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iTunes Review

The Scottish-born singer/songwriter and guitarist Bert Jansch was a major player in the British folk scene of the ‘60s. He was a member of the excellent folk-rock group Pentangle and has regularly put out solo albums since his 1965 self-titled debut. With the development of freak-folk in the U.S., interest in his work was revived in the ‘00s, but when Sketches was originally released in 1990, his audience was limited. Jansch is backed here by guitarist/vocalist Peter Kirtley, bassist Danny Thompson (who played with Pentangle, Nick Drake, and Richard Thompson), and others. Jansch revisits a number of older songs, including the haunting “Needle of Death,” which originally appeared on his first album. The earlier version evokes the stark, concentrated beauty of Drake; here the song gets a slower, mellower reading. Both are lovely. Overall, Sketches presents an excellent set of material, including, “Ring-a-Ding Bird,” “A Woman Like You” and “Running, Running from Home.” Throughout the album, Jansch’s fine guitar playing contrasts nicely with his appealingly rough vocals.

Customer Reviews


I like it

A Master At Work

If you are not familiar with Bert's guitar playing and songwriting this is a great introduction.
See also "Circus ComesTo Town" .... and.....
See "Ornament Tree".....



Born: November 3, 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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