Recorded in 1958 and released on the Folkways label in 1959, Bahaman Folk Guitar introduced American listeners to Joseph Spence's unique guitar and vocal styles. These field recordings by musicologist Sam Charters capture Spence in a relaxed, expansive mood – only one of the six selections in the set is under five minutes in length. Spence's guitar style was due in part to the D tuning of his bass string, which produced a lower bass sound. Whereas many critics have called Spence's vocal style unorthodox, they have found his guitar playing spontaneous and iconic. Some music critics have gone so far as to refer to him as the "Thelonious Monk of folk guitar."