Tag Archive: Bert Jansch

Best music of 2018


Laura Gibson released my favorite album & song in 2018

In 2018 I reviewed 219 records for the Whisperin’ & Hollerin’ webzine. Of these, the following is a list of my ten favorite new albums and the top 5  reissues. You can read my reviews to all these on the W&H website to find out why.

1. LAURA GIBSON – Goners
2. SARAH LOUISE – Deeper Woods
3. GWENNO – Le Kov
4. MARISSA NADLER – For My Crimes
5. JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN – Damned Devotion
6. MODERN STUDIES – Welcome Strangers
7. ETHAN GOLD – Live Undead Bedroom Closet Covers
8. THE BEVIS FROND – We’re Your Friends, Man
9. JIM JAMES – Uniform Distortion
10. IRON & WINE – Weed Garden EP

1. BUFFY SAINTE- MARIE – Medicine Songs
2. CALEXICO – The Black Light (20th Anniversary Edition)
3. BERT JANSCH – A Man I’d Rather Be
5. DAVE EVANS – The Words In Between

LAURA GIBSON – Domestication


Cover images of my top 15 favourite albums of 2011.

2011 was without a doubt P.J.Harvey‘s year. Let England Shake was the best album  by a mile and her interviews and concerts confirmed her as an artist at the top of her game.

Otherwise, this was a year for renewing old acquaintances rather than making fresh discoveries.

The welcome return of Gillian Welch (and Dave Rawlings) was an event and the album proved well worth the eight year wait.

It was also a nice surprise  that Charalambides released another Kranky studio work, a belated follow-up to 2007’s Likeness and as consistently excellent as ever. Continue reading


Jansch from 1965

Sad to read of the passing of one of Bert Jansch at the age of 67.

Bert was one of the towering figures of British Folk and Blues and also an inspiration to a new generation of artists in the UK and America.

Those who influenced by his distinctive guitar playing style include Jimmy Page, Neil Young, Johnny Marr and Devendra Banhart.

Colin Harper‘s book Dazzling Stranger and the exemplary CD compilation curated by Harper are the best introductions to his work and will help to ensure he is not forgotten.

Part of an irregular series of bite-sized posts about 7″ singles I own – shameless nostalgia from the days of vinyl. (Search ‘Backtracking’ to collect the set!)

DONOVAN – Universal Soldier (Pye Records EP, 1965)

 Soft-voiced beat poet Donovan was Britain’s answer to Bob Dylan although when a meeting between the two artists was filmed for D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary Don’t Look Back , he looked like a goofy schoolboy beside Dylan’s mature wit and worldly wisdom.

The one original song by him on this EP, The Ballad of a Crystal Man, features Dan who fought in Vietnam, a crass rhyme that sounds doubly weak when compared to Dylan’s acerbic Masters of War written two years earlier. It’s a neat tune for all that and one of four with an anti-war theme to add to the late sixties resistance to America’s foreign policy.

The title song is a  Buffy Sainte-Marie cover, which she said  is “about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all”.  

Versions of songs by figureheads of the British folk scene continue on much the same  theme – “Do You Hear Me Now” (Bert Jansch) and “The War Drags On” (Mick Softley).

On the back sleeve, Donovan’s  free-form ‘poem’ of  his “dream of freedom” is proof that LSD, along with moral outrage, had reached the UK:    “I’ve never seen a jerking man touch a flower / Never seen a fast man dig the slowness / Never seen the dream-end of the ridiculous state the world is in / Never seen anger in Joanny when the hate-words of confused minds lap their shores”.



Disappointed to end 2010 with a blogging lull – a post on the sad death of Captain Beefheart hardly seems like the most positive way to end the old decade and greet the new one.

So the WordPress challenge of making a Daily Post seems like a good resolution and I’ll see how far I get with it. I’ve signed up with every good intention.

To get off on a good musical note, I can do no better than forward a link to a new song by acoustic guitar hero Yair Yona who I raved about in a post on 8th July 2010.

He has done an affectionate cover (with singing!) of Bert Jansch‘s The Bright New Year which is available to download for free here or check out the You Tube link first if you’re feeling overly cautious. Very short but very sweet.

Check out his Small Town Romance blog too, which always has excellent reviews and off the radar musical discoveries. His end of year best of list is going to keep me busy for the first part of January checking out his recommendations. No matter how much music I listen to (and I listen to A LOT) there’s always something new to surprise and delight. Hopefully, I can touch on a few of my own finds in the coming year during the 365 days of revelations (plus the usual rants on other topics of course!).


%d bloggers like this: