Drawing his name from a Japanese poet, his musical style from eastern raga sounds and his sartorial style from American Indians, Robbie Basho was eclectic and eccentric. He was also one of the most gifted and original acoustic guitarists that the John Fahey/Leo Kottke/William Ackerman axis produced. Recording for Fahey's Takoma Records, and being cited by Ackerman as a principal influence on the founding of Windam Hill Records, never produced the kind of fame and acclaim that Basho's prodigious talent merited. During his latter career (Basho died in 1986 at the age of 46) he was reduced to peddling self recorded, cassette only material. This disc, one of the last projects undertaken by Fahey before his death last year, collects material from three of Basho's Takoma releases and will hopefully inspire the release of more of his catalog. The material tends toward extended tracks that feature Basho's open tuned 12-string raga stylings. Three feature his idiosyncratic vocals, which are not universal in their appeal but are important in a collection like this, which seeks to provide an overview of Basho's work for Takoma. It's a welcome release for Basho fans, and a quality introduction to an artist any admirer of the acoustic guitar should know.
Cat. number: 8913