Folkadelphia and 215 Literary Arts Festival Present: Glenn Jones performance and Steve Lowenthal’s ‘Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey’ reading
Wednesday, June 4th, 2014
At Philadelphia Record Exchange (1524 Frankford Ave.)
7:30 PM (no openers) | All-Ages
$10+ donation for the artists, please!!!
A John Fahey inspired event featuring a performance from instrumental guitar guru Glenn Jones & a reading from Steve Lowenthal (Vin Du Select Qualitite, Swingset Mag) and his forthcoming Fahey bio ‘Dance of Death.’
Glenn Jones is a unique voice working in the decades-long tradition of American Primitivism. What sets him apart from the many devotees to this style is the combination of expressive playing and technical skill, most significantly his inventive use of alternate tunings and partial capos. As anyone knows who has seen him perform, Glenn is a remarkable storyteller, and his songs reflect that talent. The songs on Glenn’s latest, My Garden State, are evocative and redolent, and serve as a testament to Glenn’s talent for conveying a wide array of emotions, many times in one song, without saying a word. (Thrill Jockey site)
John Fahey is to the solo acoustic guitar what Jimi Hendrix was to the electric: the man whom all subsequent musicians had to listen to. Fahey made more than 40 albums between 1959 and his death in 2001, most of them featuring only his solo steel-string guitar. He fused elements of folk, blues, and experimental composition, taking familiar American sounds and recontextualizing them as something entirely new. Yet despite his stature as a groundbreaking visionary, Fahey’s intentions—as a man and as an artist—remain largely unexamined. Journalist Steve Lowenthal has spent years researching Fahey’s life and music, talking with his producers, his friends, his peers, his wives, his business partners, and many others. He describes Fahey’s battles with stage fright, alcohol, and prescription pills; how he ended up homeless and mentally unbalanced; and how, despite his troubles, he managed to found a record label that won Grammys and remains critically revered. This portrait of a troubled and troubling man in a constant state of creative flux is not only a biography but also the compelling story of a great American outcast.
Steve Lowenthal started and ran the music magazine Swingset; his writing has also been published in Fader, Spin, Vice, and the Village Voice. He ran the record label Plastic for five years and currently runs the VDSQ label, which specializes in solo instrumental acoustic guitar music. He lives in New York City. David Fricke is a senior editor at Rolling Stone magazine.