John Martyn has cultivated a staunch following for his improvisational picking style and mellifluous voice that has produced a mesh of jazz, blues and folk. Since his much-lauded debut releases, Solid Air and Bless The Weather, Martyn's career has been dogged by alcoholic abuse. Then, in 2003, a serious infection led to a leg amputation.
Exactly when it was that Martyn's vocal became a slurred growl with built-in elasticity is open to debate.
Island/Universal cat. no. tbc (42:07)
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Island/Universal cat. no. tbc (34:09)
Bless The Weather
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Island/Universal cat. no. tbc (75:21)
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Island/Universal cat. no. tbc (59:16)
The drinking, the drug taking, the divorces, the bankruptcy, the broken neck, the affairs and the loss of his leg. But John Martyn's lurid personal life is still leaving room for some sublime music...
John Martyn, Bless the Weather
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JOHN AND BEVERLEY MARTYN
Road To Ruin and
Stormbringer: turning points
in John Martyn's career
By Simon Waldman
Timeless is too big a word for anything, but it was just so far ahead of its time. It's a very beautiful album, with a pure, almost classical bearing to it, even down to the singing parts.
A cool and charismatic John Martyn and his band played to a theatre only half filled, with a jet black drape as a backdrop.
He may have left behind the wilder excesses of his hellraising days, but John Martyn still counts a Bloody Mary as breakfast.
This is a transcription of a cassette tape from an interview conducted in the Bay Horse pub in Glasgow. It was used for the biography Some People Are Crazy by John Neil Munro so some quotes may sound familiar. John was interviewed several times; this occasion was after the release of On The Cobbles (April 2004) and hours before the concert in the Glasgow Carling Academy of 17 November 2004.