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John Renbourn

John Renbourn

Biography

In the '60s, fingerpicking was all the rage among folkie guitarists; the playing style renders notes clean and distinct -- just the opposite of the strum-it-to-death approach usually taken by neophyte guitarists. It's the difference between an eyedropper and a garden hose, musically rendered. The two men primarily responsible for the rise of fingerpicking in the U.K. were John Renbourn and Bert Jansch. The two were actually roommates for a brief time in the mid-1960s, putting together in their spare time a collection of original material interspersed with subdued traditional ballads and anglicized blues. Still influential today, the recordings were released in 1966 as Bert and John. The album inaugurated one of the most important collaborations in modern folk, as the two then went on to form Pentangle. An important British Folk band astounding in its range of reference, Pentangle brought together Celtic Folk, blues, antique ballads, modern jazz and Continental guitar styles. Since his days with Pentangle, Renbourn has remained a tireless explorer of new directions in guitar-based folk, incorporating new influences from Indian music to medieval carols.
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