I have been listening to Pierre le Bras on YouTube for some time, where he plays under the name of Old Picker. Today a link from there led me to For Bert Jansch , hosted by The Bert Jansch Foundation:
Musicians around the globe are saluting the legendary guitarist and singer song-writer Bert Jansch who would have turned 75 in November 2018. A special guitar is travelling across continents from artist to artist, enabling them to connect with the man and his music.
Each chosen artist is playing something Bert-inspired. It might be a piece they have specially created, or their version of a Bert song – or something of their own that resonates with Bert’s music or his ecological and social concerns. Each musician sends their video here, to the Bert Jansch Foundation, before choosing the next artist who will receive the travelling guitar. Bert’s light is still riding high – as evidenced by these amazing artists and their tributes.
I have selected two examples; click on Around the World in 80 Plays for many more.
Anne Briggs (about whom Richard wrote his iconic song “Beeswing”) taught Bert Blackwaterside. Richard says he first heard it played by Bert in a folk club and has since performed it throughout his career both solo and with colleagues such as Sandy Denny. He adds: “Bert could take the blues and jazz and traditional British folk music and blend those together into a style. He was also a great songwriter.”
Pierre calls himself ‘a lucky bum’ who has been able to make music his whole life. He bought his first guitar in 1961 when The Shadows were the craze – even in France! He was soon listening to American folk and blues music. Once he heard Bert and John Renbourn, he says everything else became redundant. He started transcribing straight away. He used to visit London 2 or 3 times a year in the ’60s to buy records and go to hear them at the folk clubs. Pierre spent a decade in the ’70s and ’80s in Arizona gigging in bars, coffee shops and hotels, before returning to France.