Bert Jansch / Meg Baird Richard’s on Richards, Vancouver BC August 30

When it comes to over-the-top adjectives such as legendary, you shouldn’t use them lightly. But sometimes these descriptors are warranted, like in the case of Bert Jansch. With more than 25 albums to his name, the 63-year-old British folk singer is nothing less than a legend, inspiring the likes of Nick Drake, Neil Young and Johnny Marr — not to mention the countless contemporary players under the freak folk umbrella. It’s for this reason that when you hear he’s coming through town you clear your calendar. After all, it’s not every day you get to see a legend. Warming up the crowd at Jansch’s first Vancouver concert in over a decade was Espers’ Meg Baird, who set the tone for the evening with her whispery vocals and serene folk songs. But as well executed as Baird’s performance was, it was clouded with the anticipation for Jansch to make his entrance. As a show of thanks, a humble Jansch treated a slack-jawed audience to a stunning set of songs laced with intricate finger-picking and strategic restraint. With only an acoustic guitar, his reedy baritone and a never-ending supply of tales, Jansch played through several favourites from last year’s critically adored Black Swan, as well as older original material and even older traditional songs. Also snuck into the set was a pair of covers from the ill-fated folk-icon, Jackson C. Frank ("Blues Run the Game” and "My Name is Carnival”). And despite health complications in recent years, Jansch showed little sign of wear or tear as he delivered one solid, not to mention satisfying, performance. Near the evening’s end, Jansch played Black Swan’s "A Woman Like You,” where he sang that he’d "send a blackbird to steal your heart.” Well, no blackbird was required. Jansch did just fine on his own.