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Bert Jansch


Biography (Courtesy of the Artistís site, 2007)

Bert Jansch, legendary songwriter and guitarist, is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential musicians of all time. Since the mid 1960s generation after generation have been enraptured and amazed by his extraordinary ground-breaking guitar playing and classic emotive songs. Jimmy Page, Neil Young, Nick Drake, Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler and Beth Orton have all been devotees, and today another new generation of musicians and fans, led by Devendra Banhart, are discovering Jansch for themselves.__Bert began performing his unique synthesis of folk, blues and jazz on the folk club scene of the early 1960s, having hitch-hiked to London from his hometown of Edinburgh. His first album, Bert Jansch (played on a borrowed guitar and recorded on a reel-to-reel tape deck in someoneís apartment) was legendarily sold to the Transatlantic label for £100. On its release in April 1965, Bert Jansch caused a sensation for its innovative guitar technique and powerful songs, and it has been phenomenally influential to this day, cited by legions of guitar players (famous and otherwise) as a major inspiration.__Bert Jansch was followed by It Donít Bother Me, and the also hugely influential Jack Orion. On that album Bert was already exploring innovative treatments of the traditional folk ballad form, something he took further with Pentangle, the unique acoustic supergroup he formed with John Renbourn, Jacqui McShee, Terry Cox and Danny Thompson. Pentangle made six albums and enjoyed an unprecedented degree of success for an acoustic band.__After Pentangle split in 1973, Bert returned to a prolific solo career. His 21st solo album, Crimson Moon, on which he worked for the first time with long-time fans Johnny Marr and Bernard Butler, appeared in 2000 to a torrent of press and TV attention, accompanied by a Channel 4 documentary, Dreamweaver, and the publication by Bloomsbury of a major biography: Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British Folk and Blues Revival (Colin Harper). A double CD tribute album, People On The Highway: a Bert Jansch Encomium, featuring Bertís songs specially recorded by other artists, was also released in 2000. In 2001 Bert was awarded a BBC Radio 2 Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Edge of a Dream (featuring Bernard Butler, Hope Sandoval, Dave Swarbrick and Ralph McTell), appeared in October 2002 to widespread critical acclaim across Europe. In November 2003 Bert celebrated his 60th birthday with a BBC TV Special shown on BBC4, and a triumphant sell-out birthday concert at Londonís Queen Elizabeth Hall with special guests.__Recently much of Bert's classic and prolific back catalogue has been digitally remastered and sumptuously re-packaged, boasting great sound quality, extensive booklets with brand new full and informative sleevenotes, photographs and facsimiles of all the original artwork. Some have extra bonus tracks. The beautiful reissue series culminated in the first-time CD issue of the extraordinary instrumental album Avocet, one of the masterpieces of Bertís career.__In 2006 Bert has been working with some of the latest musicians to emerge on the scene on his long awaited new album The Black Swan, including producer Noah Georgeson (Devendra Banhart - Cripple Crow, Joanna Newsom - Milk-Eyed Mender), and musicians and vocalists Devendra Banhart, Beth Orton, Otto Hauser (Espers, Vetiver), Helena Espvall (Espers), and Kevin Barker (Currituck Co.). In February 2006 Bert was involved in the major BBC TV series Folk Britannia, and appeared in the associated concerts at The Barbican in London. On May 14 Bert received a rapturous reception at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival where he shared a bill with Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, Espers, Jandek and others. Bert also features in a new book, Guitar Man (published by Bloomsbury March 20) a Nick Hornby style book about guitar playing. On 5 June 2006 Bert received the Mojo Merit Award from Mojo magazine at their Honours List ceremony. The award is ďbased around an expanded career that still continues to be inspirationalĒ and was presented by Beth Orton and Roy Harper.__In a live setting, Bertís performances are still a rare opportunity to see one of the British music sceneís true legends play. His understated, low key approach eschews hollow show business routines, and the audience is treated to a guitar playing master class and an impressive catalogue of some of the most haunting songs in the British canon.

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