Influential British folk singer Bert Jansch will release his 23rd solo album, "The Black Swan," Oct. 17 via Drag City.
Influential British folk singer Bert Jansch will release his 23rd solo album, "The Black Swan," Oct. 17 via Drag City. The 12-song set features guest appearances by Beth Orton, Devendra Banhart and members of Philadelphia folk band Espers.
Jansch recorded "The Black Swan" over the course of three years, during which an unexpected hospitalization delayed the creative process. "I did the basic studio recording here, at my home studio," Jansch tells Billboard.com. "Then for the last six months, I've been sending the stuff to Noah Georgeson, who produced it."
Longtime fan Orton met Jansch at a gig a few years ago in London. "We struck up a relationship and she wanted to play with me, which was great," he recalls. "But since it's my album, I did most of the writing. But she did introduce me to the song 'Katie Cruel.' I really think that one gels well."
Jansch was also introduced to Banhart at a gig in London, and through subsequent billings, they also forged a relationship. "We got to know each other really well at All Tomorrow's Parties," he says. "The American approach to folk these days is still very new to me. But I like it and got most of his [Banhart's] band on the album."
For Jansch, "The Black Swan" is "much like all my records, in the sense that it's just a diary of where I'm at, at the time. I tend to let people read what they want to, and what they get out of it, rather than destroy their feelings of what a song is about."
Jansch will come stateside for four dates in October and November, starting at ArthurFest in Los Angeles on Oct. 19. Other shows are scheduled for San Francisco, New York and Chicago.
As for the future, the artist hints at the possibility of another collaboration. "Hopefully I can do some work with Bernard Butler [Suede, The Tears]," he says. "The gigs we've done together have always been fantastic, so it would be nice to put collection together."