British songwriter, singer and guitarist John Martyn, whose gravel voice and innovative fusion of folk, blues, jazz and funk made him one of the most influential musical artists of his generation, died today in a hospital in Ireland. He was 60.
The deep and textured voice is similar to that of Kenny Rogers or Bill Medley, the arrangements bring Steely Dan or Sting to mind, but the songs themselves are almost instantly forgettable.
John Martyn has had passionate fans for years, but I haven't been one.
Scottish folksinger and raconteur Hamish Imlach reached a milestone in his career this summer: 25 years as a professional musician. But he forgot to mark the date on his calendar. "It never occurred to me that it was my 25th year," says Imlach, who plays the South Side Folk Club Saturday. "I think I'll be different; I'll have a 26th-anniversary tour next year."
After 21 years on the road and 20 albums behind him, Glasgow-born (1948) singer-songwriter John Martyn has become a key figure in British pop and blues music.
A live album, Foundations brings into focus the many elements that Martyn has synthesized into a distinctive style - from his earliest folk roots progressing through rock, blues, reggae and jazz.
John Martyn has spent 20 years falling between the cracks in the rock, folk and jazz marketplace.
The reason that John Martyn's recording career has lasted for two decades can be owed to his willingness to wipe the slate clean every now and again.
Rock with a message of gloom and doom
If you're at all seduced by the mellow musings of the new soul/ jazzers (Sade, Everything But The Girl, Working Week) and or intelligent folk/ rockers like Richard Thompson, John Martyn might be just up your alley.
You either love his boozy-woozy voice and grab-bag tunes, or you hate them.