Earth Recordings have shared an unreleased Bert Jansch track with John Renbourn. The untitled instrumental (also our Tune of the Day) features on the forthcoming release Living In the Shadows, a release which covers one of the most prolific periods of Jansch’s life. This special collection features some of Jansch’s finest work and includes an extra disc of demos, alternate versions and never-before-heard tracks, transferred from Jansch’s personal tapes, alongside the three studio albums of the 1990s: ‘The Ornament Tree‘, ‘When The Circus Comes To Town‘ and ‘Toy Balloon.’
This trio of works represents quite different facets of Jansch’s talent; where ‘Circus’ is a bluesy, late-night sounding party, ‘Ornament’ is altogether more subdued, drawing on Maggie Boyle’s bodhran, flute and whistles to creative a sound that is nothing if not Celtic. ‘Toy Balloon’ falls somewhere in the middle, with that feeling of intimacy that is so Bert.
Despite these apparent contrasts, the unifying element is, of course, Jansch’s guitar. There is an ease about these albums that suggests a musician that has found himself very at home—“just a simple soul”, to quote the man himself.
The real draw here for many Jansch fans will be disc four: unreleased tracks (including—let joy be unconfined!—one with John Renbourn), as well as alternative takes of familiar songs from the ’90s period. Chosen specifically for their contrast to the studio versions, these tracks are often more stripped-down or without the embellishment typical of the era. Mostly recorded at Bert’s home studio, this unheard and unreleased collection, transferred from Bert’s own DAT tapes, has an intimate quality that is incredibly moving.
Living in the Shadows: 4LP casebound book-back set, comprising Jansch’s three studio albums from the 1990s (The Ornament Tree; When The Circus Comes To Town; Toy Balloon), alongside an additional disc of unheard and unreleased material. Both studio albums and DAT transfers, remastered by Brian Pyle. Comes with high-quality download card.
1990: The Ornament Tree
1995: When The Circus Comes To Town
1998: Toy Balloon
Disc 4: Picking Up The Leaves Track List
1 Morning Brings Sweet Peace Of Mind – Alternate Version
2 Back Home – Demo
3 Just A Dream – Alternate Version
4 Untitled Instrumental I – Unreleased
5 When The Circus Comes To Town – Demo
6 No-One Around – Demo
7 Lily Of The West – Demo
8 Fool’s Mate – Demo
9 Paper Houses – Demo
10 Another Star – Demo
11 Little Max – Unreleased
12 Merry Priest – Unreleased
13 Untitled Instrumental II – (Early Attempt With John Renbourn) unreleased
14 Untitled Instrumental II (With John Renbourn) unreleased
Please visit Bandcamp for further details: https://earthrecordings.bandcamp.com/
Photo Credit: Colin Harper