Collector’s Corner

Christmas Possibilities


Takoma founder John Fahey's The New Possibility is packed to the white fur brim with Christmas classics, all interpreted in his unique acoustic picking style.

Fahey made his name as a deft picker, but the name he used at first was not his. Under the name Blind Joe Death, he released a number a blues and blues-influenced songs. The persona continued to pop up throughout Fahey's career. The character at work on Possibility, however, is solely Fahey.

The 20-track disc is comprised of John Fahey's Guitar Soli Christmas Album and Christmas With John Fahey Vol. II, the latter of which features four duets with Richard Ruskin. All the holiday favorites are represented -- from "The First Noel" to It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" to "Joy To The World."

All of the songs are either traditional or public domain. What is original are the arrangements. Each offers a creative alternative to the standard holiday fare as Fahey, like his cohort and labelmate Leo Kottke, prefers to let his guitar stand alone. There is no accompaniment (save the aforementioned duets), just an intimate instrumental serenade.

In the liner notes, by none other than radio's Dr. Demento, Fahey gives a few behind-the-scenes quips about some of the songs, offering a clue to his strange tuning for a particular track or explaining how he borrowed a chord for "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen Fantasy" from a classic rockabilly tune.