John Renbourn: Live In Kyoto 1978

Live In Kyoto 1978

John Renbourn

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  • Release Date 22 June 2018
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CD Album
Drag City

An evening in a coffee house in Kyoto forty years ago has lingered fondly in the memories of those who were there. Now, the stellar performance of John Renbourn that night is available for all to hear on ‘Live In Kyoto 1978’.

John Renbourn, along with his sometimes partner Bert Jansch (with whom he formed Pentangle in the 1960s), has been passed away for these past few years - but the music that he made continues to inspire, alongside the works of fellow travellers like Jansch, Davey Graham, Wizz Jones and John Martyn. Over fifty years ago, Renbourn and these men were at the forefront of the British folk revival as it mingled with the blues boom that was exploding at the same time. Renbourn’s style mixed these traditions with classical, jazz, world and early music techniques and his picking was second to none.

John made records and toured from the early 1960s until his death in 2015. His repertoire was vast and among the songs he played on this night at the Jittoku coffee house were pieces played at many of his concerts over the years, including songs by Reverend Gary Davis, Davey Graham, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Arthur Smith, William Byrd and Charles Lloyd.

‘Live In Kyoto 1978’ is a remarkable document of Renbourn’s talent spun out over an evening’s-worth of performances, during which his ease of playing left the audience speechless afterwards. The recording was made by the late Satoro Fujii, whose archive of recordings was discovered posthumously and have begun to see release in recent years. Satoro captured the performance with pristine detail, allowing us to hear the fine detail of John’s fretwork and the warmth and delight in the room as he played.

Featuring notes from Masaki Batoh, who was one of the enchanted listeners in attendance, ‘Live In Kyoto 1978’ is a superb performance of John Renbourn at the height of his powers, as well as a further demonstration that the work we do in this life can linger far beyond our lifespan.

1 Candyman  
2 Anji  
3 I Know My Babe  
4 So Early In The Spring  
5 Kokomo Blues  
6 The Cuckoo  
7 Banks Of The Sweet  
8 Primroses  
9 John Barleycorn  
10 Peacock Rag  
11 The Earle Of Salisbury  
12 Transfusion  
13 Lamentation For Owen  
14 Roe O’Neill/The  
15 Orphan/The English  
16 Dance  
17 Medley: Gypsy  
18 Dance/Jew’s Dance  

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John Renbourn: Live In Kyoto 1978
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