This is the first solo album from John Renbourn, first released way back in 1965. I started out as a teenager as a devotee of American Blues, but for a while now I have been exploring the folk music of Britain, from the modern Celtic work of John McCusker, the very contemporary and experimental LAU and also older recordings such as the work of Fairport Convention and Pentangle. As a result of that I have been working my way with great enjoyment through the back catalogues of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. Having listened to Maid In Bedlam, Sir John Alot, The Hermit, Black Balloon, etc, etc, I thought I had an idea of what to expect from a Renbourn album, but when I came to this, and the similar Another Monday, I was surprised and delighted to hear a very different sound to the stately and elegant baroque early music I had been expecting. Lo and behold, this was very reminiscent of the American Blues I started by own musical journey with so many years ago.
That's not to say that it is totally divorced from Renbourn's later albums. There s still a fascination with early music, and his very distinctive melodic and cleanly pickedguitar style is still present. But overlaid on to that is a foray into the blues, with a melancholic voice that tells some great stories accompanying the guitar. It is, as usual, elegant and thoughtful, and stands as a great debut.
This 2001 remaster form Sanctuary is excellent, treating the music with the respect it deserves. The remastering is superb, with a clean, crisp sound. As well as the 15 original album tracks there are three contemporary bonus releases that really add to the set, especially the now album closer `Blues Run The Game'. There is a reproduction of the original sleeve and some interesting liner notes. The release has been put together by people who care about the music for people who care about the music. 5 stars.