Rabbit Hole/Oh How Your Love is Strong
“Bert’s fingerstyle guitar playing has a magic to it that I’d never felt before, not from Nick Drake’s music and not from Paul Simon’s; this was something else. On top of that, Bert’s singing was so unique and chilling, I was blown away completely. For my part of this journey I tried to find a way to perform both my music and Bert’s, so I decided to play ‘Oh, How Your Love Is Strong’ but to start it off with a short intro which is actually an original piece. He used dropped-D for this song, a tuning I use almost all the time, and it was the first piece by Bert I ever learned to play properly.”
“I discovered Bert’s music relatively late in life. In fact, it was only around 2012 when a musician friend found out that I’ve never listened to Bert’s music and made me promise to listen to his debut album. Once I did, I fell in love completely. I think it’s safe to say that Bert’s debut album is the one LP I’ve listened to the most times in the course of my life. There were periods of time that I’d fall asleep with it every night. It was my go-to album, I never got sick of it. And I kept recommending it to anyone willing to listen, too. Because I loved it so much, I never sat down to learn to play any of the songs for a long time, as not to ruin the magic. Then gradually I started fooling around with “Needle of Death” and “Oh, How Your Love Is Strong.” But it wasn’t until the first COVID-19 lockdown that I finally decided to seriously take on some of the songs, in celebration of the album’s 55th anniversary, and I’m so glad I did. It was like diving into a fingerpicking masterclass. Challenging, yet very rewarding and emotional.
I’m currently working on my next album, and it’s going to be a special one, because it’ll be a dream come true: an album with only a guitar and my voice, just like Bert’s debut album, which in my opinion isn’t just the best guitar+vocal album ever made, but also one of the greatest ever made, period. It’s extremely challenging to create a 40-minute musical album without any other instruments but the acoustic guitar… and to actually have it come out interesting and thrilling to listen to, but that’s what I’m going to try to do. I look to Bert as a distant mentor for this album, and I’m going to implement some nods and winks to his music in the song titles. Like Bert’s album, mine too will have some instrumental tracks in it, and will be recorded live to tape, no overdubs.
Bert Jansch has been a major figure in my life ever since the day I discovered his music, and I am absolutely honored to be included in Around the World in 80 Plays alongside so many incredible musicians. It’s an utter joy to have a chance to contribute to this beautiful project.”