Birthday Blues (2015 Remaster) Bert Jansch
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- 1Come Sing Me a Happy Song to Prove We Can All Get Along the Lumpy Bumpy Long and Dusty Road (2015 Remaster)02:05
- 2The Bright New Year (2015 Remaster)01:35
- 3Tree Song (2015 Remaster)02:37
- 4Poison (2015 Remaster)03:16
- 5Miss Heather Rosemary Sewell (2015 Remaster)02:12
- 6I've Got a Woman (2015 Remaster)05:20
- 7A Woman Like You (2015 Remaster)04:26
- 8I Am Lonely (2015 Remaster)02:31
- 9Promised Land (2015 Remaster)02:52
- 10Birthday Blues (2015 Remaster)01:13
- 11Wishing Well (2015 Remaster)02:17
- 12Blues (2015 Remaster)02:40
Info for Birthday Blues (2015 Remaster)
Bert Jansch's freewheeling fifth album, Birthday Blues, occupies a unique place in his solo discography. Released in 1969, the same year Basket of Light propelled Pentangle into the UK pop charts, Birthday Blues almost sounds like a Pentangle LP missing John Renbourn and Jacqui McShee. Backed-up by bandmates Danny Thompson and Terry Cox, Jansch neither holds back his characteristic moodiness nor takes himself too seriously.
What's more, Jansch is in love. Heather Rosemary Sewell isn't just the inspiration for one of the song titles; she also designed the cover, whose Hans Feurer front photo shows Bert holding the couple's puppy. With just enough of a Donovan-esque pop sense, Pentangle producer Shel Talmy keeps the overall feel of these recordings fresh, warm and immediate.
As its playfully ambivalent title suggests, Birthday Blues reveals an artist fully comfortable in his own skin. Blues and folk influences are woven together into songs at once directly personal, yet generously light and free. The most "pop" of Jansch's '60s solo recordings and perhaps one of his most underrated, Birthday Blues is a deep and rewarding family affair at the height of his musical powers.
This release has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes and features liner notes by Richie Unterberger.
"It's no accident that Jansch's 1969 album sounds like a modified version of the Pentangle. He was a member of the great British folk-rock group at the time of this album's release, which was produced by Shel Talmy (who also worked with the Pentangle). And he's backed by the group's sterling rhythm section of Danny Thompson (bass) and Terry Cox (drums), with occasional touches of harmonica (played by British blues singer Duffy Power), alto sax, and flute. The effect is akin to hearing an unbalanced Pentangle, with no John Renbourn on dueling guitar or Jacqui McShee on vocals. That's not at all a bad thing -- Jansch was one of the group's main motors, and can still be a compelling writer and performer on his own. All of the cuts on this album are originals, showing the artist leaning a little more toward bluesy styles than usual, though the mood is predominantly British folk. It's a pleasant effort, but not his best work, either as a solo performer or within a group context."
Bert Jansch, guitar
born in Scotland, he was steeped in American blues and jazz, North African music, and folk early in his career, and by the beginning of the ’60s he was playing the British folk clubs, extending his musical education. Artists like Martin Carthy and Anne Briggs turned him on to songs in the British folk tradition. By the mid-’60s Jansch had set up residence in London where he began and playing live shows, and by making the studio recordings that would come to influence a generation of songwriters, singers, and guitar players. Classic artists like Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Donovan, Elton John, and Nick Drake, all the way up to present artists like Fleet Foxes and Devendra Banhart, have acknowledged Jansch as a major influence and innovator of acoustic guitar playing. By his second album, Jansch was collaborating with John Renbourn, another seminal British folk guitar giant. Together in 1967, they formed The Pentangle, one of the most important British folk groups of the ’60s.
Bert Jansch is listed as one of Rolling Stone magazine’s “Top 100 Guitar Players Of All Time.”
This album contains no booklet.