Sunday, May 27, 2012

Bert Jansch - "Sweet Sweet Music" CD

If you're a fan of acoustic guitar and have never heard of Scottish guitar legend Jansch, who passed away in 2011 at the age of 67, do yourself a favor and investigate. Heralded by legends like Neil Young, Jimmy Page, and Johnny Marr, Jansch was often called the "Jimi Hendrix of the folk world". His intricate, delicate, and emotive finger-picking style was a huge influence on the aforementioned, as well as folkies like Nick Drake, Donovan, and later artists like Mazzy Star or Devendra Banhart.

 "Sweet Sweet Music" is a well-recorded live performance from 2006, with Jansch accompanying himself in front of an appreciative crowd in Sheffield, England. Tracks like "Blues Run The Game" are heartfelt, gentle, and warm, and everything here sounds downright contemporary and, somehow, very English. While this may not be the finest introduction to Jansch's wonderful and lively music, it is a beautiful document nonetheless. (Secret Records) Janschspace

Hangmen - "East Of Western" CD

Now counting former Supersuckers guitarist Ron Heathman amongst their ranks, this Los Angeles quartet raises the bar with "East Of Western". Opening with the driving freight train garage punk of "Homesick Blues", the band moves swiftly into the Gun Cub-styled swamp blues of "I'm Your Man". "Had A Girl" is a rough-and-tumble ballad that works, too. In fact, this whole album -- 10 songs, are all expertly paced rockers -- with the ideal amount of grit and dirt, yet with enough melody and spark to remain interesting and accessible. A grand album from a band at their peak. (Acetate Records) Hangmenspace Hangmenbook