Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Brief Obituary: Bert Jansch

Born in Glasgow in 1943, Bert Jansch is primarily known as a folk artist. His long career included prolific solo work and the group Pentangle, an acoustic supergroup that included John Renbourn. He was a central figure in the folk revival in the '70s. Known as a gentleman who cared little for the trappings of stardom, he lived in London with his wife Lauren at the time of his death.

Jansch was lauded for his skill with an acoustic guitar. Johnny Marr, guitarist for the Smiths has said:
He completely re-invented guitar playing and set a standard that is still unequalled today - without Bert Jansch, rock music as it developed in the 1960s and 1970s would have been very different. You hear him in Nick Drake, Pete Townshend, Donovan, The Beatles, Jimmy Page and Neil Young. There are people playing guitar who don’t even realise they’ve been influenced by him one step removed.

Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Bernard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs are big fans. And Neil Young compared Jansch to Jimi Hendrix: "As much of a great guitar player as Jimi was, Bert Jansch is the same thing for acoustic guitar...."

"Black Waterslide"

"Blues Run the Game"

"Do You Hear Me Now"

Bert Jansch was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009. He died this morning.


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