Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Winter Months: The January Man

Bert Jansch: The January Man


A great deal of amazing music has been allowed to go out of print, and become difficult to find. Bert Jansch, formerly of Pentangle, released this version of The January Man on his 1973 album Moonshine. The album was reissued in 2001 on CD, but that too has gone out of print. Moonshine is a fine example of what Jansch brought to the group Pentangle.

The January Man sounds like a traditional English song, but it is actually the work of Dave Goulder. He creates a character, in just a few short lines, for each month of the year. It’s great piece of economical songwriting, and one of the few New Years songs I know of. Goulder recorded the song on his first album, performing the song a capella. Goulder is a fine songwriter that far too few people know about, and this album, sadly, is also out of print, and even harder to get than the Jansch.

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