A pair of wonderful albums from the great John Fahey – back to back on a single CD! First up is Rivers & Religion – a really unique album by John Fahey – issued during a short stretch of initial mainstream approval, and a brief time of recording for Warner Brother
s! Some of the album's quite different than the spare, solo Fahey you might know – and mixes his legendary guitar work with more elaborate elements than usual – additional instrumentation that includes bass, banjo, clarinet, piano, trombone, and fiddle – but all used at a level that really supports John's presence, not occludes it. Other tracks return to spare acoustic steel string guitar – creating an evocative balance that's mighty nice. Titles include "Funeral Song For Mississippi John Hurt", "Texas & Pacific Blues", "Dixie Pig Bar B Q Blues", "Lord Have Mercy Song", and "Deep River". After The Ball is a set with a disco ball on the cover, but a record that fits right in with the best early 20th century aesthetic in the work of John Fahey – particularly his way of reiimagining older musical traditions! There's a bit of added instrumentation on the record – two tracks that have some slight trad jazz flourishes – but overall, the album's mostly a solo effort with loads of wonderful guitar work from John – still as creative and as complicated as in his best recordings for Takoma! Other added instrumentation sometimes expands the sound with mandolin or banjo, but again in very sensitive ways – and titles include "Bucktown Stomp", "Om Shanthi Norris", "Beverly", and "Horses".