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Bert Jansch Dies Aged 67

Wednesday, October 5th 2011 01:00

The hugely influential guitarist loses battle with cancer

Glasgow born Jansch was a leading figure in the British folk music revival of the 1960s, touring folk clubs and recording several solo albums, as well as collaborating with other musicians such as John Renbourn and Anne Briggs. In 1968, he joined the band Pentangle, touring and recording with them until their break-up in 1972. He then took a few years' break from music, returning in the late 1970s to work on a series of projects with other musicians. He joined a reformed Pentangle in the early 1980s and remained with them as they evolved through various changes of personnel until 1995. Until his death, Jansch continued to work as a solo artist.

His work influenced such artists as Paul Simon, Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler, Jimmy Page, Nick Drake, Graham Coxon, Donovan, Neil Young and Devendra Banhart. He has received two Lifetime Achievement Awards at the BBC Folk Awards: one, in 2001, for his solo achievements and the other, in 2007, as a member of Pentangle.

Jimmy Page once said of Jansch "At one point, I was absolutely obsessed with Bert Jansch. When I first heard that LP, I couldn't believe it. It was so far ahead of what everyone else was doing. No one in America could touch that."

Neil Young, meanwhile, compared him to Jimi Hendrix "As much of a great guitar player as Jimi was, Bert Jansch is the same thing for acoustic guitar - and my favourite."

Jansch has been battling cancer for a couple of years and had toured until very recently opening for Young on his US tour last year and playing at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival, but he has sadly lost his battle and died aged 67 in Hampstead, London.

RIP Bert Jansch, 1943 - 2011

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