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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

10958

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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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 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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Thu Mar 16 2023
5

Loved this album. Beautiful guitar parts and some dark lyrics to match. Simple and effective songwriting, an album that is never afraid to let the guitar tell the story.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
4

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

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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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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

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

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Fri May 06 2022
4

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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Fri Apr 07 2023
4

The true genius behind this album is Jansch's ability to convey so much of the emotional spectrum with such spartan tools - acoustic guitar and voice, but mostly just guitar. Yet with his fingers he coaxes out joy, melancholy, sadness and mystery. It sounds fresh now; upon release this must've gone off like a depth charge. Highlights include 'I Have No Time', 'Casbah', the ostensibly sweet ode to addiction 'Needle of Death' and superlative closing instrumental 'Angie'.

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Wed May 10 2023
4

This is great. His voice is really interesting and emotive, and his guitarwork is phenomenal and super forward-thinking for having come out in 65. I can hear influence from him on a lot of modern stuff I listen to.

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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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Mon Nov 21 2022
3

I'm never sure what yo make of undemanding albums like this. One's relationship with them is less about the music itself, and more about the circumstances in which it meets one. I'm in my office on an unexpectedly sweltering November morning, construction work assailing me from the street. I can appreciate Jansch (whom I had heard of, a lot, but never heard) clinically, but there's little chance of a musical epiphany or whatever. I'll try to remember to listen to this at home some evening and reevaluate more closely. For the moment, perfectly fine for what it is.

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Tue May 02 2023
3

I’m not a fan of folk so I didn’t have high expectations at all but this is the best folk album I’ve ever heard. Sparse is the word here, it’s only Bert and his guitar, but he fills the room with glorious music. His guitar playing is also exemplary, so good I had to listen to this twice.

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Fri Jan 12 2024
3

Paul simon ish guitar playing. Very old school pick type playing. Chill music.

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Fri Jan 12 2024
3

Classic sound, never heard off the artist

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Fri Jan 06 2023
2

The album's production value is intimate, simple, and unpolished which compliments the artist-and-their-guitar format well. The tender musical delivery belies how serious the lyrics are. While the album fits in somewhere on the folk spectrum between Nick Drake and Dylan's earlier work, it doesn't really rise to the greatness of either of those comparisons in my armchair music critic mind.

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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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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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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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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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Tue Jun 27 2023
5

Soft guitar and earnest vocals. Will always love that combo.

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Thu Aug 10 2023
5

10/10 absolutely beautiful from beginning to end it’s so easy to get lost in the majestic sounds he can make with his guitar

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Wed Oct 11 2023
5

I put off listening to this one for a while, not being familiar with Bert Jansch and assuming he wouldn't be the type of folk singer/songwriter I would be into. Totally wrong; I really liked this record and it's something I definitely plan on coming back to. So many of these guitar licks would sit right at home on an Opeth album.

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Fri Oct 13 2023
5

ferocious. wish there was more folk on this list.

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Thu Oct 26 2023
5

This is another new artist for me. It's a lovely folk/blues album very reminiscent of Nick Drake, one of my favorites. Bert Jansch has a rough but haunting voice that blends nicely with the melancholy of the album. Despite the charm of his voice, however, I prefer the songs where he doesn’t sing but allows his excellent guitar work to shine on its own. Angie and Casbah are my favorites. I'll be putting this album into my general rotation.

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Fri Dec 01 2023
5

Way ahead of its time, singing about dark subjects like mental health set to beautiful acoustic guitar.influenced so many artists, especially Nick Drake.

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Mon Dec 04 2023
5

This was great. I loved it. Better than Bob Dylan. Fave Tracks: Strolling Down the Highway, Smokey River, Finches, Do You Hear Me, Running From Home 4.6/5

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Thu Jan 18 2024
5

Wonderful handmade music - feels like a concert in a small Club

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Thu Jan 18 2024
5

Excelente disco folk! Altamente recomendado

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

I kind of love it, even if the occasional voice twang is a bit too much. His voice reminds me of the dogs in the Aristocats.

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

Fantastic guitar work. Hard to believe it sounds so good given it was recorded in a reel-to-reel in a house (according to Wikipedia).

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Wed Feb 14 2024
5

Ooooo. A friend of mine, Michael Wexler, is a singer songwriter now. Got a couple albums. One of the reviews called his guitar playing Janschian which always struck me as funny. Like the average person knows who Jansch is. Guess I’ll find out for myself now. Huh. Yeah, that’s a fair assessment. I’d call his guitar “Mike Wexlerian” if I didn’t know better. Kinda reminded me of Phil Ochs if Phil was better at guitar and worse at poetry. But all around very cool. Will definitely add to my collection Songs added to Spotify: 4

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Mon Mar 11 2024
5

The guitar on this album is phenomenal, and songs in short snippets really sells it for me.

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Sun Mar 17 2024
5

I've never heard of him. Was surprised how much I enjoyed this. Somehow more captivating than other folk albums on this list.

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Wed Mar 27 2024
5

Puh, da kann einer Gitarre spielen! Vote 5

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Sun Mar 31 2024
5

Meant to only listen to one before bed but was blow away and had to listen to the whole thing. Rating: 4.8

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Mon Apr 08 2024
5

Bert Jansch's self-titled debut album, released in 1965, is a seminal work that solidified his reputation as one of the most influential figures in the British folk music revival. The album showcases Jansch's virtuosic guitar playing, distinctive voice, and songwriting prowess. Here's an in-depth review focusing on lyrics, music, production, themes, and influence, along with the album's pros and cons. Lyrics: The lyrics on "Bert Jansch" are characterized by their introspective and often melancholic nature. Jansch's storytelling is vivid, drawing listeners into a world of troubadours, lost loves, and existential contemplation. Tracks like "Strolling Down the Highway" and "Courting Blues" exemplify his ability to craft evocative narratives with a sparse yet poetic style. However, some may find the lyrical themes somewhat repetitive, as many songs explore similar themes of love and loneliness. Music: The musicality of "Bert Jansch" is where the album truly shines. Jansch's fingerstyle guitar playing is nothing short of masterful, showcasing intricate melodies, complex chord progressions, and dazzling fingerpicking techniques. His innovative approach to the guitar, influenced by traditional folk, blues, and jazz, sets him apart as a true pioneer of acoustic guitar music. Standout tracks like "Angie" and "Needle of Death" highlight his technical proficiency and emotional depth as a musician. Production: Produced by Bill Leader, the production on "Bert Jansch" is understated yet effective. The album has a raw, stripped-down quality that enhances its authenticity and intimacy. The focus remains squarely on Jansch's vocals and guitar work, with minimal overdubs or embellishments. While some listeners may prefer a more polished sound, the simplicity of the production allows Jansch's talent to shine through. Themes: Thematically, "Bert Jansch" delves into the human experience with a sense of wistfulness and introspection. Songs like "Oh My Babe" and "Running From Home" explore themes of longing and displacement, while others like "Veronica" and "Do You Hear Me Now?" touch on the complexities of romantic relationships. Throughout the album, there's a pervasive sense of longing and resignation, reflecting Jansch's own experiences and observations of the world around him. Influence: The influence of "Bert Jansch" on subsequent generations of musicians cannot be overstated. Jansch's innovative guitar techniques and emotive songwriting have had a profound impact on artists across genres, from folk and blues to rock and beyond. His fingerstyle approach to the guitar, characterized by intricate picking patterns and unconventional tunings, has inspired countless guitarists, including luminaries like Jimmy Page, Neil Young, and Johnny Marr. Moreover, Jansch's willingness to explore diverse musical influences, from Celtic folk to Middle Eastern music, has helped broaden the sonic palette of contemporary folk music. Pros: Virtuosic guitar playing: Jansch's technical skill and innovative approach to the guitar set a high standard for acoustic musicianship. Introspective lyrics: The album's lyrical content is rich with imagery and emotion, drawing listeners into Jansch's world. Authentic production: The raw, unvarnished production enhances the album's intimacy and showcases Jansch's talent without distractions. Lasting influence: "Bert Jansch" continues to inspire musicians decades after its release, cementing its status as a classic of the folk genre. Cons: Repetitive themes: Some listeners may find the album's lyrical themes of love and loneliness somewhat repetitive. Sparse arrangements: While the minimalist production highlights Jansch's talents, it may leave some craving more dynamic musical arrangements. Limited sonic variety: The album's acoustic guitar-centric sound may not appeal to listeners seeking more diverse instrumentation or sonic experimentation. In conclusion, "Bert Jansch" stands as a timeless masterpiece that showcases Bert Jansch's remarkable talent as a guitarist, songwriter, and storyteller. With its introspective lyrics, virtuosic musicianship, and enduring influence, the album remains a cornerstone of the folk music canon. Despite its minor shortcomings, "Bert Jansch" continues to captivate listeners with its timeless beauty and emotional depth, solidifying its status as a classic of the genre.

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Wed Apr 10 2024
5

Beautiful acoustic guitar arrangements that inspire and entertain.

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Fri Apr 19 2024
5

Amazing. Never even heard of the guy.

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Sun Apr 28 2024
5

I didn’t get to finish this whole album yet, which is unfortunate because so far it’s the first artist on this list that I was entirely unfamiliar with that I actually really enjoyed. Great songwriting, some really good guitar work, just all around good music. I will definitely be returning to this and listening to him more.

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Thu May 09 2024
5

I put the album and when it ended I realized I didn't even notice any of it happening. I put it again and I realized it's actually really good, I'm going to add it to my personal playlist of all the music I listen to.

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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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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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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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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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Mon Nov 29 2021
4

Country, singer songwriter Dylan achtig maar beter verstaanbaar

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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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