Jamie says: I’ve chosen ‘Poison’ because the groove instantly jumped out at me and I needed to find something that would work in my own flatpicking style. I wanted to keep Bert’s groove and attack. I hope I’ll be able to set it apart a little from the beautiful Martyn-esque version Rory Butler has already contributed. The lyrical content seems to contain fear and anger about issues that we still seem to be grappling with, so the song seemed evergreen. That prompted me to try my own song ‘Season of Storm’ on the TransAcoustic too, since I think it may have a bloodline from ‘Poison’ thematically but also from Bert more generally in its sound and the detail of its picking.
Jamie adds “I was drawn in by the depth of Bert’s acoustic guitar playing and his sometimes unusual grooves and voicings. I feel I’ve probably absorbed some of those rhythms and timbres from him though I’m not going to pretend I ever learned to play like him! I certainly use some of his tunings and learned a few useful shapes on the fretboard from him. Also, that you don’t necessarily need to be a technically gifted singer to get something across in a song. I’ve since enjoyed discovering albums like Avocet, watching footage of Bert and John Renbourn as well as Pentangle playing together on YouTube and I did finally manage to see Bert playing live at the Glasgow Barrowlands with Bernard Butler during the Celtic Connections festival.”