The late guitarist John Fahey’s final album plays almost as an elegy. Its music is slow and deliberate, as certain as Fahey was in all his ways, even when he fell under the spell of mental illness. There’s also a streak of daring akin to the childlike enthusiasm and impetuousness that always seemed to be at his disposal.
The disc starts with the stately acoustic piece "Remember," each note a fine-chiseled memorial, then slides into one of his most interesting electric-guitar recordings, the droning, lovely "Red Cross, Disciple of Christ Today." Gershwin’s "Summertime" might seem a surprising entry to fans, but like the old bluesmen he worshipped, Fahey was conscious of every variety of music, and he brings much of himself to it. The tune’s bare melody is, like so many things Fahey seemed to enjoy, enhanced and distorted by the modern age, which is represented here by digital delay.
"Ananaias" darts into more aspects of his playing: Eastern music, flamenco, drones, blues. And "Motherless Child" is one of his variations on the gospel standard. "Untitled with Rain" probes the terrain of ambient music with its loops of organ and chimes and Fahey’s own gently evolving melody; it’s followed by an unlisted, "hidden" track that’s a more ghostly version of "Red Cross." The touching liner notes penned in remembrance of Fahey, who died on February 22, 2001, are the work of one of his leading disciples, Glenn Jones of the Boston band Cul de Sac.