Archive | October, 2018

Bert Jansch – Just A Simple Soul

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Bert Jansch – Just A Simple Soul

Posted on 10 October 2018 by Joe

There are plenty of Bert Jansch compilations that take in his 1960s and early 1970s heyday. But this behemoth of a collection from BMG offers something far more career spanning.

By also dipping into the highlights from his mid-1970s through to a renaissance in the early 21st century this may well be the definitive Bert Jansch collection.


The first CD contains exactly what Jansch admirers would expect. Strolling Down the Highway, Needle of Death and his take on the classic Angie are essential inclusions. As is Black Water Side, It Don’t Bother Me and a sprinkling of tracks from his 1971 classic Rosemary Lane, including the traditional Reynardine and title track.

This first half is a 14 track set of remarkable consistency, with his evocative laid back vocals and stunning guitar work, showcased to perfection.

Intriguing later career


But it’s the second half that is perhaps more interesting, as his career stop-started due to ill health.

Among the many high points from this period is what turned out to be his final album, 2006’s Black Swan, which sees Jansch joined by among others Beth Orton, and Devendra Banhart. The best partnership here though is on the title track, in which Helena Espvall’s haunting cello proved the perfect foil for Jansch’s voice and intricate guitar play.

Its also great to hear Kittiwake, a track from 1979’s ornithological concept album Avocet. This saw Jansch reunite with Pentangle bassist Danny Thompson and also joined by multi-instrumentalist Martin Jenkins.

Bert Jansch (centre) performing with Pentangle at Glastonbury 2011

Bert Jansch (centre) performing with Pentangle at Glastonbury 2011

There’s also the welcome addition of Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning and Chambertin, from the Mike Nesmith produced LA Turnaround (1974). His cover of Jackson C. Frank’s Carnival, from 1998’s Toy Balloon is another essential part of this collection.

What’s particularly refreshing about this compilation is that it acts as both a definitive collection, as well as a taster to encourage further investigation of his back catalogue.

Jansch sadly passed away in 2011, at the age of 67, leaving an incredible back catalogue that helped influence artists as diverse as Jimmy Page and Nick Drake to Johnny Marr and the Fleet Foxes. It is welcome to see his five decade spanning career at last captured in one place.


By Joe Lepper

Bert Jansch – Just A Simple Soul is released on October 26. More details here.


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Video Premier: Oly Ralfe – A Forest In The City

Posted on 08 October 2018 by Joe

Ralfe Band’s Oly Ralfe has shared a new video for ‘A Forest In The City’, which appears on his debut solo album Notes From Another Sea – a collection of piano instrumentals.

The video has been filmed in his studio in Oxfordshire as well as on location in nearby Wychwood Forest.

The video release coincides with a show taking place at St. Pancras Church, London, on October 10 (tickets) when Ralfe will be performing songs from the album, along with a six-piece classical ensemble. The show is a collaboration with orchestrator Luke Lewis.

“I think of this album as a pathway through mysterious places; I hope it can unlock the beauty and strangeness of what’s around you,” said Ralfe.

“I see emotions as pictures and pictures as music, and each of these tracks is a conjuring of an indistinct yet intense place, and my music is the soundtrack to that. When I am inspired I find myself gravitating towards the piano, and through it I’ve opened myself up more than I have before.”

Notes From Another Sea is available on vinyl limited to 500 hand-numbered copies worldwide, CD and digital.


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