John Renbourn: Live In Italy


Format: CD

Genre:  Folk/jazz

Tracks: 8

Playing time:  47 minutes

Availability (out of 3): **

Related website(s):

My rating: 9/10

I like…  The variety of genres, the evocative and deft guitar playing

I’m less keen on… Nothing really, although ideally I’d have liked the inclusion of some of John’s interaction with the audience


I first came upon the late John Renbourn’s music through references in guitar tuition material. Not long after, I obtained a vinyl copy of “John Renbourn”.  Years later I added a CD or two to my collection, then, after hearing him live twice with harpist/multi-instrumentalist Robin Williamson, added a few more. I count myself honoured to have had my copy of this album autographed – complete with a pentangle symbol – by John at one of those gigs, where I bought it.

Continue reading “John Renbourn: Live In Italy”


Joseph Spence: Complete Folkways Recordings 1958


Format: CDspence-album-cover

Genre:  Folk/world (instrumental guitar)

Tracks: 9

Playing time: 51 minutes 

Availability (out of 3): *

Related website(s):

My rating:  9/10

I like…  The sponataneity, the vibrancy, slightly exotic feel, variations and improvisations

I’m less keen on…   The lack of polish won’t appeal to some (but doesn’t put me off – it’s simply the trade-off for spontaneity). The vocals need to be accepted rather than enjoyed. 


The revival of interest in “folk” music in the 1950s – which embraced several acoustic genres – led to a search for some former great players and singers from the 1920s and 1930s, and also to widespread travel to capture “field recordings” in obscure places by local people who sang or played on a purely amateur basis.

The hope of those who undertook such journeys was, of course, to make a great discovery. Obviously, the search for great music from people hitherto unheard of was far more fickle. Huge amounts of music were captured, much of it interesting. Little of it was great, however. Continue reading “Joseph Spence: Complete Folkways Recordings 1958”