Thirty three years have elapsed since the Old Grey Whistle Test performance that conferred a measure of stardom on John Martyn.
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In the 1970s, John Martyn was the master of the romantic sublime. Schooled in the 1960s folk boom, this Glaswegian went electric, made the Echoplex tape-delay device his own, and found his musical soulmate in fellow closet jazznik double-bassist Danny Thompson. Tender intimacy and booming spaciousness all of a piece, Martyn's classic albums Bless The Weather, Solid Air and One World conjured acoustic-electric moodscapes where your heart and time itself stood still.
Exactly when it was that Martyn's vocal became a slurred growl with built-in elasticity is open to debate.
A cool and charismatic John Martyn and his band played to a theatre only half filled, with a jet black drape as a backdrop.
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.
John Martyn * * *
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.
John Martyn picked up his guitar, played a solo that got everyone hooked and held them spellbound all night when he played the Roisin Dubh on Monday February 26.