Born in Glasgow in 1948, John Martyn has now ploughed a determinedly individualistic path as a constantly evolving artist for over forty years. As a teenager he began playing on the local folk scene, strongly influenced by the traditional singer Hamish Imlach, but also by great bluesmen like Robert Johnson and Skip James, already forging his own style with laidback vocals complementing his precocious mastery of the guitar. He moved to London in 1967 and quickly became a regular at Les Cousins, the venue which also nurtured the careers of contemporaries like Bert Jansch, Ralph McTell and Al Stewart. Spotted by Island Records boss Chris Blackwell there, he became the fledgling, reggae-based label's first white act and released two albums in the next year, London Conversation and The Tumbler, the latter adventurously featuring the jazz flautist Harold McNair. In 1969 he attended the Woodstock festival with his new wife, the singer Beverley Kutner, and they worked together there on a new album, Stormbringer, along with the Band's Levon Helm. Back in London they made The Road To Ruin, significantly beginning a long relationship with Pentangle bassist Danny Thompson, as Martyn's own style was developing particularly through the use of what became his trademark Echoplex, which allowed him to incorporate atmospheric tape loops into his sound.