Peter Walker was the quintessential psych-folk guitar player to come out of the '60s. Revered by Timothy Leary, who had him program the music for his Turn-Ons, Walker was one of the first to take the Indian tradition of ragas and channel them through the guitar into a sound that is pure heaven. His exotic, state-of-the-art finger-picking transcends description and has influenced such artists as Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance.
Vanguard Records originally released the record in 1966, showcasing the now much-celebrated and influential guitarist's unique approach to instrumental acoustic guitar music (both solo and accompanied on flute, tamboura, percussion and a second guitar by musicians including Bruce Langhorne and Monte Dunn). Walker had immersed himself in the art of Indian raga, and his travels around Spain, North Africa and Mexico further informed his musical education, all conspiring to create a hybrid guitar style that had as much to do with flamenco, Latin and Eastern styles as it did the dominant Takoma school of Americana or anything happening on the UK folk scene of the time. You can hear the influence of Walker's earliest brushes with cross-cultural guitar music throughout the works of James Blackshaw, Jack Rose and Steffen Basho-Junghans, and at this point in time it's easy to recognise just how important a body of work Rainy Day Raga is within the folk guitar canon.