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John Renbourn "Another Monday" Castle Music CMRCD436

Before delving deep into my 'Clichés for Budding Journalists Handbook' I thought long and hard about what I would like to say about this re-issue. Classic, inspirational, groundbreaking all fit the bill however there's something more to add to this summary. "Another Monday" not only consolidated Renbourn's reputation as one of the true giants of the guitar, this album also marked his first collaboration with folk singer Jacqui McShee. For those who don't know Renbourn, McShee, and Bert Jansch were destined to form the core of folk rock icons Pentangle a couple of years later. So this release really marks a pivotal point not only in John's career but also the future of folk music.

The months leading up to this recording had been a busy time for the guitarist. "Another Monday" is in fact the last of what can be seen as a trilogy of bold albums recorded in '66, the first two recorded with Jansch. Musically the collection moves from folk to blues, and then, to paraphrase a classic Davy Graham opus…beyond. Renbourn's interpretation of Graham's Buffalo gives the album a reference, by neatly exhibiting his influences. Versions of I Know My Babe and the Blind Boy Fuller recording Lost Lover Blues represent the blues content. The beyond part is left to Jacqui McShee. Her assured performance on Can't Keep From Crying lends an insight into the possibilities that would be explored a couple of years down the line in Pentangle.

"Another Monday" is the sound of a man at the height of, and in full control of his creativity. Having spent the summer recording with Jansch, and the autumn recording with McShee, Renbourn's future was never brighter. Just one word sums up this recording - pivotal.

Keith Whitham

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This album was reviewed in Issue 49 of The Living Tradition magazine.