Bert Jansch was one of the most influential and unique guitarists to emerge from the British folk music scene of the sixties. His influence can be traced in the playing of Neil Young, Jimmy Page, Johnny Marr, and countless others. Over the course of nearly fifty years, he produced a prodigious body of work, as a solo guitarist, singer, and songwriter, as a member of the seminal "folk-baroque" band Pentangle, as a duo with his equally revered friend John Renbourn and in a variety of other ensemble situations.
In this DVD, we explore a representative selection from the folk, traditional, and blues segment of his guitar arrangements, ranging from simple early folk guitar settings like "Running From Home" to his most iconic, sophisticated, and original accompaniments (e.g., Reynardine, Black Waterside). These are carefully arranged little gems, and his virtuosity as a guitarist allowed him to have a very specific and beautifully wrought arrangement while still showing an ability to create a number of subtle variations which occurred in his recordings over the years.
Rolly Brown first heard Bert's playing in the mid-60s, and has been a fan ever since. For this project, Rolly pored over much of the available video and recordings, using the modern technology of "slow-down" software to clarify heretofore elusive details in Bert's playing. Along with basic arrangements, Rolly discusses variations, introductions, and endings where appropriate.
Titles include: Running From Home, Blues Run The Game, Strollin' Down The Highway, In The Bleak Midwinter, Angie, One For Jo, Black Waterside, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Reynardine
144 minutes • Level 2/3 • Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: His was the guitar of a generation, the bonny bedrock beneath the Folk-Baroque movement, the intrepid one which boldly unplugged from Swinging 1960s London right when his peers like Keith, Eric and Pete were very much doing the electrified opposite. (If the name Bert Jansch still doesn't ring a bell, go ask Neil Young or Johnny Marr or Oasis' Noel Gallagher, who'll each gush to his defense. As will Rolling Stone, who drafted him for their team of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.) So given the chance to teach the ins and outs and, ultimately, the how-to of "The Guitar of Bert Jansch" Rolly Brown positively beams with all the meticulously detailed insight from being a devoted lifelong fan. Aside from decades of personal study, he also spies Bert's idiosyncratic moves from both archival performance footage (several gems are included here) and albums (aided with the precision of slow-down software). For well over two hours, Brown traverses from peak ("One For Jo") to peak (the famed abstraction of "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face") to peak (the wonderfully crooked "Angie"), advancing from the more simple "Running From Home"; all the way out to the intricate clockwork of "Reynardine." Secrets to that signature sound get divulged, from strategic use of bends and implied chords to that identifying fingerprint vamp within the lapping waves of "Black Waterside."That little left-hand somersault adorning "Blues Run the Game." That strangely moaned A chord igniting "Strollin' Down the Highway." And that telltale Jansch magic of softly clouding complexity within the most gorgeous of cumulus textures. – Dennis Rozanski/Blues Rag
Review: I'm writing to you today ...to send you a heartfelt and immense thank you for your guitar teaching. Pardon the pun, but you really strike the right chord when it comes to clear instructions, patience, and a marvelous efficiency in guitar teaching. I'm surprised at how quickly I'm picking up "Blackwaterside," which is quite far beyond anything (difficulty-wise) that I've ever tried. I believe I may have heard this old saying in a smoky, crowded bar one time from a Yoda-like voice coming from the next table: "when a great guitar teacher arrives, the fingers will find a mind of their own and surprise you." Anyway, I love your Bert Jansch DVD and am looking forward to making my way through the rest of the songs on it and then through the other DVDs in your series. With best regards. – Brian Murphy