Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Impossible to describe, but I will try anyway
Dr Tathata | Omphalos, USA | 11/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album wasn't the first I heard by John Fahey, but it was the first music that I listened to SERIOUSLY. At the time, I had no choice--it was the only record I had. Fahey did a number of remarkable things in his early career, but with this album he created a world that is more like a theatrical illusion--as opposed an artist simply performing on a guitar. Its a collosal prank, to be sure, but, the joke isn't immediately apparent. When I first heard it, 34 years ago, I absolutely did not know how to interpret or comprehend it--it just broke down all of my cognitive categories. It was truly liberating. The thing resonates on so many different subtle levels. At that point in my life, I lived in a little shack in the canyons of northern CA, had a little old record player, and about 3 records that belonged to a girlfriend, one of which was The Voice of the Turtle. I listened to it over and over, became obsessed with it, studied every detail of the album liner notes. Tacoma Park, MD, Fahey's boyhood home, is frequently referenced in his song titles. Back in the 40's and 50's when Fahey was a kid, steam engines hauled freight and passenger trains every few minutes through the heart of Tacoma Park, spewing white steam and black smoke. They kept it up into the 60's by which time Fahey had transmigrated to Berkeley, CA. Tacoma Park had a real rural character back then, and many of Fahey's songs mythologize familiar places along the right of way through that neighborhood. For example, Fahey has a song on one of his albums titled, "The View East from the Riggs Road B&O Railway Trestle". I spent many days rolling by that location when I worked for the B&O--made a tape recording of the song and went there to listen to it--looking East, of course. Even though Voice of the Turtle was the recording that piped me into the Magic Mountain, it is not necessarily my favorite of Fahey's recordings. That would have to be Volume 6, although I love everything he ever released. Either this music speaks to you, or it doesn't. If you like the convergence of chanting monks and temple bells with locomotive whistles and thunderstorms swirled with archaic, primitive, blues guitar, that could serve as the soundtrack for Steamboat Willy, then do yourself a favor and tune in."
P. Bryant | Nottingham, England | 07/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""That whole record was a hoax. On all the songs that say it's me it isn't and vice versa." - John Fahey A lavish autobiographical fantasy, an absurd exercise in self-gratification, or self-deprecation, hard to tell; a labour of love for sure, a financial disaster, definitely, a grand folly, a lovely indulgence, a holiday from seriousness, a mosaic of diverse musical traditions and a discographical nightmare; "The Voice of the Turtle" is all these things. The most rococo expression of Fahey's sense of the absurd, with its lying notes, self-mythologising and lunatic picture book, this is a serious joke. With those notes, and that picture album so lovingly subtitled, the sleeve in all its gatefolded glory - "the author age 17" , the quote from the Bible which everyone including Fahey knows means turtledoves, not turtles, this record comes at you like a conceptual piece, a bold encryption of a dream of a possibility. Fahey, I award you the Turner Prize for 1968."
A little style and humor goes a long way
Heavy Theta | Lorton, Va United States | 11/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Fahey was truely a marvel, rediscovering, performing and recording traditional country blues with a precision and dedication unmatched by any other artist. So it might seem a little heretical to suggest that after any number of volumes of this work that there was a sense of extreme focus, or even a clinical approach. This album goes along way in rebuking that notion, showing the artist's wickedly droll sense of humor, along with a welcome experiment with some decidedly psychedelic tinge, indulging in the powerful counterculture zeitgeist.
It is this unexpected quirkiness that adds real personality and affection to the steady underlying brilliance. This is a very interesting project, and highly recommended to those who would prefer their Fahey clothed with a little offbeat style."