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Release Info: BERT JANSCH - NICOLA (TRANSATLANTIC 1967) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 2 bonus
Jansch's third solo album is perhaps too lightly dismissed by both folk critics and the artist himself. Bowing slightly to commercial pressures, he allowed orchestration to be used on five of the 12 tracks. Actually, the orchestrated cuts aren't that bad at all, and the remainder are pretty much keeping with the character and high standard of his other '60s work. Nine of the 12 cuts are Jansch originals, and ably display his nimble guitar work, incorporation of blues, traditional British Isles folk influences into a contemporary style, and his Donovan-esque vocals. For the first and only time, he played both electric and acoustic guitars on this LP; it's also his first work to feature drumming. Some of the orchestrated numbers, especially "Woe Is Love, My Dear," were actually deemed to have potential as singles. That didn't happen (the cut "Wish My Baby Was Here" would have been a better choice in any event), but that doesn't take away from their fey period charm.
An orchestrated version of 'Train Song' was attempted during the Nicola sessions but, while fondly remembered by arranger David Palmer, did not make the finished product. Neither did two further outtakes 'In This Game' and 'Dissatisfied Blues' (both of which he performed live during the city hall tour of early 1967) although they later appeared on Box Of Love - The Bert Jansch Sampler Vol. 2 (1972), issued on Transatlantic shortly after Bert had left the label. They have also been resurrected on the new reissue of Nicola...Here