Journalist and writer, Colin Harper, is best known to Bert fans as the author of Bert’s comprehensive biography, Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British folk and blues revival (Bloomsbury, 2000). An updated edition in 2006 included a Foreword by Johnny Marr and in 2011, it was reprinted with a new ‘Afterword’ by Pete Paphides. Colin was also the driving force behind the tribute album People on the Highway: A Bert Jansch Encomium (Market Square, 2000).He contributed to the Jansch documentary by Matt Quinn, Dreamweaver on Channel 4 in 2000 and has been involved in various Bert-related reissues and CD projects from 1993 to the present. He was thrilled that Bert and Loren came to his wedding in Donegal in 1998.
Make Your Own World
Colin says: “Early in January 2019, hoboing troubadour Steve McCann invited me to take part in an event at the Black Box café under the Bert Jansch Foundation’s‘Around the World in 80 Plays’ initiative. The muse tapped me on the shoulder, and I wrote a new song directly inspired by Jansch. I performed, ‘Make Your Own World’ on the night along with ‘Blues for a Green Earth’ (that I had performed with Bert himself in 2004) and Anne Briggs’ ‘The Time Has Come’ (with Anna Grindle).”
“A few days after Steve’s concert – which was filmed by Mark Case and will doubtless appear online in various bits – Mark very kindly filmed me in a controlled environment (the Lamppost Café) talking about Bert’s influence and playing the new song as well as ‘Blues for a Green Earth’ using the fabulous TransAcoustic guitar that had been supplied to Steve by the Foundation, before travelling on to someone else around the world.”