Guitarist John Renbourn is one of the fathers of contemporary British folk music and is one of the finest fingerstyle players in the world. A founder of the seminal group Pentangle, Renbourn's music fuses British and Celtic folk with blues, jazz, British early music, classic guitar and Eastern styles.
Born and raised in Torquay, England, Renbourn began playing guitar as a teen. At first he was into skiffle, a style that became popular as the folk music revival was beginning. An instructional book, How to Play Guitar by Rory McKuen, introduced Renbourn to the music of many American folk artists and he began to research them. In 1964, he began studying classical guitar at the George Abbot School in Guildford. Two years later he was playing folk music in Soho where he met many other musicians, including Paul Simon, Davey Graham and most importantly, Bert Jansch, a guitar player whom Renbourn greatly admired. Renbourn and Jansch were roommates for a while; during impromptu sessions they noticed how much in synch they were and how easy it was to play together. Both men had fledgling recording careers at the time. Renbourn performed on Jansch's second album and afterward they teamed up formally to record Bert and John.
In 1967 the two founded Pentangle and remained together through 1978. Renbourn, as with the other group members, continued to release such solo albums as The Hermit and The Black Balloon. He formed the John Renbourn Group in the '80s and began adding an East Indian percussion and jazz woodwinds to his music. Around the mid-'80s, he teamed up with guitarist Stefan Grossman and embarked upon a series of world tours. The two also recorded a few albums before Renbourn went on to found the ensemble Ship of Fools and play music with a stronger Celtic influence. He continues to tour alone and with other guitarists including Grossman, Larry Coryell and Isaac Guillory. He also occasionally reunites with Jansch and sometimes tours with Scottish storyteller Robin Williamson.
All the arrangements from John's first three video lessons on Folk, Blues, Celtic and Jazz music are presented as well as an indepth interview. The instructional CDs are the audio tracks from the video lessons.
Folk, Blues and Beyond: Judy, Anji, White House Blues,Watch the Stars, Lord Franklin, My Sweet Potato, Abide with Me, Great Dreams from Heaven
Celtic Melodies and Open Tunings: The South Wind, The Blarney Pilgrim, I Saw Three Ships, The English Dance, Lament for Owen, Roe O'Neill, The Mist Covered Mountains of Home, The Orphan, Tramps and Hawkers, Lindsay,Sandwood Down to Kyle
The Jazz Tinge: Buffalo, Transfusion, My Dear Boy, Little Niles, Cherry
Level 3/4 - 120 page tab/music book with three compact discs
Review: Fulfilling a life-long dream. I have been a great fan of John Renbourn's for a couple of decades and never thought I'd ever have the opportunity to learn some of his exquisitely beautiful pieces. This book and companion CDs now make that possible. I am particularly taken by the "Celtic Melodies & Open Tunings" CD, which includes several relatively straightforward pieces in open tunings. The book has a literal transcription of each piece, and the CD has each piece played at least twice, once an "official, performance" version and a second, with Renbourn talking through the piece. I found the latter particularly charming. If you don't know John Renbourn, get one of his CDs, e.g. "Black Balloon", or get this book/CD collection. John Renbourn is one of the most tasteful and delightful guitarists of all time.- Ira Herskowitz/Amazon Customer Review
Review: Lessons from John Renbourn. Having recently bought a copy of John Renbourn Fingerstyle Guitar, I was pleased to find the book (with accompanying CDs) gives a balanced representation of the different styles of music for which the master is known. Standard notation coupled with tablature and the CDs offers a student of fingerstyle guitar an opportunity to learn these tunes regardless of your level of written musical literacy. However, this is no beginners book and at least an intermediate level of fingerstyle guitar fluency is required. For most of us, it will require work -- but the rewards of learning some of the arrangements of one of the all-time great guitarists is worth it. - Naamani/Amazon Customer Review