John Renbourn is playing the Acorn this Sunday. I am amazed that he is coming down here – delighted also as he is one of the major reasons that I play guitar and keep on listening to how it is done. I recall his first record – ‘National 7′, ‘Winter is gone’….. and then ‘Bert and John’ which got some playing on my old Dansette, and set down the challenge I still seek to meet.
He is one of the finest exponents of finger style acoustic guitar, a sixties survivor and someone who ha made a major contribution to the development of acoustic music across the world.
“I started off trying to play like Big Bill Broonzy – and I’m still trying!”
It was 1968 when he said that, but it went no further towards explaining the music he was playing then, after four years as a professional guitarist, than it does now, after fifty. However he might try to play it down, John Renbourn is a musician of an exceptional kind, combining an insight into the techniques of musical structure with an instrumental command and a sense of aesthetic adventurism, which together make him one of the most refreshing, not to say skilled and tasteful guitarists, to grace our ears today.
During, and after the 5 year life of PENTANGLE, John had been following up another, totally different direction, producing an album in 1968 which on one side offered a selection of jazzy up-tempo blues and acoustic Rock’n'Roll numbers, and on the other, folk tune arrangements, authentic Tudor pieces, and some extended self-penned tunes in the Tudor style. This album proved to be the starting point which led him to making the many classic solo albums for which he has now become famous, and which will give him het basis for Sunday’s concert in Penzance.
A John Renbourn concert takes the listener into a rich musical landscape of warm vocals and witty asides about the history of the songs. At the core is a revolutionary guitar style that explores the instrument’s potential in unusual and beautiful ways, created and performed by a consummate master.
Tickets are selling fast: call the Cornish Riviera Box Office: Tel: 01726 879500 drop into West Penwith Music or the Music Box if you happen be in Penzance.
I don’t care how you get there, but don’t miss it – tickets are selling fast though a few are still available.