Friday, 27 March 2015

Off The Beaten Tracks 27 March \ John Renbourn

I don't think I've heard about the death of a musician whilst recording a show but that is what happened this afternoon. I'd had the Bert Jansch song 'Springtime Promises' going round my head in the last few days and so did a search to see what other Spring songs I could find to include in this week's show. I found a track by Roy Bailey from a live album he recorded with Tony Benn at Cambridge in 2000 and a few others. As for a featured album, I chose two tracks from the Darwin Song Project album which, as I say during the show, is one of my favourite folk albums of all time. I could easily have included half a dozen tracks from that album and had been planning on playing a third selection at the end of the show.

But while listening to the Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss song "I'll Fly Away", I checked Twitter and saw that a friend of mine had just recorded a song in tribute to John Renbourn. My heart sank as I googled the former Pentangle guitarist and saw that his death had just been announced. I knew he had been out on tour with Wizz Jones and a week ago at Martin Simpson's gig in Morecambe my mate Bob said he thought that John and Wizz had just played in Kendal the night before.

I could have re-recorded my intro to the show but decided to leave it as it was and I mentioned John's death at the end of the Welch and Krauss song as if it was going out live. I then added the next two songs on my playlist and chose a few Renbourn-related numbers to finish the show off with. 

I only saw John Renbourn once in concert in 2007 when he played at the Yorkshire House in Lancaster supported by Nancy Elizabeth and  Johnny Dickinson, the latter of whom joined John for part of his set. I remember just before John took to the stage that I was coming into the room and was aware of someone behind me so I held the door stopping it from shutting in the person's face. When I looked to see who it was, it was none other than the man himself. 

So thanks for the music John and this show is dedicated to you.

Pentangle - Springtime Promises
The Carrivick Sisters - Early, Early in the Spring
The Tillers - Old Westside
Blind Willies - Big City
The Kennedys - Jubillee Time
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman - Spring
Darwin Song Project - Trust in the Rolling Ocean
Darwin Song Project - From Miss Emily Brawley
Gillian Welch & Alison Krauss - I'll Fly Away
Fairport Convention - Spring Song
Roy Bailey - Winter Turns to Spring
John Renbourn - Can't Keep From Crying
John Renbourn - I Know My Babe
John Renbourn - Kokomo Blues 
Pentangle - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat