Although John Fahey passed away five years ago, his name has resurfaced courtesy of some nimble picking “freak-folkers,” namely Sufjan Stevens, Devendra Banhart and M. Ward. Theyíve all been strongly influenced by Fahey’s taste of folk, blues, classical, Brazilian and Indian. So what better way to resurrect Faheyís overlooked talents than bring together the likes of Ward, Banhart, Stevens, Calexico, Lee Renaldo, Jason Lytle, Peter Case and Howe Gelb to pay tribute on I Am The Resurrection. Itís an all-star cast, but itís far from an all-star collection.
While some of the tracks stand out – most notably The Fruit Bats’ version of “Death of the Clayton Peacock” and Case’s “When The Catfish in Bloom” – Sufjan Stevens’ variation on “Commemorative Transfiguration & Communion at Magruder Park” sounds like an Illinois outtake, and Calexico’s “Dance of Death” may very well put you to sleep.
These are nice musical variations, and each artist retains their own style, but I Am The Resurrection isnít the full indie canvas blockbuster it could have been. Itís a respectful tip of the cap to Fahey, but in the end, youíre better off with the originals.