John Fahey – Yellow Princess (Vanguard, 1969), America (Takoma, 1971): The pioneering progressive folk guitarist has had an unquestioned influence on the contemporary freak folk scene, in particular the exploratory guitar work of Ben Chasny.
Vashti Bunyan – Just Another Diamond Day (Dicristina Star, 1970): She was a tree faerie Nico, or maybe the female Nick Drake. Bucolic British folk with a hushed, melancholic air; the confessions of a washerwoman
Donovan Barabajagal (Epic, 1969): Lusty, organic ruminations on the fairer sex from the Scottish duke of psychedelic folk. Contains the classic I Love My Shirt.
Meat Puppets II (SST, 1983): You know them as Kurt Cobains favorite band. The Puppets second album is a scraggly punk masterpiece infused with rootsy darkness and looming fatalism.
Bob Dylan Blonde on Blonde (Columbia, 1966): Dylans absurdist lyrical journey through trashy rock n roll, brilliant balladry and incredibly cool song titles like Absolutely Sweet Marie and Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat.
Pentangle Basket of Light (Edsel, 1969): British combo whose dramatic, virtuosic folk-rock conjures images of Dr. Who and the Wickerman. While often beautiful, their music is also exceedingly creepy. Youve been warned.
Buffy Saint-Marie Illuminations (Vanguard, 1969): Speaking of creepy. Saint-Maries harrowing, many-tongued vocals and its tonal, occasionally synthesized, and always forward-looking arrangements mark Illuminations as a classic in experimental folk.
No Neck Blues Band Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Names Will Never Hurt Me (Revenant, 2001): A contemporary classic issued through Faheys personal label. Twisting rhythms, random noises, and fractured jangles add up to a record that envelopes you in its grasp.
Sun City Girls Torch of the Mystics (Majorca, 1990): A haunting and freaky lullaby wrapped in Middle Eastern mantras and clanging, fractured rock n roll. Gets in your head and stays there, murmuring.
Van Morrison Astral Weeks (Warner Bros, 1968): Captivating, uplifting work from Van the Man. Beside You is what morning dew sounds like; Astral Weeks is some kind of organic masterwork.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org