Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Monday night the Cellar Door presented two of the more powerful acts in popular music. And the equipment on the small stage consisted of one guitar microphone, one vocal microphone and one chair.
Bert Jansch headlined the bill, primarily because of his recognition factor as a former member of the British quintet Pentangle. He rarely appears in America, and the sellout crowd had obviously been waiting for him a long time.
Jansch did not disappoint them, ambling through a set that showcased his brilliant acoustic guitar playing more than his smooth balladeering. There's a lot of minstrel in Jansch, and he was equally at home with baroque and the blues.
Londoner Ralph McTell is known in the United States solely for writing "Streets of London" - a composition in Cleo Laine's permanent repertoire. Last night, though, McTell moved his audience to reverent silence as he moved his audience to reverent silence as he wove tales of loneliness, childhood, whimsey and despair. The songs of Ralph McTell spoke louder than a wall of amplifiers ever could.
Unfortunately Jansch and McTell were booked only for one night, but they are tentatively scheduled to return to the club on July 15. Both are something to hear.