posted April 5th, 2018

An evening in a coffee house in Kyoto 40 years ago has lingered fondly in the memories of those who were there. Now, the stellar performance of John Renbourn that night is available for all to hear on Live in Kyoto 1978John Renbourn, along with his sometimes partner Bert Jansch (with whom he formed Pentangle in the 1960s), has been passed away for these past few years - but the music that he made continues to inspire. Renbourn's style mixed these traditions with classical, jazz, world and early music techniques, and his picking was second to none. 

John made records and toured from the early 1960s until his death in 2015. His repertoire was vast, and among the songs he played in this night at the Jittoku coffee house were pieces that he played at many of his concerts over the years, including songs by Reverend Gary Davis, Davey Graham, Mississippi Fred McDowellArthur Smith, William Byrd and Charles Lloyd

Live in Kyoto 1978 is a remarkable document of  Renbourn's talent spun out over an evening's-worth of performances, during which the ease with which he played left the audience speechless afterwards. The recording was made by  Satoro Fujii, whose archive of recordings was discovered posthumously and have begun to see release in recent years. Satoro captured the performance with pristine detail, allowing us to hear the fine detail of John's fretwork and the warmth and delight in the room as he played.

Featuring liner notes from Masaki Batoh (Ghost, The Silence), who was one of the enchanted listeners in attendance, Live in Kyoto 1978 is a superb performance of John Renbourn at the height of his powers, as well as a further demonstration that the work we do in this life will linger far beyond our lifespan. In the case of John Renbourn, this is a very good thing - long may he abide! 

Listen to "Banks of the Sweet Primroses" now, and preorder Live In Kyoto 1978 today!  


Artists in this story: John Renbourn