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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Renbourn's Brandenburg Concerto, 2 Aug 2009
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This review is from: The Hermit (Audio CD)
This is where you really need those five rosettes or golden stars, because of all John Renbourn's many brilliant albums this is the best. It is often compared to "The Lady and the Unicorn" and "Black Balloon", which are both fantastic records, but there is a difference, not so much in technical approach and consistency as in the material. Stylistically it is pure Renbourn with its unique and seemlesly blended mixture of folk, blues, early music, ragtime, and classical, yet it possesses an immediate appeal unparalleled in any of his other releases. Quite simply, every single track on "The Hermit" is saturated in astonishing melodic taste and inspiration, whether written by the man himself or derived from the works of Thomas Robinson and Carolan. It is like a Beatles or Abba album, or Bach's Brandenburg Concertos for that matter, where every lick, riff, verse, chorus, bridge and phrasing is singing straight to your soul and, moreover, will continue do so for the rest of your life, performed by just one man and his acoustic guitar (in fact, the only two tracks that don't shine quite so brightly are the ones where he has invited another guitarist to participate). The question "does it still stand more than 30 years after its first release" seems almost absurd. This is music out of time and place made by one of the great composers and musicians of our time, who should by now have been granted at lifetime achievement award.

The reissue sounds about as good as a CD can get, meaning that some of the warmth of the original vinyl is missing but you avoid and crackles etc. that may have developed over the years. The sleeve notes are a bit rudimentary and suffer from lack of background history so I assume JR must have declined from making personal comments. A shame, because there seems to be some more information worth revealing as the title suggests. The song-by-song comments, some of them a bit technical (nothing wrong with that), are taken from the original LP. The bonus tracks are interesting, of course, but tend to ruin the concept a bit. It's better to stop the disc where the album really ended and listen to the rest some other day. Still, it isn't the first time we see this album on CD and Sanctuary needed some argument for putting it out again. They've done a fine job altogether. This release won't make anyone a big profit but it is crucial to keep it available.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant guitar playing, 25 Mar 2010
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Mike Davey (St Georges, Telford) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hermit (Audio CD)
I recently bought this on CD, having originally had it when ot first came out. It is one of those records that just gets better the more you play it. My wife and I were listening to it last night and discussing Pentangle and how good they were. So, it is going back to their albums, maybe seeking more John Renbourn etc.... Quite brilliant musicianship, timing, arrangements and running order and great to have the extra tracks as well.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!!!!!!!!!!!, 22 Feb 2006
This review is from: The Hermit (Audio CD)
What a master! Every note is perfection. Even people who do not like folk music will like this. It is folk but has a load of other influences. Before I got into Jazz in a big way (and appart from a couple of classical albums I had) this was the only point of musical contact my dad had with my record collection. (The next was the unfortunately unavailable but absolutely brilliant Morrissey Mullen album Cape Wrath) I have had several friends and flatmates who have said how they hate guitar instramental music who have loved this album. John Renbourne like his erstwhile collaborator and bandmate Bert Jansch, is a national treasure and you must buy this and recommend it to all your friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hermit: John Renbourn - John's tunes, 20 Sep 2013
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Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Hermit (Audio CD)
Released in 1976, this is the ninth solo release from guitarist extraordinaire John Renbourn.

Showcasing that musical style that is all his own - a fascination with early baroque and medieval music infused with a love of jazz/blues/English folk/celtic, this is a stately and elegant piece of music. Dominated by his beautiful guitar work, seemingly effortless as he sends waves of music rippling from his fret, it's an album that just demands attention and suffuses the listener's world with a peaceful beauty.

This 2001 remaster from Sanctuary is excellent. The remastered sound is as clear as a bell and lets' Renbourn's delightful playing shine through. 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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant remastering!, 3 July 2012
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Scriabinmahler (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hermit (Audio CD)
The album needs no introduction, as the other reviewers said it all. Only thing to add, this remastered version has more clarity and focus. Especially when the two guitars play, each part is distinct and beautifully balanced against each other. It is refreshing and nice to hear these works in different order.

There are five bonus tracks from Renbourn's other albums, including my favourite, Luke's Little Summer, one of his finest works for solo guitar. The only problem of this CD is, there are confusing mistakes in the track list; track 12 is not Luckett Sunday but Luke's Little Summer and track 13 is Luckett Sunday instead of New Nothynge.
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5.0 out of 5 stars John Renbourn's Best, 8 April 2014
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This review is from: The Hermit (Audio CD)
Simply put, in my opinion this is the best JR album out there, that shows his diversity. Personal favourites are "Old Man Bladgitt" and "Luke's Little Summer"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fingerbusters, 30 July 2013
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This review is from: The Hermit (Vinyl)
John Renbourn's guitar albums made before during and after his association with Pentangle allow him to step out of the duo format with Bert Jansch (except for the excellent Bert & John) and to show his dexterity and sympathy for a wider range of music from early medieval to experimental jazz and blues. This album is a great one to listen to as well as being a lesson in arrangement and performance to the aspiring guitarist who has mastered the techniques of altered tuning. It's a great solo album with atmospheric and lyrical performances that we ought all to aspire to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Took me back..., 1 Feb 2013
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Mel R "MAR" (Gloucestershire UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Hermit (MP3 Download)
The wonderful John Renbourn!! As I listened, I was back in the smoky folk clubs of my student days..playing a couple of songs for beer and free entry. Them was the days! Brilliant songs!!
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