SONG OF THE DAY Robbie Basho – Blue Crystal Fire

In the mid-60’s when the sounds of Indian music began filtering into Western mainstream pop, Ravi Shankar was one of the pioneering artists to introduce this exotic sound.

The Beatles and many other bands of that era began incorporating the sitar into their songs and in folk music artists such as John RenbournBert Jansch and Davy Graham (who had a theory that there is a connection between oriental/Eastern music and the folk music of Ireland) also began to incorporate this sound into their compositions.

Around about the same time a little-known artist from Baltimore, Maryland emerged and, already immersed in Asian art and culture, brought with him a new and curious style of guitar playing.  Born Daniel R. Robinson, Jr, Robbie Basho was an acoustic guitarist, pianist and singer whose interest in playing the guitar developed whilst at college with John Fahey, Ed Denson and Max Ochs.  In 1959 Basho purchased his first guitar and with a passion firmly rooted in Asian culture, changed his name to Basho in honour of the Japanese poet, Matsuo Bahso.  These influences are evident in his first album, The Seal of the Blue Lotuswhich was released in 1965 and with his distinct finger-picking style inspired by the sarod, this record has strong similarities to the early works of Davy Graham.  Basho’s guitar melodies were often created using Eastern modes and scales, but his work was also influenced by European classical music to blues.

Robbie Basho is a relatively new discovery for me and I’ve yet to familiarise myself with his earlier albums (which is why I’ve enclosed a link to his first album), but today’s song jumps forward 13 years from his debut record, featuring on his 1978 album, Visions of the Country. Vocally his voice is perhaps something you either take to or not, but Blue Crystal Fire has grown on me and I’m pretty sure there’s a reason it keeps turning up in recommended playlists…plus I like the similarities to Davy Graham in Basho’s early albums. Check it out above……

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This entry was posted in Acoustic, Experimental, experimental folk, Folk, folk blues and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to SONG OF THE DAY Robbie Basho – Blue Crystal Fire

  1. Pingback: SONG OF THE DAY Robbie Basho – Basho’s Blues | The Listening Post a blog to discover, listen and enjoy music

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