06 October 2011


From The Guardian obituary of Bert Jansch, surely one of the musical greats of our time:

Jansch, whose forebears had come from Germany in the 19th century, was born in Glasgow but the family moved to Edinburgh, where he attended Ainslie Park secondary school. He worked, briefly, as a nurseryman, spending his early wages on a guitar. He sought lessons at the Howff folk club, wishing to emulate the guitar style of the American Big Bill Broonzy. Soon, Jansch had become resident unofficial caretaker at the Howff, spending much of his time developing his playing skills, with the Scottish singer Archie Fisher as a significant influence.

In the early 1960s, Jansch graduated from playing for his own pleasure to performing for an audience. He was one of the first guitarists to understand and then interpret and popularise Davy Graham's guitar solo Anji. At the time, his personal, self-composed songs contrasted with the usual traditional or political repertoire of folk singers.

And here is that Anji, which - like so many other guitar-playing students in the late sixties - I desperately sought and failed to master:

1 comment:

Davy Graham said...

Myself, I prefer the Rolling Stones version.