I haven’t yet found out what it was that drew the groundbreaking, complicated experimental guitar virtuoso John Fahey, of all people, to Christmas music, but whatever it was, I’m sure glad it did.

Fahey recorded multiple Christmas albums and played holiday concerts for years; Grayson Haver Currin wrote a nice piece a few years back about how Fahey’s Christmas records are required listening even for people who loathe Christmas music. “Go I Will Send Thee” is a great example of his style. It’s a rendition of an old spiritual that’s distinctly original while also faithful to the old ways. It’ll bring something unique to your holiday playlist.

The music, of course, speaks for itself, but I also recommend this episode of the Lost Notes about Fahey, whose musical genius was usually close by even at his most personally difficult.