Lindsay’s Team Pick:
Bert Jansch, Scottish folk legend and frontman of the immortal ’60s British folk revival group Pentangle, passed away early this morning in London following a long battle with lung cancer. He was 67. The extensive catalog of music he left behind is simple yet intricate, traditional yet fresh, achingly beautiful and absolutely a must-listen.
If you’re unfamiliar with Bert Jansch, you’ve probably heard his stuff through other people: one of his most famous recordings is a version of the Davy Graham tune ‘Angie,’ which was also covered by Simon & Garfunkel. His recording of ‘Blackwaterside,’ a reinterpretation of an old English folk song, inspired Jimmy Page to write Led Zeppelin’s very similar ‘Black Mountain Side.’ He influenced a ton of musicians including the aforementioned Simon & Garfunkel and Zep, but also more people you will have heard of and love, like Devendra Banhart, Nick Drake, Joanna Newsom, Graham Coxon from Blur, the list goes on forever.
Jansch’s music, tragically but appropriately enough, makes for the perfect fall soundtrack. Put him on during those long walks or drives while watching the leaves fall, curling up with that special someone while being really cliché and drinking cider and wearing sweaters (or nothing), or, if the longing of the season is getting to you, just put Jack Orion on, lie on the floor facing the ceiling and let the music absorb you.
To get you started, here’s a live recording of ‘Blackwaterside‘:
And as a bonus, a live BBC recording of ‘Angie,’ taken last year:
And ‘In The Bleak Midwinter,’ because maaaaan, that is beautiful:
Perfect Autumn music, musings from a car window in the English rain.
When me and my sister rediscovered our parents’ old LPs of Bert/ John Renbourn/Pentangle/Fairport Convention and started loving it, they were disappointed – they thought we’d find our own generation of music much more interesting. But no, dusty vinyl and 70s folk all the way.
Long live Bert Jansch appreciation.
Thank you for posting this; I hadn’t heard about his passing until now. (Who knew I’d hear about it on Autostraddle? +1 to you guys.) I always listen to him whenever autumn rolls around and I still remember the first time I heard “October Song” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD03hcvyL54). Simply beautiful stuff, and a wonderful legacy.
lindsay thank you so much for introducing me to jansch’s music. what i’ve heard so far has been really perfect for this day / weather. love it.
I am really sad now… I first heard about him in 2007 or so and my favorite song is High Days.
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