A Talent That Took
30 Years to Develop
John Fairhurst has
been plying his trade as a blues guitarist for over 30 years. In
that time he has traveled far and wide, exposing himself to range of
truly global influences. It's important to notice that even in his
middle age he still trots the globe, and still infuses his music
with the best of what crosses his path.
John's father encouraged him to learn slide blues as a child. Even
as a youngster John was passionate about music. He considers his
introduction to Indian Classical to be a turning point in his life.
It was an experience that opened his eyes to the variety and depth
on international rhythms. This passion and appreciation of what he
had experienced carried him on to become the master musician he is
Alongside young John's growing appreciation of music grew his love
of travel. John traveled not to relax, or to get away, but to learn.
He submerges himself in his host culture, and tries to use the
experience to give himself a deeper, richer perspective. This is how
he plays his internationally influenced compositions with such soul.
He knows where the music comes from.
This is an approach he has maintained his whole life. It's probably
impossible to pin down what genre this musician feels most
comfortable in, he subscribes to a wide range of stylistic
influences. Listen to his music, and you can hear shades of
continental folk, American bluegrass, and Indian Raga. No matter
what genre his fingers wander into, it's obvious you're listening to
a master guitarist.
John has enjoyed some
recent critical acclaim for his debut album "Joys of Spring,"
released on CD in 2008. It's an album that covers some serious
cultural territory. His acoustic song "OBNOX Stomp" crosses from
Australian blues to a fast paced gypsy folk, and try though you
might, you can't listen to it without tapping your feet. That's a
The second solo track on "Joys of Spring," drops the tempo into
something light, but a little bit sad. Here's where his classical
training shines through. It's hard to make one instrument do what
John makes it do, but in his practiced hands, the guitar hums. When
he plays, his brow furrows in concentration. He forgets he has an
audience, and he lives in his instrument.
You'll wish "Joys of Spring" had more than 11 tracks. This is the
type of artist that gets popular late in their career, the type who
works long and hard to earn their audience. John has spent his life
exploring other cultures, trying to tease out their treasures. Now
he is a treasure.