People on the Highway: A Bert Jansch Encomium

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Cooper
These tribute affairs can be disappointing. Producers of said tributes tend to err in one of two ways -- either they line up too many big stars who have little or no connection with the artist in tribute, or they get a bunch of practically record label-less punk/thrash bands who have absolutely no connection with the artist in tribute. The former suffers from an "I wonder how it would sound if Elton did "'Voodoo Chile'"?" syndrome, while the latter brings a "Sod it -- let's trash the old fart's music beyond recognition!" mentality to the tribute table. Thus, one is much relieved to report that People on the Highway: A Bert Jansch Encomium is a loving, considered tribute ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Cooper
These tribute affairs can be disappointing. Producers of said tributes tend to err in one of two ways -- either they line up too many big stars who have little or no connection with the artist in tribute, or they get a bunch of practically record label-less punk/thrash bands who have absolutely no connection with the artist in tribute. The former suffers from an "I wonder how it would sound if Elton did "'Voodoo Chile'"?" syndrome, while the latter brings a "Sod it -- let's trash the old fart's music beyond recognition!" mentality to the tribute table. Thus, one is much relieved to report that People on the Highway: A Bert Jansch Encomium is a loving, considered tribute encomium, if you must by artists who have either played with Jansch or whose music is complementary to that of Jansch. Also, the collection's 26-song, two-CD length gives a full, studied portrait of this English folk master's work. Jansch's style of folk has always owed as much to blues and jazz as it does to folk. His note-bending, expressive singing approach ascends and descends as mood takes, giving his songs a sly edge that is difficult to duplicate. Hence, it is the artists on this compilation whose voices most resemble Jansch's who tend to be the most effective. Jansch's meandering, heavy-to-light-to-heavy guitar technique, darting through minor and major lines at will, is practically impossible to copy and, to their credit, few on this set even attempt it. Though most of the artists encomium-izing here are English, Boston folkie Chris Smither turns in a solid rendition of "Strolling Down the Highway" that neatly captures the Jansch mumble'n'walk-it formula. His guitar playing, deftly bending into minor keys, is the closest approximation of the Jansch method on Encomium. Two savvy "finds" for this release are the contributions of veteran, though little-known, British folk legends Duffy Power and Wizz Jones. Power, who played harmonica behind Jansch on Birthday Blues in 1969, gives a smoky, living-room version of "I Was Lonely" that, although sounding more like John Martyn, effectively conveys the dolorous angst of the lyrics. Jones, Jansch's good friend and sort of mentor, covers "Fresh as a Sweet Sunday Morning" in a relaxed, unruffled manner, ably abetted by son Simeon on the flute. Other highlights include some dead-on Jansch imitations by Steve Ashley, Al "Year of the Cat" Stewart, and Rod Clements on, respectively, "It Don't Bother Me," "Soho," and "Rambling's Gonna Be the Death of Me." However, the hands-down winner of the "Sounds the Most Like Bert" contest has to be former Jansch sideman Martin Jenkins on "Sweet Mother Earth." In fact, he sounds so much like Jansch, one suspects a ringer Bert himself. "The ladies" are also heard on this fine compilation. Maggie Boyle, who, according to the liner notes, is Jansch's favorite female singer, delivers "Bird Song" in a moaning, traditional folk mode closer to Sandy Denny than to Jacqui McShee. Steve Anstee on cello "sings" second lead nicely with his bow. Polly Bolton gets Enya-ish on "Blackwater Side," though her agile, aching voice eventually wins the day over the over-echoed arrangement. People on the Highway: A Bert Jansch Encomium is a most worthy tribute to a most worthy artist. A special nod of thanks must go to head compiler and point man Colin Harper for his smart artist choices and adept production.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/21/2007
  • Label: Market Square Uk
  • EAN: 5019148626039
  • Catalog Number: 106

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Strolling Down the Highway - Chris Smither (3:21)
  2. 2 Dreams of Love - Rab Noakes (2:35)
  3. 3 Running from Home - Ralph McTell (2:58)
  4. 4 Rambling's Going to Be the Death of Me - Rod Clements (3:38)
  5. 5 Do You Hear Me Now - Donovan (2:23)
  6. 6 Needle of Death - Roy Harper (3:35)
  7. 7 It Don't Bother Me - Steve Ashley (3:37)
  8. 8 Soho (Needless to Say) - Al Stewart (4:00)
  9. 9 Blackwaterside - Kelly Joe Phelps (5:18)
  10. 10 Love Is Teasing - Steve Benbow (2:32)
  11. 11 A Woman Like You (5:09)
  12. 12 I Am Lonely - Duffy Power (3:00)
  13. 13 Nineteen Sixty Five - John Challis (4:40)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Bird Song - Maggie Boyle (3:37)
  2. 2 People on the Highway - Colin Reid (4:55)
  3. 3 When I Get Home - Bernard Butler (5:08)
  4. 4 Tell Me What Is True Love? - Brooks Williams (3:08)
  5. 5 Moonshine - Steve Tilston (4:13)
  6. 6 Fresh as a Sweet Sunday Morning - Wizz Jones (4:35)
  7. 7 In My Mind (3:37)
  8. 8 Sweet Mother Earth - Martin Jenkins (2:48)
  9. 9 Where Did My Life Go - Eleanor McEvoy (2:55)
  10. 10 Blackwaterside - Polly Bolton (5:05)
  11. 11 Is It Real? - Helen McGurk (3:19)
  12. 12 Step Back (5:06)
  13. 13 Morning Brings Peace of Mind - Bert Jansch (4:47)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Chris Smither Guitar, Vocals
Bert Jansch Percussion
Ralph McTell Guitar, Vocals
Brooks Williams Guitar, Vocals
Donovan Guitar, Vocals
Roy Harper Vocals
Al Stewart Guitar, Vocals
Jim Devlin Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Steve Ashley Vocals
Wizz Jones Guitar, Vocals
Rab Noakes Guitar, Vocals
Duffy Power Guitar, Vocals
Laurence Juber Guitar
Steve Tilston Guitar, Vocals
Steve Benbow Guitar, Vocals
Polly Bolton Vocals
Martin Hayes Violin
John Bentley Bass
Maggie Boyle Vocals
Bernard Butler Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals
Rod Clements Dobro, Vocals
David Cochrane Violin, Vocals
Kevin Dempsey Guitar
John Gourd Guitar
Martin Jenkins Vocals, Mandocello
Simeon Jones Flute
Chris Leslie Violin
Geoff March Cello
Johnny Marr Guitar, Vocals
Jeff Martin Guitar
John Nuhn Bass
Zak Starkey Drums
Eleanor McEvoy Piano, Vocals
Kelly Joe Phelps Guitar, Vocals
Steve Anstee Cello
Alonza Bevan Bass
Lee Spencer Keyboards
Steve Brown Drums
Adam Gray Slide Guitar
Fraser Speirs Harmonica
Liz Bonnry Percussion
John Challis Piano, Vocals
John Clayden Alto Saxophone
Colin Harper Guitar
Colin "Hillbilly" Henry Banjo
Johnny Hodge Guitar, Vocals
Janet Holmes Vocals
Trevor Hyett Bass
Adam Jansch Piano, Vocals
Roy Lyness Bass
Ale "Entwistle" Mackenzie Bass
Helen McGurk Piano
Adrian Muirhead Mandolin
Ivan Muirhead Guitar, Vocals
Caroline Orr Vocals
Colin Reid Guitar
Makoto Sakamoto Percussion, Drums
Connor Shields Percussion
Emily Weir Violin
Technical Credits
Chris Smither Liner Notes
Bert Jansch Arranger, Composer
Ralph McTell Liner Notes
Brooks Williams Liner Notes
Donovan Liner Notes
Roy Harper Liner Notes
Steve Ashley Liner Notes
Wizz Jones Liner Notes
Rab Noakes Liner Notes
Duffy Power Liner Notes
Steve Tilston Liner Notes
Steve Benbow Liner Notes
Polly Bolton Liner Notes
Dave Bainbridge Engineer
Maggie Boyle Liner Notes
Bernard Butler Producer, Liner Notes
Rod Clements Liner Notes
Kevin Dempsey Programming
Mike Finesilver Engineer
Martin Jenkins Producer, Liner Notes
Johnny Marr Producer, Liner Notes
Mark Tucker Engineer
Kit Woolven Engineer
Eleanor McEvoy Liner Notes
Kelly Joe Phelps Liner Notes
James Spencer Engineer
Mike Hockenhull Engineer
Felix Tod Producer
Matt Quinn Photo Courtesy
Kieran Bracken Photo Courtesy
Rod Callan Engineer
Grant Campbell Engineer
John Challis Liner Notes
Colin Harper Liner Notes
Ray Jenkins Producer, Engineer
Michael Keeney Engineer
Roy Lyness Liner Notes
Martin Mitchell Engineer, Mastering
Justin Underhill Engineer
Riley Wilson Engineer
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