Today marks the day a series of John Renbourn’s private remastered tracks will become available for the first time ever. The recordings come directly from the soul of Renbourn, found in a collection of long forgotten tapes stumbled upon in his attic. More than 50 years old, the resurfacing of these buried treasures is a true musical time capsule. Hence the aptly named compilation ‘The Attic Tapes’ is a genuinely intimate insight into the mind of its composer, John Renbourn.
‘A rich tribute to Renbourn’s dazzlingly intricate style and wry character'
4**** stars, The Observer
The 20 tracks include many true classics. Rebourn's compositions ‘Judy’ and ‘Plainsong’ alongside his unique interpretations of classic tracks 'Candyman’, ‘Can’t Keep From Crying’ and ‘Come Back Baby’ and others written by his contemporaries including Jackson C Frank’s ‘Blues Run the Game’ and Davy Graham’s ‘Anji’. This latter is a particular find: “What’s curious is that the date on the tape box is 1962” says Renbourn in his notes. Renbourn had first heard ‘Anji’ via his friend and guitarist Mac MacLeod; and it was MacLeod who discovered the tape box in his attic, which began a chain of events of further discoveries and this invaluable new collection. A version of ‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out’, sung by Davy and recorded at an arts centre in Stamford. “It was a treasured moment for me,” writes Renbourn in the notes.
‘Brilliant loft-bound treasure salvage from the late, great John Renbourn'
5*****stars, Record Collector Magazine
'His playing - agile, descriptive, wonderfully explorative' 7/10, Uncut
The success of his 50 year long career as a solo artist, and also co-founder of the prominent 60s folk group Pentanglehas been eminent. Through which Renbourn’s musical works have been highly influential upon fellow English rock and blues guitarists Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and more. Hence, it is clear to see how Renbourn has been long regarded as one of the world’s greatest contemporary acoustic guitarists. Over the last five decades he has pursued a remarkable musical journey dedicated to innovation and technical mastery. His unique guitar style - often called folk-baroque - fuses English and Celtic folk music with jazz, country blues and pre-Renaissance, together with influences from Western and Eastern classical traditions.
The Attic Tapes perfectly embodies an uncut version of his inner creativity. From a humble man who describes his craft as “plunking” and that “all (he) ever did was play”.
This collection of recordings is full of tender nostalgia and raw emotion. So listening to this compilation of never before heard recordings just might bring back “people, places and a bunch of good memories” for you too.
'These remastered recordings by one of the grand masters of folk guitar offer a fascinating insight into time, place and attitude... [a] joyous atmosphere of carefree jumble' MOJO