Blackwater Side

Bert Jansch

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Blackwater Side Review

by Brian Downing

Some might wonder about the point of this 1998 release now that a more comprehensive Bert Jansch anthology, Dazzling Stranger, has been released. However, Blackwater Side is still preferable for one main reason -- it focuses exclusively on Jansch's peak period,

from his self-titled debut in 1965 to Rosemary Lane in 1971. Dazzling Stranger only spends roughly one disc on this same era, while devoting the other disc to Jansch's subsequent career, which was fairly inconsistent. Blackwater Side not only devotes two full discs to Jansch's most influential years, but also includes several tracks from collaborations with fellow virtuoso John Renbourn as well as songs Jansch recorded while a member of Pentangle. Jansch's body of work is so impressive and influential that one can't go wrong with either of these anthologies (or 1980's The Best of Bert Jansch, for that matter), but Blackwater Side's budget price and relative availability make it the obvious best choice.

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