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We learn of Fahey's childhood love of bluegrass music, and his later, life-changing discovery of country blues (he says he cried upon first hearing Blind Willie Johnson's "Praise God I'm Satisfied"). He talks about seeking out blues survivors Bukka White and Skip James, and we learn about his complete indifference to fancy guitars. ("It's not about what you own; it's about what you play.") In this old interview footage, we also sense Fahey's discomfort with human interaction, and at one startling point we find out what made him that way: "My father was a pederast," he says, in a mild passing comment.
This documentary is a fine memorial for a unique musician. Fahey died in 2001, but his work, after all these years, still dazzles.
(Blind Joe Death is being given a slow roll-out around the country, in tandem with a shorter film about Wilco guitarist Nels Cline.)
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