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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Bert Jansch

Bert Jansch

1965

Bert Jansch

Album Summary

Bert Jansch is the debut album by Scottish folk musician Bert Jansch. The album was recorded on a reel-to-reel tape recorder at engineer Bill Leader's house and sold to Transatlantic Records for £100. Transatlantic released the album, which went on to sell 150,000 copies. The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. It was voted number 649 in the third edition of Colin Larkin's All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).The record includes Jansch's best-known tune - "Needle of Death", which was inspired by the death of his friend, folk singer Buck Polly.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.02

Votes

5168

Genres

  • Folk
Reviews
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Tue Jun 22 2021
5

The Guitar work on Smokey river is so good. This albums feels like would I listen to if I was a hobo drifting trains. But on a serious note, I feel like I can feel this albums influence on a lot of my favorite music. Needle of Death is just amazing honestly. I find it absoluely haunting. A proper rambling album.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

This is so lovely. It's really understated, just a guy enjoying his guitar and a few songs. There are errors throughout, dud notes, something a bit off key, but that makes it better. It's like using something that's been handmade rather than manufactured. A log cabin in among a bunch of condos. Really relaxing, I like lots.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
5

Love this album considering the time of release and clear influences on musicians that followed. The songwriting is very good and the guitar playing in particular is amazing.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

This one is also terrific. I'm surprised Bert has never come up during the Nick Drake renaissance since they are cut from similar cloth. Lots of small instrumental interludes in between longer songs.

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Sat May 15 2021
4

super cool, and kind of interestingly timeless. it certainly doesn't feel like anything i'd think of from an album from 1964. i really like that - and this is gonna sound maybe kinda pretentious, but here goes - it sounds like he's playing on old strings. like, on a lot of albums you can just about smell the new nickel, but these just sound like whatever he had on - no super tinny highs, not ultra-clean or anything, just a great warm sound.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

Listened on Thursday when I was in a bad mood and this largely slid off my brain without leaving an impression. Listened again today when I was more receptive, and I had a much more positive experience. There are a few artists I love that have a similar guitar sound, but tend to be instrumental. Fave track " Instrumental Medley 1964" which is possibly a bonus track rather than being on the original album? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Thu Aug 12 2021
3

Never heard of Bert Jansch before. Very fitting sound for the 60's. Not bad by any means, but not an album I would seek out.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
5

This was great. Love a guitar picker. I've never heard of Bert Jansch but I'm a fan now. This is how I hear myself when I pick up a guitar, just before I touch the strings...

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Sun Jan 24 2021
5

Angie (instrumental)

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

Soy muy fan de Angie, el temazo que cierra este disco pero la verdad nunca me había clavado a escuchar un disco entero del viejo Bert. Qué tonto he sido. Un disco crepuscular, para ver el sol desaparecer y que pinte el cielo como sus arpegios pintan los espacios dentro de mi mente. Es mejor que un calmante psiquiátrico. Muy bonito. Hay varios momentos muy oscuros. Se agradece. Uno de los mejores guitarristas de la historia. Le dio una vida nueva a esa tradición de ambos lados del Atlántico. Country, blues, folk céltico, anglosajón, etc. Tradición que luego veo ecos, no sé si por casualidad, en los corridos actuales.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
5

I loved it. Good melodies and very folky with great guitar playing. This is exactly my kind of jam.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

Muy folk, tranqui, melancólico boni. Me gustó

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Fri Oct 15 2021
5

I love love love this. Hauntingly beautiful. Gorgeous Tim Buckley-esque sound.

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Fri Oct 22 2021
5

Great album

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Sun Nov 21 2021
5

Göttlich bodenständig vom ersten Ton - warum kannte ich diesen Namen bislang so gar nicht? Warm, virtuos, tief wurzelnd, wunderschön und lyrisch verfangend. Hierfür lernt man ein Instrument. So good so true. 4.7

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Sun Dec 12 2021
5

Großartige Entdeckung ich ahnungsloser

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Fri Apr 22 2022
5

Sensacional. Vários vocais legais!

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

Bert Jansch was a fantastic guitarist and is a personal inspiration. This album has that certain ”contained experience” which captures me tremendously

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Fri May 06 2022
5

The guitar on this album is phenomenal, and songs in short snippets really sells it for me. I think an instrumental version of this elevate it even further, but it is still a fantastic folk work.

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Thu Jul 21 2022
5

les chansons instrumentales mais juste un pur bonheur c’était inattendu merci Bert

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Thu Aug 11 2022
5

Really amazing guitar work. So impressive!

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Wed Sep 28 2022
5

That was awesome. Not just good music, but inspiring. It made me want to pick up a guitar and try my hand at this kind of honest simple expression- which I have never done. That's a feat, if you ask me. Wonderfully evocative; I was listening while building spreadsheets in a corporate cubicle but it felt like I was strolling down that London highway right alongside him. What a breath of fresh air. And the range of quality is really quote tight here, not much difference at all between my favorite and least favorite songs here, and I struggle to pick any as a low spot. Maybe Courting Blues is a little half baked for its length? But oh well I was still tapping my foot and nodding along happily. Highlights: I Have No Time, Needle of Death, Do You Hear Me Now, Angie Lowlights: Courting Blues

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Fri Sep 30 2022
5

Incredible talent - was really taken by this. Both influenced by a lot and clearly a huge influence on a lot of other people. Loved it.

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

Nice guitar! And sad, raspy voice. It reminds me of a person I met in Vietnam, who used to play the guitar in bars around the West Lake. He was blind, but he was the damn best guitar I'd ever heard.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
5

This was a pleasant surprise. Listening to the jangly guitar transformed a foggy afternoon from gloomy to hopeful. Even the song about famine (I Have No Time) was jaunty. The mood turned dark by Needle of Death. Why was this song not in Trainspotting? The tune belies the words in Do You Hear Me Now? The skies darkened as his songs did the same. My enjoyment persisted. Jangly chords and mournful lyrics. A perfect meeting of the right record at the right time for me. Mission accomplished, book. This WAS an album I needed to hear.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
5

Men with acoustic guitars has to be one of my favourite genders

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Fri Dec 23 2022
5

I can't believe I'd never heard of Bert Jansch. This is exactly the sort of thing I love and seek out, and apparently he influenced many of my favorite musicians. This is classic cafe singer-songwriter music, a voice over guitar, but wow, what guitar playing! I can hear the influence on artists like Donovan, Nick Drake, Simon & Garfunkle, and even Elliot Smith. A really lovely album I will definitely be coming back to. A surprising 5/5 for me despite never hearing it before now.

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Wed Jan 18 2023
5

His difficulty with finishing songs cleanly is the big clue to my untutored ear that this was a home recording. This is a lovely album.

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Mon Oct 26 2020
4

Enjoyable album, reminded me a lot of Nick Drake's Pink Moon

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Sun Feb 14 2021
4

Amazing acoustic album. Will definitely listen to it again

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Mon May 03 2021
4

Folksy and mellow. Very nice.

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Sun Feb 21 2021
4

The album I'm listening to today is called "Bert Jansch" by Bert Jansch. A Scottish folksinger who looks to have influenced quite a long list of favorite artists with his mid 60s folk. It's pretty easy to connect Neil Young directly, which is to say I'm enjoying this. The confessional nature of the lyrics draw you in, and the guitar work is pretty dam spectacular. Reminds me of John Fahey with his guitar. It's a lovely album and I can see it ripple across many of my favorite folk artists.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
4

How can you not love an honest man and his guitar?

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Mon May 24 2021
4

I very much enjoyed the instrumental tracks. Amazing artistry.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

Jansch er jo en helt for alle som spilte akustisk gitar på 60-tallet. Nick Drake, Paul Simon, Donovan, og mange andre har så godt som kopiert hele sin sound og spillemåte fra ham, og dette albumet. Bakdelen med dette er at det er utrolig vanskelig å høre dette albumet i et vakuum. Enten vurderer man det for høyt fordi det var en så stor influens på så mye bra musikk, eller så blir dette for kjedelig siden det finnes så mye mer komplekst musikk som kom ut ifra denne. Uansett synes jeg mange av sangene er kule, og det er ingen tvil om at det er bra spilling. Må bli en svak 4.

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

It sounds like every other singer-songwriter album. 7

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Tue May 04 2021
4

L'he escoltat amb presses, queda pendent una escolta amb més profunditat. Folk de la vella escola, delicat i amb missatge. Bona execució amb les guitarres i un grapat de temes interessants.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
4

Muy melancólico. Tampoco es como que sea mucho estilo el folk y tenga mucho que decir, disfruté la guitarra acústica. Mood: día sad en una milpa gringa.

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Sun Apr 11 2021
4

pretty good actually! I liked it more than I expected, and the vibe it gave off really reminded me of the canadian national film bureau movies I was watching

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Sun May 30 2021
4

Not bad! Folksy, with some Gordon Lightfoot vibes.

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

Didn't quite finish. Enjoyed it but didn't love it. 7

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Mon Jul 19 2021
4

Pleasant folk album. Songwriting was good overall and I really liked the guitar work in some parts. However, it got samey and i definitely found myself getting bored towards the end. 7/10

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Thu Jul 22 2021
4

A twangy and catchy album. 0RS

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Sun Feb 28 2021
4

He’s a really good guitar player but not quite as good of a singer. It was still pretty good even if the songwriting didn’t blow my mind. Even the instrumental songs were pretty engaging though and there weren’t any songs I disliked although some of the vocal performances I didn’t love all that much. Overall the album feels very comforting and even on sad songs it feels hopeful to me. Favorite songs: Smokey River, Oh How Your Love Is Strong, Needle of Death, Rambling’s Gonna Be The Death of Me, Running From Home, Angie Decent 8/10

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Wed Mar 24 2021
4

Pretty folk rock, I like his voice, the way it moves and flows from softer moments into more upbeat and rocking. skillful player as well. will come back

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Sun Feb 07 2021
4

Travis picking, great guitar playing. Very Nick Drake like, must have inspired him a lot. Nice album.

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Sun Feb 07 2021
4

Folk

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Tue Apr 06 2021
4

I’m not generally a folk fan, but I enjoyed this album. There was a propulsive quality to it that carries each song into the next, and I very much enjoy that. Nice find

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Mon Apr 05 2021
4

Excellent guitar work, the styling reminds me of Nick Drake and Donovan. Interesting voice too, as it's far from perfect, but seems to produce an image of a rambling guitar player, someone you might see playing your local pub on a Wednesday night.

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Sat May 15 2021
4

Usually not a huge folk fan, but I really enjoyed this album!

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

It was a lot better than I was expecting. Made me wish I was sitting with friends around a campfire.

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

skillful bluesy folk, inject this shit into my veins. surprised he's British

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

Disco que se escucha fácil, ideal para un viaje tranquilo en coche o un paseo de desconexion.

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Fri Jul 23 2021
4

- vibrato is controlled but a little trying - strong genre album, variety and atmosphere are good - no standouts but consistent

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

This was a solid album, lovely to listen to.The guitar work is absolutely gorgeous, like a sunny autumn day in musical form. Jansch has a really interesting voice, like he just teleported in from a distant time. The songwriting is eloquent and surprisingly pointed at times, like on the scathing "I Have No Time" and the mournful "Needle of Death." Fave Songs: Angie, Alice's Wonderland, Smokey River, Needle of Death

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Mon Oct 04 2021
4

Love Burt Like the later things more … Avocet for instance

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Sun Oct 10 2021
4

Well this is great.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

4,5

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Ingetogen album. Wel leuk

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Mon Nov 29 2021
4

Country, singer songwriter Dylan achtig maar beter verstaanbaar

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Sun Dec 12 2021
4

Echte Entdeckung!

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Wed Dec 15 2021
4

the music is really nice. (•‿•)

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

Relaxing and soothing; could have been recorded any time between 1965 and now.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
4

I had never heard of Bert Jansch before but this was a lovely album to listen to on a quiet morning. Lovely voice and guitar work. 4/5 stars

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Fri Feb 25 2022
4

I've heard this name before but can't remember any songs. This is a fantastic singer-songwriter album, like a folksy-er version of Nick Drake or John Martyn. Not quite Bob Dylan folksy but close. Really love how intricate the guitar work is on here. I'm a huge fan of albums like these, this was excellent. Favorite tracks: I Have No Time, Veronica, Needle of Death, Alice's Wonderland, Courting Blues. Album art: Pretty simple, black and white portrait, the likes of which we've seen a hundred times now. It's a good reminder here though that this is an old album, mid-'60s. I guess the budget was probably low for a debut too. 4.5/5

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Wed Mar 02 2022
4

This kind of album really is not my thing normally, but I'll gladly make an exception for this one from here on out. This might be one of the best folk albums ever written. What a stunning and heartfelt album.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
4

Just some good old folk

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Thu Mar 17 2022
4

Liked it

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Sun Apr 03 2022
4

Very simple but beautiful folk album. Lovely. Impressive how much a guitar and a voice can do! Enjoyed sitting back and relaxing to this.

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Sun Apr 03 2022
4

Spare and simple. Warm and mellow. Pretty. Very nice!

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Sun Apr 24 2022
4

Great guitar and very chill.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
4

Wha-

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Mon Apr 25 2022
4

Get getsch

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Thu May 05 2022
4

Never heard of this guy, but I'll listen again. It was simple and sad. I really enjoyed his guitar playing - something about it was just really beautiful. Plus, I like the story of this album - recorded it in his friends living room, sold it to the label for $100, and then sold 150,000 copies. That's bad ass (and bad business).

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Sun May 08 2022
4

He has a very calm soothing voice and a very good story teller. I enjoyed this album very much.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
4

Fuck yeah! This dude can plaaaaaay.

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Fri Jun 17 2022
4

Yeah Ok, so i have to say most of it washed over me somewhat as nice enough folk noodlings at first, until Do You Hear me jumped out, and enjoyed "Ramblings..." The guitar playing is obviously excellent throughout. Casbah is superb. Went back to relisten to Needle of Death. Am getting it now, need to settle into it, it's not a one listen wonder. Can see how influential this would be, as a big Robyn Hitchcock fan I knew the name, but had never heard before.

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Sun Jun 26 2022
4

Fantastic, masterful guitar playing, recording in a way that's crisp and clean. A breath of fresh air.

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Mon Jun 27 2022
4

This is one of those albums that you didn't realise had such an influence. I can hear Simon and Garfunkel and Nick Drake getting better just from hearing it. It's sad, and beautiful, and a bit angry. I'd heard the name, but never discovered him. A glad win from this endeavour.

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Wed Jul 06 2022
4

reminded me of Nick Drake. Fit my mood when i was listening to it.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
4

Would like to revisit, cool vibe

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

This is like Leonard Cohen by way better. It's very acoustic and simple.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

Jansch's work is new to me, which surprises me as I just learned he was a big influence on Jimmy Page. His influence on this album is easily seen on Page and other familiar names in rock and roll. Pleasant listen. 4/5.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
4

I can see hear where Jimmy Page got alot of acoustic playing from. this was a nice listen.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

First thought: Darn! Not another Folk music album I'll have to give a one star rating. However, turns out to be a pleasant surprise, great guitar works, nice singing, really great album. Best "folk" album so far.

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

Nick Drake was apparently a big fan of Bert which is clear to see listening to this album. Technically a brilliant guitar player whom Neil Young dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of acoustic guitar. I really enjoyed this. Needle of Death might be one of my favourite songs ever. Sad, morose and beautiful. Highlights: Needle Of Death, I Have No Time, Do You Hear Me Now, Rambling’s Gonna Be The Death Of Me, Alice’s Wonderland, Running From Home, Angie

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Sun Sep 18 2022
4

Good job Bert

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Sun Oct 02 2022
4

Yeah I dig it mellow chill

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Tue Sep 27 2022
4

Quite enjoyable, although a little mellow. I tend to favour higher bpm's but this was a good listen that I would most likely not have had otherwise. A 3.5 for me, but I enjoyed it more than dislike so its a 4!

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Mon Oct 10 2022
4

This was just a perfect pleasant discovery. I love my some singer-songwriter with fantastic finger-picking. It hits right in that sweet spot of relaxing music. A great discovery and what this list is great since I'd never have heard of this guy otherwise.

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Wed Oct 12 2022
4

Enjoyed this one! It's a cross between folk and classical guitar. Easy listening - reminds me of a guy we once saw playing a guitar in the park in San Francisco. Great for working to!

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Thu Oct 20 2022
4

There's so much dynamics and expression in the playing. It's so nuanced, in terms of inflections and rhythms, and you can feel the love of the instrument in the tunes. His singing isn't great, but it's fine, and again, his enjoyment and conviction comes through. He also takes a number of the songs in harmonic and tonal directions which are completely beyond the call of duty for the genre that's in it. I had a feeling listening to it that he might have been a musical godfather I hadn't been aware of before, and a quick Google search showed up Neil Young, Nick Drake, Jimmy Page and others as having been influenced by him - I'm not surprised

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Wed Dec 28 2022
4

Huh. Kind of Nick Drake, kind of Bob Dylan, kind of Fred Neil - I guess comes with my untrained ear for the folk genre - maybe not as great as some of the work of these three, but comes quite close. Nice find.

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Fri Dec 30 2022
4

4 Love it

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Thu Jan 05 2023
4

This is a good discovery! I loved the Pentangle album we listened to and now I see that Jansch was part of Pentangle. Really enjoyed this album. I can clearly see how he might have inspired people like Johnny Flynn and been an integral part of the 60s British folk revival. Scottish folk too, what's not to love. It has that real Scottish fairytale mystical sound to it. I think Running From Home is maybe the only track I already knew before this and it's such a beautiful song. The lyrics are gorgeous and the guitar is mesmerising. Another highlight is Alice's Wonderland. This has made me definitely want to listen to more Bert Jansch and Pentangle!

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Fri Jan 06 2023
4

Very good

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Sun Jan 08 2023
4

Har alltid velat gilla Jansch, mest för att namnet var roligt att säga. Hörde för längesen om dethär albumet i nåt lo-fisammanhang och att han lånat ihop allt och spelat in det hemma. En riktig jävel på gitarr och några ok låtar. 3,5, men jag är ju snäll.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
3

This looks like it's gonna be folk music. Yep, acoustic but not country really... ok according to Wiki it's Scottish though (I was expecting American). Guitar work is really cool, but it's hard to judge otherwise - feels too old-timey. 3/5.

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Fri Oct 16 2020
3

Pretty solid folk album. Nice atmosphere and I love that there are some purely instrumental tracks. His playing was as good as his writing.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
3

Decent album, great length, nice listening, just a bit too monotonous

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