Bert Jansch

Live at the 12 Bar

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This official bootleg is a recording made at the legendary 12 Bar Club, a hot spot for British folk revival artists, and Bert Jansch is certainly one of the premier artists of the genre. With time, Jansch's guitar playing has only improved upon his unique finger-picking style, which baffled all in the heyday of his Transatlantic label debut. Jansch is peerless in his consistency of making astonishing records, and his performances in the studio are always animated and lively -- true documents of his art. Where other artists seize the studio or dabble in over-production, Jansch has always been dogmatic in his pragmatist approach. Hence, this live recording is a fantastic representation of his outstanding ability. Few others can step on a stage and perform a set as compelling as the one documented here, and he thrives in the live context. Old staples are given the familiar Jansch treatment, which involves not so much playing the songs as rewriting them on the spot, one could say. On that particular day, Jackson C. Frank's "Blues Run the Game" and the traditional ballad "Curragh of Kildare" were given particularly haunting treatments by the Scotsman's baritone. Jansch originals stand taller than ever, and most fans will agree that the traditional arrangements he does may as well be his compositions -- as it is his hand that brings them so to life.

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