Thursday, August 08, 2019

Ship of Fools' Errand: John Renbourn 75

We're here on the 8th day of the 8th month with the 75th birthday of another dearly departed legend.
I've tributed he and others from The Pentangle before, when they passed away. Today we'll stick to the happy birthday tidings.
Born this day in 1944, he was 1/2 of the twin acoustic guitar attack formation of that most revered combo.
For 50 years, he was one of the toppermost fingerstyle players on Earth, enjoying a decades-long solo career after The Pentangle split up in 1972.
He left this plane in 2015, touring right up until the end of his life.
There can be no way around the idea that John Renbourn was as fine a guitar player as any of the millions of guitar players that have come and gone in our lifetimes.
He had a special skill at medieval dance tunes, so much so that he often seemed like he parachuted into our time frame from an earlier, more courtly time.
To celebrate what would've been his 75th trip 'round the sun, we'll fire up just such a time machine way back to 1987, and perhaps his biggest post-Pentangle group.
This was recorded at the iconic Iron Horse coffeehouse about 100 miles outside of Boston and features his quartet Ship Of Fools delivering an hour and a half of traditional Celtic bliss.
John Renbourn's Ship of Fools
Iron Horse
Northampton, Massachusetts

01 Hal-An-Tow
02 Death & the Lady
03 I Live Not Where I Love
04 Lament for Owen Roe O'Neill/The Mist Covered Mountains of Home/The Orphan
05 Bogey's Bonnie Belle 
06 The Cobbler's Jig/Maltese Brawl
07 The Plains of Waterloo
08 Ye Mariners All
09 Praise to the Moon
10 'Round Midnight
11 The Quiet Land of Erin
12 The Verdant Braes of Screen
13 Lark In the Clear Air 
14 The Ramblin' Boys of Pleasure/The Retreat from Cavan/Merrily Kissed the Quaker
15 The Flower of Magherally
16 Cruel Sister

Total time: 1:31:48

disc break goes after Track 08

John Renbourn - guitar & vocals
Steve Tilston - guitar & vocals
Tony Roberts - flute, Northumbrian small pipes, whistles & clarinet
Maggie Boyle - vocals, bodhran, whistles & flute

2nd gen master soundboard cassettes of the early and late shows, composited to make one long set
This was originally two nearly-identical short sets, which I composited into one long one covering all the tunes played that night.
I shall return after the weekend with more guitar players, some of whom that have the extra special feature of still dwelling above ground.
This here, however, is a lovely show with more traditional whistles and pipes than you could shake a shillelagh at, so I'd advise you get in the John Renbourn 75 spirit and sample its charms!--J.
8.8.1944 - 3.26.2015