Exposé Online banner

John Fahey & Cul de Sac — The Epiphany of Glenn Jones
(Thirsty Ear thi 57037.2, 1998, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 1999-01-01

The Epiphany of Glenn Jones Cover artA promising collaboration between this Boston instrumental ensemble and the legendary avant-folk guitarist collapses under the burden of hero worship, hellish recording conditions, and incompatible working methods. A melange of spartan finger-picking and Forbidden Planet-like sound effects fail to ever coalesce, with the earthy guitar and antiseptic electronics seeming to unfold in entirely separate acoustic spaces. The title (an allusion to the classic Fahey LP, The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death) refers to Cul de Sac leader Glenn Jones' painful abdication of his vision of an album crafted in Fahey's mid-60s style (preempted by the crotchety guitar guru's refusal to play material the group had rehearsed), and his surrender to the senior artist's spontaneous studio technique. Only "The New Red Pony" recognizably deploys Cul de Sac's full bass/drums/guitar/electronics line-up, with most of the album comprising an uncomfortable John Fahey/Glenn Jones duet. On "Nothing" and "More Nothing" Fahey ventures an epigrammatic spoken word piece in the tradition of John Cage, but can only manage something distressingly akin to the mutterings of a brain-damaged wino. While conceptually intriguing, this meeting of a careworn 60s icon and 90s psychedelic torch bearers serves at best as an object lesson in the dangers and disillusionments inherent in idolatry.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Cul de Sac, John Fahey

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Koniec - Silenci en Bla – Koniec is a Spanish instrumental four-piece of drums, keys, bass and saxes, whose music could best be described as free-jazz-rock, along the same axis as folks like Curlew, Doctor Nerve, and others....  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues