This week, on the 5th October to be precise, both Bert Jansch and Steve Jobs died. Understandably, the media was full articles assessing the impact of Steve Jobs but, surprisingly to me, there was also an enormous number telling the story of Bert Jansch and the influence he had on the music and the lives of his listeners from the early sixties onwards.
I never saw Bert Jansch play a solo gig, I only saw him in the setting of Pentangle, but I loved his music – especially his guitar playing. There are so many stories of how Bert Jansch’s guitar playing inspired people to learn to play the instrument and I experienced this at first hand. On leaving school, I worked for a year before going on to college and shared a flat with three young teachers. I can remember to this day coming back to the flat at various times and finding one or other of my flatmates trying to master Anjie, picking it up from a Bert Jansch LP. An Anjie playing contest was mooted for the end of the year we spent together in the flat but I don’t believe this happened in the end.
The track posted to celebrate the life and music of Bert Jansch is, along with Anjie, probably his most famous solo recording, Blackwaterside. It was originally on his album Jack Orion but I have it on the compilation album Various Artists – The Story of British Folk: From Fairport Convention to Johnny Flynn.