The title The Dance of Death and Other Plantation Favorites might lead some to believe that this is a collection of public-domain items that go back to the Deep South of the 19th century. However, while this 1964 session does contain a song titled "Dance of Death," most of the material (including that tune) was written by Fahey himself in the early '60s. So an intriguing title is simply that: an intriguing title. Nonetheless, Fahey's music does have strong southern roots. Unaccompanied, the acoustic guitarist/instrumentalist demonstrates his love of African-American blues as well as the Anglo-American country, folk, and hillbilly music of Appalachia.
Delta blues is one of the earliest styles of blues music. Created by black musicians who lived and worked on the farms in north Mississippi, these men and women drew on influences from church songs, prison songs, African rhythms, and early American folk traditions to fashion a new form of music. Unbeknownst to them, the music created in this relatively small area that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers would spread the world over and shape musical history.