Posts Tagged ‘Bert Jansch’

One of Bert Jansch’s later recordings, ‘Crimson Moon’ is some of his finest work and sees the musician at the top of his game, with appearances from Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler and many more. Earth Recordings revisits the album on its 20th Anniversary with its first standalone cut to vinyl.

Originally released in 2000, there is a brooding resonance in ‘Crimson Moon’ centred around his accomplished guitar style that brings his contemplative song writing to the fore. Traditional ballads have touches of jazz and blues adorned by contributions from guitarists Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler and Johnny “Guitar” Hodge along with guest vocals from Bert’s wife Loren Auerbach (‘My Donald’).

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The addition of electric guitar subtly compliments Bert’s percussive fingerpicking bringing new depth to his compositions.
Title track ‘Crimson Moon’ is a take on traditional song ‘Omie Wise’ and was written about his wife Loren, ‘Caledonia’ conjures pastoral images of Scotland alongside covers of The Incredible String Band’s ‘October Song’, Guy Mitchell’s ‘Singing The Blues’ and Owen Hand’s ‘My Donald’. Otherworldly tale ‘Neptune’s Daughter’ sees a mermaid-like creature recount the death of her relatives from a poison in the sea. Passionate about nature, the song carries an underlying ecological message.

Released in his 60s, ‘Crimson Moon’ proves Bert Jansch to still be an innovator and a unique talent.

Releases October 9th, 2020

Expanded 40th anniversary edition, featuring newly discovered live tracks and notes from Pentangle bandmate (and Avocet collaborator) Danny Thompson. Bert Jansch was often quoted as saying “I’m not playing for anyone, just myself” and this feels no more apparent than on 1979’s ‘Avocet’, his beautifully meditative paean to British birds. This isn’t to say that Jansch was throwing commercial success to the wind, or was unaware of his audience, more that this album feels like a uniquely personal reflection of him. (The subject of British birds is one that Jansch held close to his heart. Indeed, just preceding this album was his 1978 split 7” single with Shirley Collins – with proceeds in aid of the RSPB.)
For fans of Jansch this is often the album that is singled out as his best work. The freedoms of a post-Pentangle career are much in evidence; folk rock and even trad folk give way to an album that is not only without lyrical accompaniment but really quite orchestral, classical even, in its composition. There are surprises in particular in ‘Lapwing’ (a dirge-like waltz that wouldn’t be out of place on a Nils Frahm album) and ‘Bittern’ (which speaks of Arthur Russell’s more experimental pieces).
Featuring ex-bandmate Danny Thompson, alongside Martin Jenkins (Dando Shaft, amongst others) with sleeve notes by Jansch aficionado Colin Harper (author of ‘Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British Folk and Blues revival’). This new edition also comprises three never-before heard tracks, recorded live in Italy in 1977 with Martin Jenkins (‘Bittern’; ‘Kingfisher’; ‘Avocet’), as well as Danny Thompson’s recollections of the making of ‘Avocet’, recorded by Dave Thompson (Mojo Magazine) in typical style. Remastered by Brian Pyle from original tapes.
released November 15th, 2019

First of a diptych of albums recorded in and influenced by Bert’s time in America. As the title suggests, this album was something of a contrast to Jansch’s usual style – taking in swathes of Nashville-infused pedal steel to sparkling effect. Produced in part by the Monkees’ Mike Nesmith, whose guidance is much in evidence on this perfectly measured slice of British country-rock. Includes 4 additional non-album tracks as a download.

A slice of the 70s is found in this video done while recording L.A. Turnaround in 1974. Produced by Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, it also features pedal steel guitar player Red Rhodes. Filmed in a house and garden in Sussex, the relaxed nature includes long-haired flower children, discussions of Nixon and Watergate and even a meditator on the lawn. Songs include “Fresh as a Sweet Sunday Morning”, “Travelin’ Man” and “One for Jo”.

Limited edition blue vinyl. 1000 copies worldwide.

Bert Jansch

A Man I’d Rather Be (Part I) is the latest Bert Jansch boxset release from Earth Recordings (26th January). Having purchased two myself (On the Edge of a Dream and Living in the Shadows) I can testify that they’re really something special, even if you own an old vinyl copy somewhere. For the latest they focus on Bert’s seminal 1960s output (alongside his only album as a duet with Pentangle bandmate John Renbourn) this four-disc set covers an era that forged creative paths for everyone from Neil Young to Johnny Marr. New listening notes from Bill Leader, as well as unseen photographs from Brian Shuel complete this special collection. It’s available in CD and LP format and covers the albums Bert Jansch, It Don’t Bother Me, Jack Orion and Bert and John.

“I particularly like his second record. The album before it [1965’s Bert Jansch] is more revered and held up by most journalists as being the seminal one, but I think the songs are better on It Don’t Bother Me, particularly the title track. The fact that they were both recorded in a kitchen at his mate’s house is another reason why it has never dated.” – Johnny Marr

Where to start with a career as prolific as that of Bert Jansch? Why, the beginning of course. Bert’s first studio (though as Bill Leader rightly points out, that’s a bit of a stretch) albums capture a man whose star is truly on the rise. It also marks his most prolific period – these four LPs were written, recorded and issued in just two years; a testament to not only Bert’s abundant musicality but to a time for music that was changing – excitedly – from minute to minute. From Bert’s masterclass in elegant, melodic, one-man-and-his-guitar fingerpicking on his self-titled LP, to the beginnings of something altogether more exotic on ‘Bert and John’, these records are nothing if not a remarkable insight into the changing face of folk music at the time.

For those unfamiliar with Jansch’s oeuvre, this is a real treat; you won’t find a more comprehensively produced collection. ‘A Man I’d Rather Be’ includes all the original liner notes (from both Keith De Groot and Bert himself) as well as new ruminations from Bill Leader (who recorded much of Jansch’s nascent work) as well as never-before seen photographs by the illustrious Brian Shuel. For those in the know, this is a chance to revisit these extraordinary albums, revel in new insights and add some – perhaps more listenable LPs – to sit alongside their love-worn originals.

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“Simply, I think Bert was a truly unique musician. Somehow he could elegantly bridge differing musical and singing traditions to sing and play in a way that sounded only like Bert Jansch.” –Anne Briggs

PENTANGLE-Box

For the first time ever, these Pentangle  albums are available as a deluxe 7CD box set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the band’s formation. Each record has been remastered from the best available sources, referencing original tapes and vinyl where relevant. Each album has been expanded with a wealth of bonus material, including choice selections from contemporaneous solo LPs by Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, out-takes and live tracks. Across the package, there are an impressive 22 recordings which are previously unreleased.

Released September 29th, 2017.

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When they formed in 1968, Pentangle were hailed as Folk’s first supergroup, fusing elements of jazz and underground music and comprising the twin guitar/songwriting talents of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn with bassist Danny Thompson, drummer Terry Cox and singer Jacqui McShee.

Between 1968 and 1972, Pentangle issued six albums – five on legendary Folk label Transatlantic and a swansong release on Reprise. Their debut, The Pentangle (1968), was hailed as a Folk Rock classic and charted in the UK at No. 21. Sequel Sweet Child (also 1968) was an ambitious double album coupling live and studio discs. Third LP Basket Of Light (1969) was their most commercially successful, peaking at No. 5, fuelled by the success of lead track ‘Light Flight’ (the theme to TV series Take Three Girls). Cruel Sister (1970) allowed Pentangle to reinterpret traditional folk songs. Reflection (1971), their last Transatlantic LP, was also among their most adventurous. Solomon’s Seal (1972) proved to be their last album with the original line-up.

Each album is presented in a miniature card sleeve replica of the original vinyl artwork. These are housed in an attractive box set alongside an 88-page book awash with rare images and over 20,000 words of sleeve-notes, which include: a Q&A culled from past interviews by author Mick Houghton with Bert, John and Jacqui; essays about each album by a variety of music journalists (Stuart Penney, Trevor Leeden, Nigel Cross, Colin Irwin, Lois Wilson and Jim Wirth); a lengthy chronology; and track-by-track details.

Pentangle’s first three albums and three singles were produced by the legendary Shel Talmy (The Who, The Kinks, etc.) while Peter Blake designed the sleeve for Sweet Child (one of only three such commissions in the 60s). The band also enjoyed popularity in America and toured there. Alongside Fairport Convention and the Incredible String Band, Pentangle define Folk’s flowering in the late 60s, melding jazz, rock, traditional folk and other styles.

Image of Thurston Moore - Rock N Roll Consciousness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thurston Moore entered The Church studios in London to record new songs with producer Paul Epworth. Thurston, the founder of seminal US alternative rock experimentalists Sonic Youth and Paul, the celebrated producer and co-writer of Adele, The Pop Group, Florence & the Machine et al created a dynamic vibratory match (with the realization that they were both Leos, on the cusp of Cancer, born on 25 July.) The session was mixed by Randall Dunn (Marissa Nadler, Sunn 0))), Earth, Boris) at Avast! Studios in Seattle.

Thurston Moore Group had been touring since the critically acclaimed release The Best Day LP/CD (2014, Matador) that introduced the core members James Sedwards (guitar), My Bloody Valentine’s Deb Googe (bass) and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley (drums). Rock n Roll Consciousness is Thurston’s focus on this group’s strength, beauty and promise, with an unleashing of James Sedwards’ brilliant guitar play, Deb Googe’s minimalist groove ethic and Steve Shelley’s in-the-pocket swing dynamism.

The songs Thurston introduce are expansive, anthemic and exploratory with lyrics, co-written with poet Radio Radieux, investigating and heralding the love between angels, goddess mysticism and a belief in healing through new birth. They range from the opener “Exalted”, an unfolding and emotional journey in homage to sacred energy and exaltation, to “Cusp” a springtime charging, propulsive piece with a feeling of Sonic Youth mixing in with My Bloody Valentine to “Turn On” a pop-sonic poem to holy love both intimate and kosmiche to the contemplative mystery of life-defining time travel in “Smoke of Dreams”. The record concludes with “Aphrodite”, a strange and heavy no wave rocker in salutation to the idol of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.

Rock n Roll Consciousness is a new and exhilarating chapter for Thurston Moore, and promises to be a creative highpoint for anyone interested in his legacy of avant-garde music and writing, as strong a statement as anything he has recorded these last three decades – serious and precocious and strangely accessible.

Image of The Cosmic Dead - Psych Is Dead

Scotland’s favourite space-psych-rock-gods return with a new album ‘Psych Is Dead’ before heading out on a lengthy UK/European tour including appearances at all the key genre festivals such as Safe As Milk, Wrong Fest, Desert Fest, Raw Power Festival and Karma Fest.

Formed in 2010, The Cosmic Dead are a quartet from Glasgow, Scotland who share their music through good vibes and better vibrations. Known for their improv, chaos strewn, Buckfast smashed against the wall take on space music, they have roamed from Roadburn to Las Vegas, Dundee to Bangalore with each album offering a meditative window into a certain time and space.

‘Psych Is Dead’ is the sixth full length album from the band, the glowing embers of a a few days spent recording in a sweaty Sardinian kitchen overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Soon to be available on LP and CD via Riot Season Records, ‘Psych Is Dead’ is an aural exploration of their tumultuous universe.

Black honey somebody better

Limited Opaque Orange 7″ Vinyl. Like those have gone before it, Somebody Better is the next player in the terrific Black Honey single line-up. Following in the footsteps of its predecessors Corinne, All My Pride and the most recent Hello Today, once again the Brighton four-piece fronted by Izzy B. Phillips step up to the mark with a brilliantly bold statement of intent for 2017 – a festival- ready gleaming pop-rock meteor that’s headed straight for you. It is a mix of Eat to the Beat era Blondie and pop era Lush.

Lanegan

 

There’s a singer with a voice 50 fathoms deep and the consistency of vitrified teak, who has been known to go to extremes in search of a song. Across continents, over oceans, through multiple time zones. From West Hollywood to… Tunbridge Wells. A long way – but Mark Lanegan knows the directions.

Early in 2016, Mark was at home in Los Angeles, working on some ideas for what might turn into his next album. He wasn’t too thrilled by what he was coming up with. Then he got an email from a friend, an English musician named Rob Marshall, thanking Mark for contributing to a new project he was putting together, Humanist. The pair first met in 2008, when Marshall’s former band Exit Calm supported Soulsavers, who Mark was singing with at the time. Now Rob was offering to write Mark some music to return the favour.

“I was like, Hey man, I’m getting ready to make a record, if you’ve got anything?’” Mark recalls. “Three days later he sent me *10 things… !”

In the meantime, Mark had written Blue Blue Sea, a rippling mood piece that he thought might be a more fruitful direction for his new record, and had the idea for a song called First Day Of Winter that felt like an apt closer. “It’s almost always how my records start,” he explains. “I let the first couple of songs tell me what the next couple should sound like, and it’s really the same process when I’m writing words. Whatever my first couple of lines are tell me what the next couple should be. I’ve always built things like that, sort of like making a sculpture I guess. Start with the raw material and let that point me in the direction I want to go. So, once I was pointed in that direction, the music that came from other sources, from Rob, I just went for the ones that helped me build this narrative that I had started already.”

Within an hour, Mark had written words and vocal lines for two of the pieces Rob had cooked up at Mount Sion Studios in Kent and pinged through the virtual clouds to California. Rob’s music fitted perfectly with the direction Mark had been pondering: in essence, a more expansive progression from the moody Krautrock-influenced electronica textures of his two previous albums, Blues Funeral and Phantom Radio. Eventually, Rob Marshall would co-write six of the songs on the new Mark Lanegan Band album. “I was very thankful to become reacquainted with him,” Mark deadpans.

The remainder of the album was written, recorded and produced by Lanegan’s longtime musical amanuensis Alain Johannes at his 11 AD base in West Hollywood. Everything was done and dusted within a month, unusually fast by Lanegan’s recent standards. Both Blues Funeral and Phantom Radio unfurled at leisurely pace over several months. But this time Johannes had only a fixed window of opportunity due to his ongoing touring commitments as a member of P.J. Harvey’s band. But Mark was sufficiently happy with the material to move swiftly, a reflection of contentment with his abilities as a singer and writer, which have now produced a huge body of work spanning a period of more than 30 years: whether it be his own solo records, or collaborative recordings with others, or going back to his legendary first band, the Screaming Trees.

Lapd

His second self-titled album grew out of a period of great change for Pollie both personally and professionally. The L.A. musician ended one relationship and started another. He released a debut album in 2014 to critical claim and watched as the single She Came Through (Again) became a surprise hit – the kind of bittersweet pop song destined to anchor a multitude of lovelorn mixtapes. He signed to Anti-Records and worked on Los Angeles Police Department with Jonathan Rado (Foxygen, Whitney, Lemon Twigs) producing and Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith, Foo Fighters) mixing. Los Angeles Police Department reveals an artist turning the personal into the universal and giving a bit of himself away in the process. “I’m a student of the album, so it was important to make this more than just a collection of the best songs I had written. It had to be a journey for me and for the listener.” The journey does not end with the album, but will continue throughout his next album and his next and his next. “My music is an extension of myself and it’s definitely something that I’m going to grow with.”

Mellencampsadclowns

Heartland rocker John Mellencamp releases his 23rd full-length album, Sad Clowns and Hillbillies featuring Carlene Carter, the daughter of June Carter Cash and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, on Island Records. Sad Clowns and Hillbillies returns Mellencamp to the musical eclecticism that is, itself, a reflection of his wide-ranging musings on life. John Mellencamp is an authentic voice of American music and master storyteller with a commitment to creating traditional rock and roll, bittersweet songs of happiness and melancholia, and fervent political dissent. His passions and experiences resonate beautifully in this showcase of his music. Sad Clowns and Hillbillies is self produced by John Mellencamp.

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Pinegrove’s Everything So Far is exactly what its title suggests – an anthology of all of Pinegrove’s output up to the point of their breakout Run For Cover Records full-length, Cardinal. The collection encapsulates their debut LP Meridian, a number of EPs and even some singles like the captivating track Angelina and Cardinal favourite New Friends. Originally available only on cassette with a shorter tracklist. Listening to Everything So Far is a rewarding experience for new and old fans, as the time capsule of a tracklist shows Pinegrove developing a signature sound, maturing and learning with each song.

2LP – First time on vinyl and pressed as a double album. The vinyl version also includes a brand-new 16 page booklet featuring lyrics and photos documenting the band’s earliest moments.

Hmltd to the door aw

HMLTD release their second single To The Door backed up by the equally stunning B-side Music!. The single is available as a limited 7” on Ouroboros Ltd. The six-piece, whose origins lie somewhere between the UK, Greece and France, have come up as one of the most confounding acts to appear in London in recent memory, with equally galvanizing music and visuals, stories of chaotic and incendiary live shows to packs of mosh-pitting followers and compatriots, and art installations where the lines between performers and audience are ever-blurred. Continuing their collaboration with director Jenkin Van Zyl, To The Door is an audio-visual bucking bronco ride of fantasy and myth, sci-fi and the terrestrial, savagery and élan, the unattainable and the tactile, coming together for a mesmerising assault on the senses. It’s another opportunity to join HMLTD’s uncompromising, all-in, fiercely adventurous and wholly irresistible world.

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274 Copies only limited-edition red vinyl 7″ single of Lorelle Meets The Obsolete’s ace The Sound Of All Things, taken from last year’s acclaimed fourth album, Balance. It’s the long song where lapping, ambient beauty gives way to a stormy sea of psych-rock, like Moon Duo tripping out with The Orb. According to the band, it’s all inspired by John Cage and the ocean near their home in Ensenada, Baja California. It comes backed with a brand new remix by the wonderful Russian band Gnoomes, who have turned it into an electro-psych monster.

Wilsen i go missing in my sleep album cover artwork hires 600x600

First appearing on the scene with the self-released Sirens double-EP (2013) and Magnolia EP (2014). Tours with Daughter, Matthew E. White, San Fermin and shows with London Grammar soon followed. Tamsin has also lent her vocals to Honne’s Coastal Love and a vocal line of hers is used in a SBTRKT song. I Go Missing In My Sleep is Wilsen’s debut album and was recorded with producer Ben Baptie in upstate New York and atThe Farm Studio outside of Philadelphia. Many of the songs were composed in a tiny Brooklyn apartmentin the fleeting pre-dawn moments when New York City is mostly still. These beautifully crafted original pieces capture an almost impossible sense of delicate quietness, and when it came time to record them with the band – Drew Arndt on bass and Johnny Simon on guitar – they unfurled at a nexus of hushed and heart-racing, intimate folk paired with muscular yet restrained sonic experimentation. It evokes the mood of Nick Drake and epic soundscapes in the vein of Arcade Fire.

Bert Jansch - Living In The Shadows Part 2: On The Edge Of A Dream

Following on from Earth’s definitive collection of Jansch’s 1990s works ‘Living In The Shadows Part 2: On The Edge Of A Dream’ picks up from where it left off, bringing together Bert Jansch’s final recordings, made between 2000 and 2006. This remarkable anthology documents some of Jansch’s finest work, and a man at the top of his game, some forty years(!) after his first release. From the brooding resonance of Crimson Moon (where Jansch is joined by Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler and Johnny “Guitar” Hodge, as well as son Adam Jansch and Bert’s wife Loren Jansch) to the intimacy of Edge Of A Dream (Bernard Butler, Hope Sandoval, Dave Swarbrick, Ralph McTell, Johnny “Guitar” Hodge, Paul Wassif, Adam Jansch and Loren Jansch) to the wondrous new folk / trad folk harmony of Black Swan (Beth Orton, Devendra Banhart, Kevin Barker, Helena Espvall, Paul Wassif), these seemingly very different albums all speak of one thing: Bert’s natural talent for turning out extraordinary music, regardless of genre. Disc four, The Setting Of The Sun, takes in more demos and unreleased material, with guest appearances from Gordon Giltrap and Johnny Marr adding additional delight for fans old and new. These peeks into Jansch’s recording process are nothing if not fascinating, with his home studio lending itself perfectly to any recording fancy he might arrive at. Like Part 1, this deluxe case-bound set exhibits the sublime attention to detail that has become Earth Recordings’ calling card. Liner notes come courtesy of colleague Bernard Butler and Bert’s son Adam, while a comprehensive listening guide (by esteemed journalist, Dave Henderson) is also included.

 

a letter home

video of the song Needle of Death from the new album “A LETTER HOME” a limited edition box set is also being