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Fresh As a Sweet Sunday Morning

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Album Review

Bert Jansch has been a great live act since the 1960s, and as this album recorded live in Sheffield reveals, he hasn't lost the knack. Some things have altered over the years — notably his voice, which was always rough — but these days it's a growling, fairly untamed instrument. Yet his influential guitar playing is as smooth and mellifluous as ever. If it seems less surprising and adventurous than before, that's probably because so many others have picked up bits and pieces from his style — some, like Jimmy Page, grabbed it wholesale. But Jansch has carried on, doing what he does, and this concert is populated by classics from his repertoire like "Blackwaterside," "Strolling Down the Highway," "She Moved Through the Fair," and his authoritative cover of Jackson C. Frank's "Blues Run the Game," along with a few additions, including an excellent version of "Katie Cruel" that he melds to his style. It's not a great Jansch album by any means, although there's nothing wrong with it; it simply stands as a document of where Jansch was on this particular night.


Born: 03 November 1943 in Glasgow, Scotland

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the most important figures in contemporary British folk, Bert Jansch brought an unsurpassed combination of virtuosity and eclecticism to the acoustic guitar, both as a solo act and a key member of Pentangle. Also a talented songwriter and affecting (if gruff) vocalist, he wrote dark and sparse material that recalled the folky side of Donovan, though he was much less pop-oriented than the psychedelic pop troubadour. Incorporating elements of blues, American folk, and British Isles traditional...
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