By the simple act of starting his own record label, Takoma Records, in 1958, John Fahey gave birth to a new musical genre and became the first guitarist-composer. Though his playing is based on ragtime-blues fingerpicking, with the liberal use of riffs from the playing of such blues greats as Charley Patton and Skip James, his methods of composition owe more to modern classical music than the blues. Fahey described this approach as something like "Bartók with syncopation." There is a distinct individuality to the music-it's somehow laden with existential angst, though there's a strong element of religious feeling, too, along with nostalgia for a simpler past. For the original LP, Fahey chose his personal favorites, his definitive performances, many composed while he was still a teenager. For this CD reissue, two of John's long-form guitar pieces--"America" and "Fare Forward Voyagers"-- have been added, as well as his classic "Desperate Man Blues."