Â© Tim Bugbee / Retna LTD
From the Takoma School of fingerstyle guitar comes Boston’s Glenn Jones and his beautifully rendered acoustic piece, “Of It’s Own Kind.”
“In 1967, my head was blown off by Jimi Hendrix’s second album,” says guitarist Glenn Jones. “After hearing it, I bugged my old man till he bought me my first guitar. I was 14.”
His passion for the instrument’s most dynamic flame-thrower soon evolved into a love for the players who made up the Takoma movement, specifically John Fahey.
He “virtually single-handedly created a style of solo guitar playing, as well as an audience to support it,” says Jones, who was the editor of a Fahey archival collection published this past year.
“As I got more into the instrument and began listening to the music of guitarists of all kinds,” he continues, I found that the ‘Takoma school’ players were decidedly different from other guitarists.
“Despite the fact that many guitarists were technically more adept, polished or sophisticated than the American Primitives, what I like about the latter was the fact that their music was not about virtuosity for its own sake, but, rather, was a way to express some kind of feeling.”
Lessons learned and taken to the heart, Jones carries the torch for his idols with his recently released album on Thrill Jockey called The Wandering.
Recorded in a fourth floor apartment on Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue, The Wandering is a collection of solo acoustic tunes that span the instruments many invocations: acoustic steel string guitar, six-string, 10-string and bottleneck and 5-string open-back banjo.
“Of It’s Own Kind” is just one example of Jones’ virtuosity, his respect for the past and his commitment to carrying the craft into the 21st century.