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The Genius of Bert Jansch: Folk, Blues and Beyond

Interviews and archive footage weave together performances from a concert at the Royal Festival Hall celebrating the songs and artistry of the folk-blues troubadour Bert Jansch.

Interviews and rare archive footage weave together performances from a landmark multi-artist concert at the Royal Festival Hall in London, celebrating the songs and artistry of the great folk-blues troubadour Bert Jansch.

Ralph McTell, Robert Plant, Donovan, members of Pentangle, Bernard Butler, Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson, Lisa Knapp and more pay tribute to Jansch, who died in 2011.

Robert Plant shows his vocal prowess with a powerful rendition of Go Your Way My Love, joined by Jansch collaborator Bernard Butler. Martin Simpson and Danny Thompson surprise with a version of Heartbreak Hotel, a track covered by Jansch. Ralph McTell tackles the seminal Angie and Lisa Knapp and Martin Carthy combine for Blackwaterside - Jansch's arrangement of which heavily influenced Led Zep's Black Mountain Side.

An effortlessly cool singer-songwriter and virtuoso guitarist, Bert Jansch came to prominence in the folk clubs of the mid-1960s: the concert's stage set recalls the legendary Les Cousins club in London's Soho, where he was a resident artist, and the Royal Festival Hall itself was the venue for Pentangle's first and final major gigs. Jansch galvanized a whole scene, through his solo work, as a duo with John Renbourn and with his folk-jazz supergroup Pentangle. Neil Young called him the Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar, Led Zeppelin and Paul Simon were weaned on him and younger generation musicians including Beth Orton and Johnny Marr beat a path to his door. Bert Jansch's influence reached far and wide.

1 hour, 30 minutes

Last on

Mon 26 Feb 2018 00:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Pentangle

    Travellin' Song

  • Bert Jansch

    It Don't Bother Me

  • Ralph McTell


  • Pentangle

    Let No Man Steal Your Thyme

  • Jacqui McShee

    I've Got a Feeling

  • Neil Young

    Needle of Death

  • Martin Simpson

    Blues Run The Game

  • Martin Simpson & Danny Thompson

    Heartbreak Hotel

  • Donovan

    House of Jansch

  • Mara Carlyle

    It Don't Bother Me (feat. Lisa Knapp)

  • Bert Jansch

    Fresh As a Sweet Sunday Morning

  • Lisa Knapp

    Fresh As a Sweet Sunday Morning (feat. Paul Wassif & Bernard Butler)

  • Pentangle

    Lyke Wake Dirge

  • Pentangle

    Train Song

  • Jacqui McShee, Bernard Butler, Danny Thompson & Terry Cox


  • Beverley Martyn

    When The Levee Breaks

  • Bert Jansch

    Blackwater Side

  • Ralph McTell

    A Kiss in the Rain

  • Lisa Knapp & Martin Carthy

    Blackwater Side

  • Paul Wassif

    900 Miles

  • Bert Jansch, Johnny Marr & Bernard Butler

    The River Bank

  • Bert Jansch

    A Woman Like You

  • Robert Plant

    Go Your Way My Love

  • Bonnie Dobson

    Morning Dew

  • Wizz Jones

    High Days

  • Ensemble Finale

    Strolling Down The Highway


Role Contributor
Director Janet Fraser Crook
Producer Serena Cross
Executive Producer Mark Cooper