John Fahey – In Search of Blind Joe Death

John Fahey and terrapin (courtesy of Jan Fahey)

John Fahey (1939-2001) is one of the world’s great guitarists. The father of ‘American primitive guitar’, a unique blending of classic guitar styles with Delta Blues and Appalachian influences, Fahey is a transformational figure in modern music.  He’s the subject of Tamarack Productions’ latest film “In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey.” The film will be released this autumn, 2011.

Musicians such as Pete Townshend of The Who, Joey Burns of Calexico, the pianist George Winston and Chris Funk of The Decemberists pay tribute to Fahey’s influence in our documentary.  We follow Fahey’s trail from his beginnings in Takoma Park, a Washington D.C. suburb, to California where he recorded some of his most memorable music, and to Oregon, where Fahey spent the last twenty years of his life.

John Fahey was a trickster, a raconteur, a wonderful writer, a self taught naturalist (with a particular interest in turtles!), a fount of knowledge about American and other musics, and, above all, a brilliant composer and guitar player.

My own saga with John Fahey began in 1982 with a radio documentary I produced about him for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  Ever since, I’ve been inspired by his music, comforted by his bent humour and fascinated by his ever rippling artistic legacy. This labour of love will be completed this autumn – I can’t wait for you to see it.

Thanks to the John Fahey Trust, Oregon Public Television, Executive Producer JoAnn McCaig of Calgary, the School of Communication Arts of Seneca College in Toronto and American consulting producer Doug Whyte of Portland, Oregon for their invaluable assistance in bringing this dream ever closer to light.

Please follow the ongoing production of the film at


on the “In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey” page on that ‘social network’ we’re all aware of.

We are seeking completion financing for the film. So if you have a few $$$ to spare, please contribute to the production through PayPal at

We will also be launching a Kickstarter fund raising campaign shortly.

Stay tuned!

James Cullingham, Director/Producer, “In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “John Fahey – In Search of Blind Joe Death”

  1. Dave Says:

    Have you by chance seen the new John Fahey footage on Youtube?! :

    • jamescullingham Says:

      Yes, thank-you.

      Please stay in touch. Share anything you’d like about Monsieur Fahey. Also, be sure to join our community on the Facebook site dedicated to the film, if you haven’t already done so.

  2. Dave Says:

    Thanks! Do you by chance know if there is any video footage of Fahey performing Fare Forward Voyagers or one of his similar type tunes? I look forward to the new Fahey documentary – I can’t wait!!!

  3. Dave Says:

    Hi James,

    Here’s the link to my fingerstyle guitar tune I dedicate to John Fahey:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: