The Wild Man Of Folk Dies Aged 60

Jonathan Brown
The Independent

The wild man of folk dies aged 60

Tributes paid to John Martyn, hellraiser whose haunting music was loved by millions

John Martyn, the folk-blues singer whose extraordinary voice and virtuoso musicianship beguiled a generation by speaking directly from the dark pit of his soul, has died at the age of 60. Best known for his 1973 masterpiece Solid Air, the title track of which was written for his friend and fellow tortured genius the late Nick Drake, Martyn's songs spoke of loneliness and love always wrapped up in the most beautiful of musical accompaniments.

'Solid Air' Singer-Songwriter John Martyn Dead at 60

Daniel Kreps
Rolling Stone

British singer-songwriter John Martyn, best known for his 1973 album Solid Air, died today, January 29th, at the age of 60. A note on Martyn’s official Website reads, “With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning.” No cause of death was provided. In a career than spanned four decades Martyn worked with artists including Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Steve Winwood, the Band’s Levon Helm and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour. But it was Solid Air that earned him most acclaim.

John Martyn Dies

BBC 6music website

Tributes begin for folker John Martyn who has passed away aged 60

29 January 2009 - The legendary singer-songwriter and a founder of the British folk scene has died. A post on John Martyn’s official site reads: "With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning." The cause is not yet known.

John Martyn: A Music Legend Remembered

Will Hodgkinson
The Guardian Music Blog

Throughout his life he kept searching for new musical forms in which to express essential themes: love, loneliness, and what it means to be alive

At the 2008 Mojo awards, where he accepted the Les Paul Award for being a phenomenal guitarist, an inspirational figure and an all-round cool guy, John Martyn gave sage, slightly slurred advice to future generations. "The power is definitely in the music, not the people," he said. "The music is the cool bit."

John Martyn: The Last Major Interview

Rob Fitzpatrick
The Word website

Meeting John Martyn -never mind going to his local pub with him, then retiring to his house for rum and orange juice- was one of the great pleasures -honours even- of my life. John was a heroic person in every sense, not all of them good. He drank and drugged and fought and swore to the limits of anyone's capabilities, but, Jesus Christ, he could really play. And really sing. And really write. He was as alive as it's possible to be when the weight of illness and the discomfort is upon you. He didn't slow up - he still, as I said in WORD's cover feature - stared people out in the pub, and he could still roar with anger when needs be. But he was excellent, hilarious company and his partner Teresa clearly adored him (and he her).

John Martyn

Daily Telegraph

Singer-songwriter who played with and influenced a generation of musicians

John Martyn, who died on January 29 aged 60, may never have achieved household name status but he was one of the most revered and innovative singer-songwriters of his generation; his music – a mix of blues, folk and funk – influenced artists as varied as U2, Portishead and Eric Clapton.


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