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Album Review

Jansch, Bert – “L.A. Turnaround” – [Drag City]

ArtCrimes   2/1/2010   12-inch, International

Nearly 10 years into his career by this point, and having just split from the folk/jazz Pentangle, Bert Jansch was enticed to sign with the prog-heavy UK label, Famous Charisma Label. The first of 3 releases for Charisma, this one is perhaps the most eclectic and interesting of them. At the time, Mike Nesmith of the Monkees was doing country flavored work with the First National Band, and he was brought in to produce this LP with Bert, using FNB steel guitarist Red Rhodes plus an LA-based rhythm section on some tracks. Jesse Ed Davis, sometimes sideman for Taj Mahal, brought his tough slide sound for a few tracks, giving a bit of a Little Feat or Ry Cooder edge on tracks like “Open Up the Watergate”. The result is a fuller sound than usual for Bert’s casual (and very Scottish) vocals and his always complex and driving acoustic guitar. Instrumentals “Chambertin” and “Lady Nothing” are more typical of his earlier solo work, and “Needle of Death” is a remake of one of his very first original songs, sounding a bit like Neil Young’s “Ambulance Blues” in this countryish re-arrangement. Outtakes from these sessions are collected on a companion CD along with a short Quicktime film of a British session for the album. ((( crimes )))

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Brett says

just heard the song open up the watergate, was amazing

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