Bert Jansch

Fresh as a Sweet Sunday Morning | MVD
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  November 13, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
inside_BERT-JANSCH---FRESH-
Jimmy Page admitted being “absolutely obsessed” with him. Neil Young, Donovan, and Paul Simon worshipped him. So you could safely say that Bert Jansch’s influence on his fellow musos of the ’60s was significant. The Scottish acoustic guitarist, singer, and songwriter never made much of an impact on the general American audience — though some still fondly remember Pentangle, the folk-rock group he helmed with guitarist John Renbourn — but the knowing few who’ve been in his thrall will consider this 2006 Sheffield concert DVD manna. The 100-minute performance finds Jansch as nimble-fingered as he was four decades earlier, sitting alone on stage as he samples his own song catalogue, covers favored writers, and amiably spins tales of the songs’ origins. Some of the material goes back to his earliest days — “Strolling Down the Highway” is from his 1965 solo debut — and some is drawn from his latest, last year’s critically lauded The Black Swan. (Pentangle, alas, is ignored.) Jansch still isn’t much of a vocalist, but he never really had to be: his fingers say everything that need be said.
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