John Martyn, the tousled Glaswegian whose fizzing, dynamic playing looks like making him the first really new British guitar hero for years, will be treating America to his talents when he flies out for a major tour in October.
bard bon-viveur bullshitter doper entertainer explorer guitarist hero hobo legend lover minstrel musician pathfinder performer picker pioneer pissartist player poet raconteur rambler rhymer romancer singer songwriter talker thinker tripper troubadour trouper trucker tumbler virtuoso wayfarer - and lots of other things too
TWO comments made in the past by John Martyn, who appears on the Yes bill, have defined his work as well as any lengthy analysis.
Firstly, when talking about 'Head And Heart', a track from Bless The Weather, his third album, John said: "I am somewhere in the balance between them." 1) In other words Martyn aims to nourish both the cerebral and the emotional man.
John has contributed to Music Alive, a Schools TV programme made by ILEA-TV that ran in 1973 and 1974. It also featured Frank Zappa, Kevin Coyne and Artemis.
ILEA stands for Inner London Education Authority.
No further details available.
The elemental, avant-garde John Martyn, by Dave Laing
1967: "So there I was on this barge on the river wearing nothing but denims and a smile..." so runs the sleeve note on London Conversation, the first 'white' album on a thriving reggae label by an eighteen year old folk guitarist and singer.
Whose music is his life and whose life is a process of learning
"Music makes my heart go, makes me tick. The money doesn't really matter, if it didn't come in I would still go on playing, singing away. I'm just in love with music. That's me."
An album made with love and care.
Difficult to categorise this musician, except to say that he works in touches of blues, of folk, of the olde-worlde traditional sort of material.
To those critics who demand pigeon-holes, John Martyn is a 'folk guitarist'. He plays mostly acoustic guitars and sings songs. And makes remarkable records, using jazz musicians, African drummers and anyone else he thinks appropriate. His latest (and seventh) album, Inside Out, has just been released by Island. Before that was Solid Air, which is one of Dave Dyke's favourite records. So we asked Dave to talk to John for Guitar.