Davy was the guy who started the whole contemporary folk scene in Britain. In the early sixties, he went out to Morroco and brought back the rhythms and chords. He married them to traditional British folk songs and created a whole new way of playing.
His work with Shirley Collins (a traditional folk singer) was extraordinary for its time. Folk Routes New Routes was something new. It lay the groundwork for bands like Fairport Convention.
He was an extraordinary guitarist – the best on the Les Cousins folk scene and his incredible work on songs like Anji laid down the standard for all the others to aspire to.
Davy was a genius – but heroin was his downfall.
Today I’ll be nodding along to those fabulous sounds
I remember buying John’s first album way back in 1966. He and Bert Jansch and Davy Graham were leading the British contemporary Folk scene. I used to go up to Les Cousins and Bunjies to see them. Mesmerising.
A little later, when Pentangle were off the ground, I used to go to the basement of the Three Horses pub on Tottenhan Court Road, where Pentangle would meet up for a free concert. Fabulous days.
John was a master guitarist and a charming, self-deprecating man.
I went to Leeds to see Ramblin’ Jack Elliott and John was there. After the gig we were both standing in line to get albums signed and I was chatting to him. He was in awe of Jack. A little while later I went to see Roy Harper at the Royal Festival Hall and John was one of the many performing guests. As I was coming out I bumped into him and we had a little natter about Jack and Roy. Shortly afterwards he sadly died.
Today I will play some delightful music by John and think about the good times.