10 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Guitarist John Renbourn was a key figure in the ‘60s British folk scene, and later co-founded the excellent folk-rock band, Pentangle. Like his American counterparts, John Fahey and Sandy Bull, Renbourn drew inspiration from several kinds of music, including the classical-guitar tradition and deep blues. He’s recorded numerous albums since then, and 2011’s Palermo Snow is a pleasing and mellow affair. The opening title cut features the entrancing fingerpicking and flowing sense of harmony that typically mark his work. The track features the album’s only guest artist, clarinetist Dick Lee, who also appears on three other cuts. Another original, “Ugly James,” is a sort of modernized rag; it’s followed by “Sarabande,” an arrangement of a piece by Erik Satie. One of the album’s laid-back delights is a moody take on the jazz pianist Randy Weston’s “Little Niles.” Renbourn isn’t afraid to take on well-worn classics of any type: Palermo Snow includes a version of Bach’s Cello Prelude in C as well as the old Vincent Rose chestnut, “Blueberry Hill.” It’s clear that the guitarist feels equally at home with both pieces.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Guitarist John Renbourn was a key figure in the ‘60s British folk scene, and later co-founded the excellent folk-rock band, Pentangle. Like his American counterparts, John Fahey and Sandy Bull, Renbourn drew inspiration from several kinds of music, including the classical-guitar tradition and deep blues. He’s recorded numerous albums since then, and 2011’s Palermo Snow is a pleasing and mellow affair. The opening title cut features the entrancing fingerpicking and flowing sense of harmony that typically mark his work. The track features the album’s only guest artist, clarinetist Dick Lee, who also appears on three other cuts. Another original, “Ugly James,” is a sort of modernized rag; it’s followed by “Sarabande,” an arrangement of a piece by Erik Satie. One of the album’s laid-back delights is a moody take on the jazz pianist Randy Weston’s “Little Niles.” Renbourn isn’t afraid to take on well-worn classics of any type: Palermo Snow includes a version of Bach’s Cello Prelude in C as well as the old Vincent Rose chestnut, “Blueberry Hill.” It’s clear that the guitarist feels equally at home with both pieces.

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