Jacqui McShee: One of folk’s greatest voices talks Pentangle and Sound Techniques

The Parts You Don’t Hear met British folk legend Jacqui McShee at her home just outside London where she lives with partner and classic drummer Gerry Conway (next on our shooting blog!)

Jacqui talked fondly of her early days singing in folk clubs during the swinging sixties and making friends with the men who were to become her future bandmates in the often described ‘folk supergroup’ Pentangle: John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Danny Thompson & Terry Cox.

Not only did Pentangle record two classic albums at Sound Techniques, Chelsea (Cruel Sister (1970) & Solomon’s Seal (1972)), John Renbourn recorded his solo album Sir John Alot of Merrie Englandes Musyk Thyng and ye Grene Knyghte (1968) and Bert Jansch recorded his album Nicola (1967) there. Danny Thompson was a regular session player at Sound Techniques, recording his upright bass with many artists including John Martyn, Nick Drake and The Incredible String Band.

When tracks weren’t going down quite right in the studio, Jacqui recalls the band would take a short (extended break?) in the handy pub across the street (not the first time we have noted the pub mentioned in our interviews…) and this would usually solve the problem, resulting in a more…erm, fluid take!

Many thanks to Jacqui for being so generous with her time and memories. As well as all her recordings with Pentangle she has recorded with the likes of David Hughes and continues to sing live and record, often sharing the stage with partner Gerry Conway.

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