Sebastian 'Magic' Inspires
By Charles Johnson
Always the clean-cut youth, it's difficult to believe that Sebastian's most famous material was written almost a decade ago. The concert showed that Sebastian is still progressing as a performer and a composer. This removed some of the child-like vitality from his early material, but when he asked 'Do You Believe In Magic?', one forgot the time and place and succumbed to Sebastian's eternal youth.
English guitarist John Martyn preceded Sebastian with his solo act. It was only his third stop on a six-week tour, according to his manager Rob Winn. He has yet to establish a reputation in the United States, but, said Winn, "In England we headline our own concerts. It's purely a case of working until you can play the venues you want to play."
His material consists of songs from his last two albums and a new one, Sunday's Child, due to be released next week, according to Winn. Martyn has previously toured with Yes and Traffic, so he is enjoying the chance to play smaller arenas with Sebastian, added Winn.
Martyn revealed an unearthly electronic echo system for his acoustic guitar, but then switched to the more traditional English folk-influenced material. He was pleasantly surprised when members of the audience recognized one of his songs, May You Never.
Eclecticism dominated, as Martyn showed blues, folk and electronic rock influences. An expert guitar craftsman, his unconventional chords were distinctive, although his performance lacked discipline.
This review was published Friday 11 October 1974 on page 5 of the Old Gold and Black, the newspaper of the Wake Forrest University.