Guitarist-Songwriter John Renbourn, Founder of Pentangle, Dies

LONDON — Guitarist-songwriter John Renbourn, who founded the folk group Pentangle, has died at his home in Hawick, Scotland. He was 70.

Renbourn had been on tour with the guitarist and singer Wizz Jones, but failed to turn up for a gig in Glasgow on Wednesday night.

Renbourn formed Pentangle in 1968 with Jacqui McShee, Bert Jansch, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox. The band split up in 1972, after which Renbourn performed and recorded with the John Renbourn Group, as a solo artist, and with other musicians, such as Stefan Grossman and Robin Williamson.

He was nominated twice for a Grammy Award: in 1981 for the third album by the John Renbourn Group, “Live in America,” and in 1993 for his collaboration with Williamson, “Wheel of Fortune.”

Renbourn’s manager, Dave Smith, told the Guardian: “He was just larger than life. Game for anything.”

Smith said that Pentangle established Renbourn’s worldwide following, and his subsequent career sustained his fanbase. “It never got large because it’s very specialist music, but he’s had an international fanbase because of his influential playing style,” he said.

Smith added that Renbourn was also “a great teacher.” “He was running weekend workshops all over Europe, where he would have students come and learn from him,” Smith said.

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