Wednesday, November 01, 2006

In House #1737: Bert Jansch's The Black Swan; Reissued Billy Bragg

While he may not necessarily be a household name in the United States, Scottish-born singer-songwriter Bert Jansch's legacy is an important one. Credited with having major influence on such notables as Jimmy Page, Nick Drake, and Neil Young, and a founding member of the British folk-rock-jazz fusion act Pentangle, Jansch has been regarded as one of the chief innovators-- particularly as a guitarist-- in the British folk movement since the arrival of his debut in 1965. Now, an entirely new generation is being introduced to Jansch with the release of his fist album in four years, The Black Swan, out recently on the indie Drag City (a label that finds him in the company of artists like Smog and Bonnie Prince Billy). Produced by Noel Georgeson (Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart), The Black Swan finds Jansch joined by Beth Orton, Banhart, and Espers' Otto Hauser, among others, on ten new originals and a pair of TradArr Jansch tunes, full of the virtuosity for which he's become known and a revitalization that very well may have come through the youth movement by which he's surrounded here. The title track is a gorgeous, cello-laden number not unlike some of his best work, while "Texas Cowboy Blues," finds Jansch venturing into unusual territory, affecting a drawl as he delivers a political jab or two. It's a collection that shows that Bert Jansch is far from losing musical relevancy, and he's bound to have a legion of new twenty-something fans to prove it.

Bert Jansch

In House #1737.
Airdate: 11/01/06
Focus: New release from Bert Jansch, The Black Swan, plus reissued Billy Bragg and new music from Micah P. Hinson & the Opera Circuit, Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3, and selections from the new Harry Smith Project.


In House PODCAST #200