One for Bert

A piece by Mike Walker for Bert Jansch

Recorded in Sandy Bells Pub, Edinburgh
December 2018

Mike says: It crossed my mind that the guitar being played in Sandy Bells, the legendary folk pub of the ’60s and ’70s scene, might add a dimension to this project. Sandy Bells epitomises the folk pubs which Bert started off in, before his London days. It remains very much its old self – and is still a mecca for folkies. Bert used to like to compose by just communing with the guitar and then working and re-working/re-voicing the ideas that flowed out. So, I have tried to use that process for this track. The result is a bit old school and is a nod to the early Bert/John/Pentangle days. I have called it ‘One for Bert’ and I hope it will resonate with Bert fans.

This guitar is really impressive. When I received it the balance of sound from it acoustically felt just right. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I picked up a ‘strange’ guitar and took to it so immediately without thinking about set-up, action. string gauges for ease of playing, sound balance etc. If I’d been keeping it, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Artist's own music and media

The Renbourn Guitar Workshops were dear to John’s heart and Mike Walker and Remy Froissart who taught alongside John, continue to run them in his honour. These workshops are a feast of John’s wonderful guitar playing technique and draw on selected pieces from the Renbourn repertoire. (In 2014, John, Remy and Mike devoted their workshop to the music of Bert.) The Summer 2019 Renbourn Guitar Workshop, 25 May for 6 days on the beautiful island of Crete is open for booking at