Henry Martin

A piece by Bert Jansch, played by Nick Jonah Davis for Bert Jansch

Recorded in Atlow Moat
February 2020

“I have chosen to play a version of Henry Martin from the Jack Orion album. This album is a touchstone for any serious guitarist, and this piece in particular shows Bert in full flight with his foil John Renbourn. It’s heady, relentless, hypnotic, timeless, magical, hinging as it does on a bold re-imagining of a traditional theme. To my ear it foreshadows so much of what has followed in guitar playing. Although my own contribution to music is a tiny, tiny fraction of what he achieved, I owe so many of the best things that happen in my life to those first sparks from Bert.”

“Bert inspires me every time I pick up a guitar. I began, as so many have, to try and get my fingers to follow his mercurial lead, a struggle that continues to this day. I remain awestruck and baffled by what he was able to do. Seeing him play live was a further revelation – in my mind he was almost unreal, and yet there he was in front of me, humbly working his magic. It’s paradoxical that a musician so rooted in tradition would so thoroughly reinvent the approach to an instrument.”

Artist's own music

Nick Jonah Davis has released four albums of original solo instrumental guitar works, drawing primarily on British and American folk traditions, on labels including Tompkins Square and Thread Recordings.