Steal from the Road

A piece by Sam Grassie and Iona Zajac for Bert Jansch

Recorded in Sandy Bells Pub, Edinburgh
December 2018

Sam says: We wrote Steal from the Road for Around the World in 80 Plays and this song took shape from our reflections on the kinds of expectations we all have when embarking on a new journey. More broadly it questions the role of ego in our decisions. Bert’s work has consistently brought me to reflect on these issues, to think about the meaning and importance of integrity in what we create and express.”

You can also watch their beautiful version of Blackwaterside featuring the TransAcoustic.

Sam adds: “The meet-up in Sandy Bells, the Historic ‘Folkies’ Pub with Mike Walker was brilliant. We played Bert’s songs for hours following the filming and met some great people. I now plan to attend the Renbourn Guitar weekend in May! I discovered Bert Jansch while sifting through my father’s music collection. Naturally, as a budding guitarist, I was enthralled by his original style and virtuosic technique. It was when I heard his protest song ‘Anti-apartheid’ that I first appreciated the power of song to illustrate situations beyond our experience. This was the catalyst for my first attempts at song writing, a fact honoured in the name of our band, Avocet.

“I know Jansch’s work will always be a lodestone; a source of inspiration as we continue to develop our music. It keeps us grounded in these uncertain times.”

Sam took the TransAcoustic guitar on Avocet’s Spring 2019 tour of the UK.  Here is a video of Hidden Stripes from that time.

Artist's own music and media

Folk Radio review of ‘Borrowed Seed’, Avocet’s debut record includes:  The mix of Sam Grassie’s acoustic guitar and Herbie Loening’s double bass with a female singer leads me to memories of Pentangle. Check the full article here. With backing from the Bert Jansch Foundation, Avocet released a further single, ‘Cheating Monday’, from their album, due January 2020.