Sleevenotes

Live In Nottingham 1976

Date: 
9 May 2005
Written by: 
John Hillarby

John Martyn’s music is beautiful - it will almost certainly affect your life. Art, passion and spirituality are at the heart of it all and in the heart of the man himself. His songs are complex and powerful, yet remaining delicate, they prove to be the most irresistible lure to his vociferous and evangelical fan base.

One World Live

Date: 
1 Nov 2004
Written by: 
John Hillarby

What could be better than spending a warm summers evening in the company of friends in Regents Park, London being intoxicated by the music of John Martyn? With the waft of a certain well known herbal remedy on the gentle summers breeze John is clearly enjoying the occasion.

Mad Dog Days

Date: 
7 Jun 2004
Written by: 
'Jet' Martin Celmins

This 3-CD boxed-set features John Martyn live performance's and studio sessions from the '70s, '80s and '90s. The songs included make Mad Dog Days a mini-retrospective of Martyn's prolific career -a career that began with traditional folk (captured here on Spencer The Rover CD2 track 11) but soon ventured into freeform jazz-blues (Outside In CD2 track 2).

Late Night John - Daryl Easlea

Date: 
24 May 2004
Written by: 
Daryl Easlea

Although nominally a 'folk' artist, to pigeonhole John Martyn is virtually impossible; echoes of rock, pop, jazz, reggae, soul, even chamber music, course through his predominantly acoustic songs. Martyn is one of the sweetest voices in British music; in turn sugar-sweet and gravel-rough, his phrasing and style at times dissolves into transcendent rapture. He is one of the UK's most innovative acoustic and electric guitar players and most affecting lyricists. His brace of albums from 1971 to 1979 can all -without hyperbole- be deemed masterpieces. Whereas his friend, Nick Drake, who died in 1974, has been canonised and mythologized, John Martyn struggles today to be heard.

Related to: 

Live In Concert At The Cambridge Folk Festival

Date: 
1 Dec 2003
Written by: 
David Stubbs

Although he started out as a folkie, the notion of John Martyn playing a folk festival in 1985 borders on the absurd. But this was the Cambridge folk Festival and by 1985, his thoroughly absorbent sound had soaked in jazz, blues, rock and dub reggae, as had the festival itself. Meanwhile, his own singular musical legacy - those trademark slurred, emotionally supersaturated vocals and endlessly reverberating echoplex guitar stylings could only be categorised as Martyn-esque. Still, there's no hint of resentment from an often deliriously enthusiastic Cambridge Folk Festival audience on this July evening here, no cries of "Judas!" as he introduces an electric band whose playing, while virtuoso, is in rich and shiny keeping with Eighties pop/rock sensibilities.

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