Bert Jansch 1943 – 2011

Bert JanschScottish folk luminary Bert Jansch has sadly passed away at a hospice in Hampstead this morning.

Jansch, a founding member of folk super group Pentangle and pioneer of both the present day and 60s folk revivals, lost his battle with throat cancer, aged 67.

The gifted guitarist, vocalist and songwriter was born in Glasgow in 1943, and first came to prominence with his eponymous debut album, released in 1965.

Between 1967 and 1973 he played in Pentangle, alongside John Renbourn, Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox.

The group reformed in 2008 after receiving the lifetime achievement accolade at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2007. He last performed with Pentangle at the Royal Festival Hall on 1 August.

Bert Jansch black swan cover

Bert's final album, released 2006

Jansch also received a lifetime achievement award at the 2001 Folks Awards, which recognised his profound influence on the folk and acoustic scenes.

Through a string of seminal solo albums and a rich heritage of live performance, he is credited with leading a new wave of singer-songwriters in the 60s, from Donovan to Nick Drake.

Today’s folk musicians, including Devendra Banhart, Beth Orton and Pete Doherty, also cite Jansch as a major influence in their work.

He will be sadly missed, and our thoughts go out to his family and friends.