Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

Heartbreak

Omnivore Recordings

It was truly a sad day when Bert Jansch succumbed to cancer in 2011. He, along with fellow Pentangle guitarist John Renbourn and Richard Thompson of Fairport Convention essentially defined British acoustic guitar playing. A mixture of Scottish folk songs, American country blues, and jazz made up their sound, which was hugely influential on both sides of the Atlantic. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin took Jansch’s “Blackwater Side” for the band’s debut album — not crediting Jansch, as would be the case with other “homages” that Page slapped his name on (Willie Dixon, anyone?).

Bert Jansch’s career was a hit or miss affair. Prone to heavy drinking, his playing was erratic at times, but on this release, Heartbreak from 1982, the listener finds Jansch in fine form, accompanied by fellow Brit guitar legend Albert Lee on electric guitar and mandolin. Opening with yet another rendition of “Blackwater Side” and continuing with the lovely “Sit Down Beside Me” (one of his most moving love songs) and including his version of Tim Hardin’s “If I Was a Carpenter,” Bert delivers these ten songs with his trademark nimble guitar skills and emotional, warm voice. His take on “Heartbreak Hotel” will make you almost forget that other guy, with Lee’s sharp country fills answering Jansch’s haunting vocal. Jennifer Warnes gives harmony on the traditional “Wild Mountain Thyme,” and the whole album is a masterpiece of stellar guitar playing involving vocals and a top flight supporting cast, including Randy Tico on fretless bass.

This reissue comes with a solo live set from Jansch at McCabe’s Guitar Shop from 1981, and in it Bert proves he didn’t need anyone else, running through fourteen numbers ranging from his unique rendering of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and the magical “Poor Mouth,” among others. Yes, it was a sad time when Bert Jansch passed, but his music — his fluid, deceptively simple guitar playing and effortless, engaging voice — will continue to delight and amaze anyone with ears and a heart. Broken or not.

Omnivore: omnivorerecordings.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Christian Scott
    Christian Scott

    Rebel Ruler (Ropeadope / Stretch Music). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Kivanç Sezer
    Kivanç Sezer

    Turkish director Kivanç Sezer’s powerful debut feature, My Father’s Wings, puts the spotlight on the workplace safety crisis that is currently taking place in his homeland. Lily and Generoso Fierro spoke with Sezer at SEEFest 2017 about his film and his need to draw attention to this issue.

  • Temples
    Temples

    Supporting their just-released sophomore record, UK synth-pop poster boys, Temples, attracted an SRO crowd to one of Orlando’s premier nightspots.

  • Rat Film
    Rat Film

    Baltimore. Rats. A match made in Maryland.

  • Bishop Briggs
    Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs brings a stacked bill of up and comers to Orlando for a sold-out party at The Social. Jen Cray joins in the fun.

  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
    Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World

    There’s more than black music influencing the evolution of Rock and Roll. Native American rhymes and ideas are every bit as significant, once you know to look for them.

  • Keith Morris
    Keith Morris

    Ink 19 slings a few questions to the punk rock pioneer Keith Morris on Trump, Calexit and looking back.

  • Soul Understated
    Soul Understated

    Soul Understated was a swizzle stick of jazz, funk, pop with a dash of Radiohead in the delightful DC cocktail.

  • Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu
    Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu

    That Trip We Took With Dad is the debut feature by acclaimed Romanian short film director Anca Miruna Lǎzǎrescu. Generoso Fierro sat down with Lǎzǎrescu during SEEFest to discuss the comedy and drama within the adaptation of her deeply personal family story for the screen.

  • Aware
    Aware

    The Book Of Wind (Glacial Movements). Review by Carl F Gauze.

From the Archives