John Martyn Takes Own Advice

Jim Conley
Abilene Reporter-News
By Jim Conley
John Martyn Takes Own Advice

Presuming you don't know JOHN MARTYN, whose album Solid Air came out in February, we'd like to reintroduce him via his newest (and seventh) LP...
It's called Inside Out (Island Records) and represents another progression for the young writer-guitarist-singer.

THE ENGLISMAN was introduced to American audiences mainly through his January tour with Traffic and Free.

You could call him a natural on guitar as he picked it up only six years ago at age 19 [sic] and cut an album a mere six months later.

He has since become fairly outspoken. For example: "I'm fed up with geezers who go on stage and can't play," he says. "Musicians should always be trying to open up the mind - progess, progress, progress. Not keep churning out formula singles which all sound the same."1

Such statements have a way of haunting people but so far Martyn has lived up to his own philosophy.

MY OWN FONDNESS of his jazzy, sometimes breezy style was reinforced when a couple of people to whom I loaned the Solid Air album (without fanfare or build-up) mentioned it by name as one they really liked.

There's a lot of folk and blues in his playing, which goes right along with his expressiveness and depth. As he says, "In my writing and singing, I try to make one word mean eight or nine things, to express several things at once and leave possibilities of interpretation wide open. And yet I'm trying to keep the emphasis on love and positive projections all the time. I don't mind being misinterpreted but I don't want to be misunderstood."

You really can't typecast his music; he has merged so much. But you've got to hear it to understand. Ask your record store man to play a sample of it for you; we think you'll be hooked.

1 Source as yet unknown, quote was also used for the Sunday's Child press kit.
This article was published in the Texas-based Abilene Reporter-News of Sunday, 18 November 1973 on page 24. At the time John was touring the US with Danny Thompson, promoting Inside Out.

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