John Fahey Red Cross

Released on his own label, Red Cross marks the last album by the true American guitar/folk mystery legend that is John Fahey, one who was always 180 degrees apart from the rest. He is authentically psychedelic, painting dusty deserts, slowing down time and piercing it with his immediate-sounding ambient dirge string plucking, and the small echoes and reverberations that lay between his notes speak of damage, ghosts, lament and beauty. Red Cross was recorded shortly before his death in 2001 and suitably, this album sounds like a premonition of what was to come, as this disc is pure lonesomeness at its best, yet strangely is comforting to listen to. And as any great legend would, Fahey also pays historical homage to those before him, covering Irving Berlin's "Remember" and Gershwin's "Summertime," both with a fresh approach that proves that great playing and composing can transcend any medium or genre. (Revenant)