Exactly when it was that Martyn's vocal became a slurred growl with built-in elasticity is open to debate.
John Martyn in Galway
Just returned from the John Martyn gig at Róisin Dubh in Galway.
Martyn at his brilliant best as he returns to home town in a blaze of glory
FOLK jazz maestro John Martyn made a triumphant return to his home town despite the effects of serious surgery.
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ROYAL CONCERT HALL, GLASGOW
Bigger and gruffer than ever
JOHN Martyn, arguably Scotland's most respected singer-songwriter, has played the musical equivalent of steady darts throughout his career, while continuing to attract new fans to his understated brand of Celtic soul. Consequently, last night's audience represented a broad church, who were politely receptive to his support act, a mousey young minstrel called Eva Abraham, who has obviously heard a Joni Mitchell album or ten in her time.
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If John Martyn hadn't become a folk/blues/rock legend, he could have knocked out a career as a mimic. At one point, he perfectly impersonates Alf Garnett. At another, he adopts the voice of what can only be described as a northern-English, butch but camp transvestite.
John Martyn @ Lowry
"IT'S only an A chord," John Martyn protested, somewhat embarrassed as yet another wave of encouraging whistles and cheers greeted even his pre-song noodlings on the guitar.
Jazz Cafe, London
Say what you like about John Martyn but there's no doubt that after 35 years in the business he's still taking risks. Tonight he's accompanied by a sax player 1 who offered his services after recording with Martyn in the studio the day before. No warm-up, nothing. And it sounds fantastic.
It's more than 30 years since lain McGeachy hit the road south from Glasgow to record his first album -the acoustic guitar-driven period piece London Conversation- changed his name to John Martyn, and began a career in music that, if it hasn't made him rich in worldly terms, has earned the wayward Scotsman critical acclaim and a world-wide following.
The Ferry, Glasgow
Phew, what a scorcher. Not the music. John Martyn doesn't scorch much, being more disposed towards light and mellow grooves -way too light and mellow for the inattentive blethers who, with the Ferry's grow-your-own tomatoes atmosphere, made this latest installment of Martynwatch unusually hard work. Normally, I can consume Martyn to, well, a band playing. Sometimes here, particularly early on, I could hardly hear the band for the chat.