Bert Jansch, a pioneering figure in the ’60s British folk revival who was sometimes known as “The British Bob Dylan,” died this morning at a north London hospital after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 67.
A founding member of the acoustic supergroup Pentangle, the guitar virtuoso released more than 25 albums over five decades and became an inspiration to Jimmy Page, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Pete Doherty, and a host of artists in the freak folk scene, including Devendra Banhart, who collaborated with Jansch on his final album, 2006’s The Black Swan.
Guitarist Johnny Marr of the Smiths once said of Jansch, “He completely re-invented guitar playing and set a standard that is still unequalled today … without Bert Jansch, rock music as it developed in the ’60s and ’70s would have been very different. You hear him in Nick Drake, Pete Townshend, Donovan, the Beatles, Jimmy Page, and Neil Young.”
A few of our favorite Jansch songs follow after the jump.