A piece by Ben Walker for Bert Jansch
Ben says: “It’s difficult to be a folk musician without feeling the connection to Bert Jansch. I first discovered him through Gordon Giltrap who was a local hero of mine. It wasn’t until later that I realised the true extent of Bert’s influence on the folk guitar canon. The timing, the feel – it’s all him. I love the fact that there’s consistency in what he produced whether it was just him at a kitchen table with a tape machine in 1965, or with the full collaborative efforts on something like ‘The Black Swan’ in 2006. I love the fact that he stayed with it and worked with the best of the next generation of musicians. It’s a great thrill for me play my ‘Bert’s Blues’ here and to be involved with such a wonderful project.”
After six critically acclaimed albums as a duo with Josienne Clarke, Ben’s first solo record, ‘The Fox on the Downs’ EP, came out in 2018. A deceptively simple instrumental, it was immediately picked up by Mark Radcliffe for Radio 2. Reviewers pronounced it ‘jaw-dropping’ (Folk Radio UK), and ‘almost obscenely good’ (Fatea), calling for a full album soon to follow.