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Download The Alleycast - August 2008

August 15, 2008

Basho1.jpg Basho2.jpg

The Alleycast
for August features Folk Alley's exclusive in-studio session recording with legendary musician Janis Ian. Plus, we hear the sounds of this month's featured Open Mic artist, The Honeydew Drops. We'll also listen to Folk Alley's exclusive concert recording with David Bromberg and hear about Robbie Basho - a mystic guitar player who highly influenced John Fahey, Leo Kottke and William Ackerman. Download The Alleycast today!!

Posted by Chris Boros at August 15, 2008 3:26 PM


Comments

Actually, Robbie Basho and Fahey had an ongoing friendly rivalry and differed dramatically on their musical opinions. I had a friend who was studying with Fahey in Berkeley, who would come downstair after her lessons and Basho would then seek to "correct" everything she had been taught. I met Robbie for the first and last time at a Picnic Day in Davis, CA, when he told me he had been hurt by a "Scientologist chiropractor" - shortly before he passed. While I've collected everything I could get my hands on by Basho (mostly still LPs), I have to agree with critics that he really had a hard time distinguishing between his best work and... call it whatever. I must admit that I also did not particularly care for his singing. Basho is truly an underrated and too largely unknown contributor to 1960s breakthroughs in fingerstyle guitar.

Posted by: Roger Straus at August 15, 2008 5:45 PM

sounds reallly good to me :-)

Renate

Posted by: Renate Uhl at August 15, 2008 6:10 PM

haven't heard of them either-so sorry for his passing.

Renate

Posted by: Renate Uhl at August 15, 2008 6:14 PM

I don't think it is correct for you to have said that Robbie Basho "highly influenced John Fahey". I think it was very much the other way around. Fahey was well established as a music scholar, innovater, composer and interpreter before Basho was able to achieve any particular recognition. Fahey had done extensive research and study of country blues artists and the genre before Robbie began performing as I remember it. Fahey recorded and produced Basho's albums - so how could the mentoring or influence have been the other way around? I think you have the cart before the horse.

Basho may have been an influence on Kottke in that they both played 12 string guitar instrumentals in open tunings, but they were recording their first albums at the same time basically and I would want to hear Kottke state that he had Robbies influence before I would believe that. I was a big fan of Fahey and Kottke and I bought every LP by all three of these artists as they were being released in the 60's and 70's. I do not believe Basho's technical or composing skills ever rose to the level of Fahey or Kottkee. Basho was adept at making music which apealed during the years when sitar music was a craise and LSD use was wide spread - absent those fleeting interests in things Eastern and mystical his music would not have found the very minor audience that it did when his Tacoma albums were released. Basho never broke into the Boston or NYC folk scenes of the 60's, he was all about the Frisco counter culture scene. Robbie achiieved the reccognition his music deserved I think...it wasn't all that great or technically complex. Though he had the Tacoma label in common with Fahey and Kottke, that is where the commonality ends for me.

Posted by: Richardd Williams at September 9, 2008 1:42 PM

Lets alsop not forget Sandy Bull who was the other significant instrumentalist in the mid and late 60's who was also experimenting with open tunings, eastern influences and different instruments. I believe Akerman was possibly influenced by Fahey, Kottke and Bull though I never considered Basho or Akerman to have been particularly origional.

Posted by: Richard Williams at September 15, 2008 6:40 PM

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