Can't you see that I'm in love with you?
Bert Jansch has always confused me. There is something about his vocal quality that is too aloof, too gentlemanly to really register as authentic. He sounds like an man reading the book, not living the life. Even on Needle of Death, a song about a friend's drug addiction that clearly has personal resonance, seems removed. I love his music and his words but ultimately, I see him as a technician; working on something until it is exactly as he wants it.
Jansch is a phenomenal guitarist; there is no refuting that. His technical ability is almost divinely suited to the intricate, ivy-like guitar patterns of the English folk tunes that are his bread and butter. On instrumentals, there are few acoustic guitar players that can touch him.
This song posted below is not an instrumental. Or a ballad about a dead maiden. It's a pop song. Jigga huh? Exactly!
Song to seek:
A Little Sweet Sunshine/Bert Jansch (mp3)
An unexpected, loosey-goosey piano and horn led walk down a London street. This song pops out on the album in an odd way. Was this Donovan-lite trifle included so it could chart* and encourage album sales? Lord knows, dour, single guitar traditional ballads were a mite heavy for 1960's radio. Still, despite the "Now!"-pandering of it, I love how the song's very disposability frees up Jansch to give his most relaxed vocal ever. He's a man without a care and it's charming.
Befriend Bert Jansch on My Space.
Buy Nicola by Bert Jansch.
2. Speaking of 60's sounds, Contributor Jenny P's Hot Rocks party is tonight at The Delancey. This time there's live bands as well and FREE BEER from 11:30 to 12:30. Do drop in!
* Though according to the Bert Jansch Wikipedia entry, it was a b-side. Go figure.