By the time he'd recorded his sixth collection of "American Primitive" guitar instrumentals, John Fahey was in command of an impressively original vocabulary, based on old blues tunes, country songs, Episcopal hymns, early American pop music, and smatterings of jazz, classical, Indian music, electronic experimentation, and anything else that seemed to fit. He had also evolved a world view which seemed to somehow parody the countercultural icons and values of the 70s and 80s long before they were ever in place.
At times, Fahey's folk roots seemed an ambiguous takeoff point for his experiments, but that ambiguity is at the heart of Fahey's appeal. Rarely did he combine his mastery of traditional fingerpicking guitar styles and his bent for experimentation as convincingly as he did on Days Have Gone By. The album - frequently compared to the classic Blind Joe Death - was recorded in LA and Berkeley in 1967 and combines live performance and elements of recorded sounds into an stunning ethereal whole.
Next month Ace's Takoma reissue programme continues with Bashovia, a second volume of Takoma material by Robbie Basho that was conceived and annotated by John Fahey.