John Fahey - In Search of Blind Joe Death

John Fahey (1939-2001) is one of the world’s great guitarists. The father of ‘American primitive guitar’, a unique blending of classic guitar styles with Delta Blues and Appalachian influences, Fahey is a transformational figure in modern music.  He’s the subject of Tamarack Productions’ latest film “In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey.” The film will be released this autumn, 2011.

Musicians such as Pete Townshend of The WhoJoey Burns of Calexico, the pianist George Winston and Chris Funk of The Decemberists pay tribute to Fahey’s influence in our documentary.  We follow Fahey’s trail from his beginnings in Takoma Park, a Washington D.C. suburb, to California where he recorded some of his most memorable music, and to Oregon, where Fahey spent the last twenty years of his life.

John Fahey was a trickster, a raconteur, a wonderful writer, a self taught naturalist (with a particular interest in turtles!), a fount of knowledge about American and other musics, and, above all, a brilliant composer and guitar player.

My own saga with John Fahey began in 1982 with a radio documentary I produced about him for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  Ever since, I’ve been inspired by his music, comforted by his bent humour and fascinated by his ever rippling artistic legacy. This labour of love will be completed this autumn – I can’t wait for you to see it.

Thanks to the John Fahey Trust, Oregon Public Television, Executive Producer JoAnn McCaig of Calgary, the School of Communication Arts of Seneca College in Toronto and American consulting producer Doug Whyte of Portland, Oregon for their invaluable assistance in bringing this dream ever closer to light.

Please follow the ongoing production of the film at


on the “In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey” page on that ‘social network’ we’re all aware of.

We are seeking completion financing for the film. So if you have a few $$$ to spare, please contribute to the production through PayPal at

We will also be launching a Kickstarter fund raising campaign shortly.

Stay tuned!

James Cullingham, Director/Producer, “In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey