Bert Jansch: The Essential Bert Jansch (Union Square)

 |   |  1 min read

Bert Jansch: In This Game (1972)
Bert Jansch: The Essential Bert Jansch (Union Square)

In the liner notes to this 26-track double CD collection Jansch says, "I only know how to play a guitar and write songs. I don't know anything else when it comes down to it."

The likes of Jimmy Page who was influenced by Jansch's acoustic folk style and fans such as Devendra Banhardt, Johnny Marr, Graham Coxon and dozens of others in the new folk movement (Fleet Foxes etc) would probably say that is more than enough from this sixtysomething Scot.

He was a founder of Pentangle who -- alongside Steeleye Span, Donovan, John Renbourn, Davey Graham, Fairport Convention and others -- were prime movers in the Anglofolk movement of the Sixties which in turn opened the door for the likes of Nick Drake.

With a style which incorporated finger-picking alongside jazz influences and traditional folk songs -- as well as his exceptional and increasingly inventive originals -- he has been so long established as to be accorded "legendary" status.

Not many can say they have played with Pete Doherty of Babyshambles and had their songs covered by Donovan (Do You Hear Me Now, included here in its '65 version), or had one of his pieces pinched wholesale by Led Zeppelin (his Blackwaterside song also here became their Black Mountain Side instrumental).

This collection is mostly drawn from his Sixties output and although he is still active, this is perhaps the period most of his current devotees look back to.

Old hands will know Jansch's work well enough and will have albums like Jack Orion, some Pentangle and his '79 outing Avocet in their collections (and maybe even his more recent Black Swan from '06).

But if he is another of those people you have just heard namechecked then this is as good a place as any to start.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Leonard Cohen: Live in London (DVD, Sony)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Leonard Cohen: Live in London (DVD, Sony)

Those who saw Cohen's New Zealand concerts earlier this year -- and even those whose wallets couldn't stand the cruel gouging -- will find much to enjoy in this, almost exactly the same show, here... > Read more

Garth Brooks: Gunslinger (Sony)

Garth Brooks: Gunslinger (Sony)

When Garth Brooks emerged in the Nineties and professed as much love for rock bands like Kansas and Kiss as the country legends he invited immediate derision from critics who looked for... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

GUEST WRITER DAN DROUTSOS discovers the lost Seattle soul scene of the Seventies

GUEST WRITER DAN DROUTSOS discovers the lost Seattle soul scene of the Seventies

The 2009 documentary Wheedle's Groove chronicles the brief yet intense heyday of Seattle's soul music scene, which bubbled up and simmered down again within the space of a few short years, and... > Read more

TIGI NESS INTERVIEWED (2003): From street warrior to natural mystic

TIGI NESS INTERVIEWED (2003): From street warrior to natural mystic

The high-rise skyline shimmers in the summer heat beyond the faded iron roofs of Auckland's inner-city suburbs. Tigi Ness sits on the back porch of his Grey Lynn home, in the foreground a tended... > Read more