Sarah Wears Her Painted Hair

A piece by Charlie McKeon for Bert Jansch

Recorded in John Chandlers House, Liverpool

I wrote this piece, ‘Sarah Wears Her Painted Hair’, trying to capture the magic and fluidy that I heard in my favourite Bert pieces, the freedom to improvise, without becoming indulgent or betraying the tune, and all the while honouring the mood and aura of the music. I often have people mention Bert Jansch to me after I play this live, which is great, because it is of direct influence. It was great to meet John Chandler and to chat about Bert and his influence on my playing and music.

Bert Jansch concreted within me the idea that a guitar should sound magical. It can be gentle and raw or aggressive yet charming, it escapes being one dimensional. Bert’s ‘Reynardine’ on the Rosemary Lane album became and remains my ideal of how a guitar should sound, how a piece can be arranged for a guitar, and how beautiful, natural, free and honest music can, at same time, be intricate, complicated and thoughtful.

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