Bert Jansch–Needle of Death

Another quick weekend edition, one can’t mention Scottish songwriters of the 60s, let alone Donovan, without mentioning Bert Jansch.  A folk contemporary who greatly influenced Donovan (he named multiple songs after him) and Neil Young, Jansch often had a darker touch that more closely mirrored American singers of the era like Dave Van Ronk and Jackson C. Frank.  Needle of Death is a devastatingly gentle elegy for a friend that died of heroin abuse. Although it ends up sounding surprisingly Phil Ochs-esque, the song is a clear through line to the work of Nick Drake and the countless other artists that Jansch influenced.  Mournful, respectful and painfully pretty, one could hardly with for a better last goodbye.

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