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Blues, Country, Modern Soul, Folk, Spoken Word


Without a doubt the name immediately associated with Takoma Records is John Fahey, co-founder of the label and the man who created the audience for solo steel-string guitar playing according to Leo Kottke, whose 6 and 12 String Guitar album is the biggest seller on the label. But it was Fahey's wayward genius and unique sense of timing and dynamics that defined a whole style of guitar playing. The Takoma story began in 1959 in the Washington, DC suburb of Takoma Park when Fahey borrowed $300 and pressed 100 copies of his now-legendary Blind Joe Death, an LP of original blues-based steel string guitar solos. By 1963 Fahey and his co-founder ED Denson had moved from these humble beginnings to California and by the mid 60s the now successful label's eclectic mix of blues and ragtime guitar playing, mixed with Indian and contemporary European classics had caught the vivid imagination of the hip, turned on generation. The radical and the traditional always intertwined at Takoma, sometimes in the same artist, such as Robbie Basho. The diverse roster included electronics pioneer Bernie Krause, beat poet Charles Bukowski, dobro player Mike Auldridge and Capt Beefheart's favourite record 'One String Blues' by Eddie 'One String' Jones and Eddie Hazelton. Takoma is true Americana, radicalising tradition and re-inventing the steel string guitar and producing a huge influence on modern roots based music.

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