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For John Fahey, His Past Comes Back to Life

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Your Past Comes Back to Haunt YouDust-to-Digital has released another outstanding piece of history. John Fahey - Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (The Fonotone Years 1958-1965) is the long-awaited box set of the earliest recordings by and the first book ever written about John Fahey. The five CDs feature 115 tracks, most of which are available on CD for the first time. The audio was remastered from Joe Bussard’s reel-to-reel tapes to achieve pristine sound quality.

As for the accompanying book, the list of scholars who contributed essays includes Eddie Dean, Claudio Guerrieri, Glenn Jones, Malcolm Kirton, John's collaborator Mike Stewart and John’s childhood friend R. Anthony Lee. Byron Coley contributed a poem about John, and Douglas Blazek’s 1967 interview with Fahey is published here for the first time.

Released 10 years after John Fahey’s death, this set puts one of the final puzzle pieces of Fahey’s career in place. Everyone can now hear where this guitar legend got his start – a smoky basement in Frederick, Maryland. Co-produced by Dean Blackwood of Revenant, Glenn Jones, and Lance Ledbetter of Dust-to-Digital, this set is released with the support of Joe Bussard and the John Fahey Estate. The set is dedicated to John’s mother, Jane C. Hayes and the late musician Jack Rose. The 88-page hardcover book comes with 5 CDs in separate gatefold portfolio – all housed in deluxe slipcase.

As with all histories, context and an appreciation for the times are essential. In 1958, when the earliest of these recordings were made there were probably no more than a handful of reissues of pre-war country blues 78s available on record in the United States. The long-playing 33 1/3 record was, itself, only a recent invention.

Today, with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pre-war blues and hillbilly reissues available and in print, when it’s possible to walk into any halfway decent record store (to the extent record stores, halfway decent or otherwise, still exist) and find the complete recordings of Charley Patton or Blind Willie Johnson, it may be difficult to comprehend just how obscure and how otherworldly this music once was.
-- Glenn Jones, from the Introduction to Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You

The album was released to stores on October 11th and Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You is available now. Bonus Fonotone bottle opener with all orders while supplies last. You can order from Dust-to-Digital here.

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