRY FARM MOLLY, a gorgeous piece of Fahey nostalgia with some backwards guitar sounds thrown in. Also there is a memorable guitar/veena version of SAIL AWAY LADIES. Other highlights include a delightfully rambling GUITAR EXCURSIONS INTO THE UNKNOWN (if Charles Ives had played guitar it might have sounded like this) and Fahey's finest version of OH COME EMANUEL. On this kind of form Fahey is awesome and speaks with absolute authority. He extends the vocabulary of the guitar, and in so doing creates music of unforgettable beauty and originality.Here is a unique and gifted performer at his most inspired. Don't miss it!"
Fahey's First Symphony for solo guitar
rash67 | USA | 11/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This music IS the Old South. Dusty country roads, cotton and tobacco fields. I am amazed this has not been used as a soundtrack! The Great San Bernardino Birthday Party (GSBBP) stands as Fahey's towering achievement, a Symphony for Solo Guitar (sonata sounds too confining). It is the first, most approachable and most coherent of his long works. I am not exaggerating when I say it is so good, it should be covered by other artists - John Williams? If complex blues works by Winton Marsallis can be called "Classical", certainly this can.It starts with a major key sunny Ragtime Gallop, and then descends into mysterious minor key in a musings and inventions sounding alternatively Spanish, Bluesy, Native American and even Raga-esque. It holds ones interest for the entire 20 some minutes (not like many of the other over-long jamming pieces of the 60's). His other two long masterpieces on America are somewhat more dissonant and take longer to develop. Fahey once said he trying to create a symphony for the solo guitar and he certainly succeded here!Guitar fanatics NOTE: all the sounds you here were created with one acoustic guitar, 4 microphones, a tape loop (echoplex) and a tape recorder. None of the zillions of gismos that today's guitarists use!Knott's Barry Farm Molly uses tape editing and backward tape (two years before the Beatles "Sgt Pepper's"). Fahey's Guitar turns to rubber and then back to a guitar!The liner notes state Fahey doesn't like this record. He played the Birchmere a decade ago, I sat in front of him (I tuned his guitar for him!) I asked him when this was going to be on CD. He also told me that night that he didn't like this recording. I guess it's because of the personal events happening to him when he recorded it. I guess Tacoma Park, MD, where Fahey grew up, was once a pretty wild place. However I must add, the rest of the album is filler. From amaturish to awful. That's why I can only give it fours stars. Maybe that's what he didn't like it. But GSBBP and Molly, are brilliant. There is 25 minutes of the best most musically satisfying stuff he ever did. Not short 4 minutes blues and ragtime, coherent exposition in a classical idiom.And you get Fahey's zany album notes written by one of his many alter-egos. And those parts definately worth having!"