American Primitive Guitar

Traditional yet avant-garde, archaic but also modern, simple as well as complex—American Primitive Guitar is such a sublime unity of opposites that Heraclitus himself would’ve been a fan. Sprouting from the mercurial soul of bohemian, record collector, and fingerstyle genius John Fahey in the early ’60s, the movement generally revolves around solo guitarists molding scraps of country blues, drone, Indian music, and other exotic styles after their own maverick visions. Sometimes, the music sounds endearingly rustic; other times, wildly celestial. For several decades, American Primitivism behaved more like a secret society than recognized genre. Since the turn of the century, however, its ranks have swelled thanks to a new generation of explorers, including Six Organs of Admittance, Marisa Anderson, and the late Jack Rose.