I shot a majority of the video below on a boating trip on the Withlacoochie River with a close friend of mine. It was a chilly fall day with blue skies that reflected off the clear freshwater. Inspired by the simple beauty of the river, I felt like I had just the right piece to go with the footage.
The piece is “Sligo River Blues” by John Fahey, recorded on his debut album “Blind Joe Death” in 1959.
Fahey’s style is what he himself labeled as “American Primitive Guitar”. To the rest us, we hear a fusion of country blues guitar, and a bit of postmodern minimalism.
Fahey was unorthodox as an artist of the late 1950’s. Instead of going to a record company, he created his own record label to give himself complete artistic freedom, regardless if the release gained any commercial success. His marketing approach was random, as his album was never promoted in any way. Less than 100 copies were pressed and mailed to folklorists and scholars around the country. He would later share that he even planted records in music stores and Goodwill bins to attract prospective listeners.
In 2010, “Blind Joe Death” was added to the United States National Recording Registry as a recording of “cultural, historical, or aesthetic importance”.  Today, a copy is preserved in the Library of Congress, only a few miles from where it was recorded.
In regards to gear, I used a very simple setup to record it. I plugged an Apogee iMic into my iPad Pro, opened a GarageBand session, recorded it straight through a couple of times, and chose the best take.
sligo river blues
Jimmy Moore, Guitarist
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