Pentangle were formed in 1967 by Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox. Jansch and Renbourn were acoustic guitarists who had recorded albums both solo and as a duo - with their innovative fingerstyle techniques, they were leading figures in the 60s British folk revival. McShee was a singer who performed in London folk clubs, and had also run her own club (at The Red Lion in Surrey) where she met Jansch and Renbourn. Thompson (upright bass) and Cox (drums) both came from jazz backgrounds, and also had played in various British blues bands, most notably Alexis Korner's Blues Incoporated (they are both on the album Sky High, and Korner's subsequent solo album I Wonder Who).
Pentangle were a folk group, but their use of four brilliant instrumentalists and strong flavours of jazz and blues gave them a unique sound which made them truly stand out from their contemporaries in the folk scene. They quickly became successful, touring both the UK and Denmark. They soon signed with Transatlantic Records, and their debut album came out in 1968, which presented their innovative fusion of folk material (both traditional and original) with jazz-styled playing. They were not folk-rock (all their instrumentation was acoustic, and the drums were used more as percussion instruments than for laying down a rock beat), but they found a keen audience in the rock crowd, and indeed they helped break down the boundaries between the traditional folk and the rock/pop worlds.
|> Sweet Child (1968)
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