You couldn't place it to a specific year or genre if you tried. It is a totally timeless record, and as the years go on, hitting timely annual anniversaries of Drake and Martyn's deaths, you realise just how ahead of his time Martyn was.
Best way to reminisce about the big man
Traditionally during the last weekend of January, John Martyn fans get together in Glasgow for a so-called winter gathering. The upcoming one is to take place Saturday 27 Januari 2024, at the Clutha & Victoria Bar, 159 Bridgegate. Expect some interesting artists to perform and a lot of inspiring, friendly company.
Ticket price is only £10. Tickets can be obtained via this link:
And of course at the venue during the weekend itself. More and latest information can be found on Facebook at the John Martyn Group.
A boyish 18 when he left Glasgow, Martyn didn't complete his Jekyll & Hyde switch from blond cherub to snarling, menacing, jazz-folk demon until the early 1970s, but these vinyl reissues of his first four records capture his determined efforts to lose his innocence.
While searching for an old concert in Barnstaple, I stumbled upon a remark by DJ Wendy May: "After extensive touring and some John Peel sessions they eventually signed to Phonogram and made an album in 85, which featured the legendary John Martyn on guitar." She is referring to a band called the Boothill Foot-Tappers. They made exactly one album that surfaced October 1985: Ain't That Far From Boothill. It was released by Mercury (MERH 76) and John is indeed credited for Guitars on a track called Stand Or Fall (side B, track #3).
No idea why this track was never mentioned in the older discographies before. It has been included here in the Collaborations section and I also found a review.
Chris Blackwell was always a bit of a rebel. Born in London, raised in Jamaica, he was schooled at Harrow but scorned its uniform - especially the straw boater pupils were obliged to don.
A poignant epistle to Nick Drake, the delicate folk jazz title track on Martyn's third solo LP emerged from a session "almost like a big jam"
With young singer-songwriters who have come under Martyn's influence, include Lucy Rose and Katie Spencer, taking their place alongside the seasoned performers Eddi Reader and Paul Weller, this was a parade of classics for the Martyn devotees who filled the hall to capacity and occupied the upstairs standing areas.
This heartfelt celebration was curated and compered by Martyn's close friend and associate, the ace bassist Danny Thompson, "wearing the gear" (a kilt) for the occasion and helming a band of "the original chaps",
This Celtic Connections' jewel marked 10 years since the death of a jazz-folk visionary. It was a reminder of his potent talent
Hard drinker with a soft heart who outshone many of his musical peers
Soulmates don't always feel the need to tell each other their feelings. It would take the singer-songwriter John Martyn the best part of four decades to let Danny Thompson know, "You're my best friend."