Since I’m a sucker for anything with some good train sounds in it, I love this. It appears at the end of side one of his album ‘The Yellow Princess‘, which was released some time around late 1968 or early 1969. It was his second record for Vanguard. The first, ‘Requia‘ also contained a lengthy tape collage, “Requiem for Molly”.
The piece uses a recording of the ‘singing bridge‘, which sounds like a train is passing over it (or nearby) slowly.
Mixed with this are echoed guitar sounds, an “electric bassoon” and an “old phonograph record”.
The old phonograph record is ‘Quill Blues‘ by Big Boy Cleveland,recorded in 1926. Apparently quills were a form of pan-pipe. Using an existing record to make a new piece of music in this way makes this track an early example of sampling.
All these elements are collaged together into an evocative tape piece, a world away from regular folk & blues revival music. It demonstrates yet again the breadth of John Fahey’s vision.