When I was in high school back in the 60s, I discovered a group called Pentangle. The group was composed of Danny Thompson on double bass, Terry Cox on drums, Jacqui McShee on vocals and was anchored by two brilliant guitarists, John Renbourne and Bert Jansch. Bert shared vocal duties with Jacqui and his voice embodied everything one can imagine in a British troubadour. His guitar playing was brilliant and over the course of the years he was a major influence on the guitar playing of artists ranging from Simon and Garfunkel to Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. Page recorded Bert’s song, “Blackwaterside,” renaming it Black Mountain Side. It was a clear case f copyright infringement but Bert didn’t have the money to pursue the case in court, so it was never pursued.
Jansch was strongly influenced by Davy Graham and began incorporating many of his altered tunings into his own music. I find his sound to be very soothing. He died a year ago on October 5th, so I thought it appropriate to recall one of Britain’s finest guitarists.
Blackwater Slide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkX7Q2J7k48
Blues Run The Game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MO_Xxq3LVw
She Moved Through The Fair: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tsb4TzzzSGI&feature=related
Rosemary Lane: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ymZDtgV58&feature=related
I Have No Time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSNuclN_w8E&feature=related
Running From Home: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3mGV5pDDsM&feature=related
Wayward Child: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdNQ9B6IzAI&feature=related
Listening to Bert’s light touch calls for an equally light but wonderful wine, so I suggest Michel Sarrazin’s 2009 Bourgogne Pinot Noir. Its color is ruby red with a bouquet of cherries, herbs, and a touch of vanilla. It’s a medium bodied wine with a palate full of tart cherry, red currants, and that hint of vanilla. Soft tannins and a nice long finish make this a bargain at $15.00 and it beautifully compliments the guitar of Bert Jansch. Enjoy!