After two years of Covid misery it looks like things are finally getting back to normal and this goes for the John Martyn Summer Gathering too. The 2022 edition is to take place the weekend of 17, 18 and 19 June at Hackforth Village Hall, North Yorkshire.
Today it makes eleven years since John's passing. Which is sad. Still people all over the world keep discovering his music, though. One year ago, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall completely sold out for the 10 year memorial concert organized by co-legend Danny Thompson. Last year saw the release of Sweet Little Mysteries | The Songs of John Martyn, a fine tribute CD by Sarah Jane Morris and Tony Rémy. Recommended.
Only recently people in the Netherlands were able to see the John Martyn Project live, a set of JM songs performed by five aspiring musicians who also toured the UK in the course of 2019.
In North Yorkshire, a new John Martyn Gathering is coming up next summer. And a small winter gathering is held in the Clutha this weekend, in John's home town Glasgow. Sold out.
So John is alive though not kicking :o(
71 years today... and still selling out the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
It is encouraging to see that people are still engaged with John's music and career. Only yesterday I got an unknown picture from Sweden of John performing in Uppsala, Sweden at the monumental Barowiak theatre (below).
If you want to get in touch with people who feel the same way, look for the John Martyn Group on Facebook. Amazing stuff is shared on that platform.
This month, ten years will have gone by since John's passing. This, and an upcoming all-star remembrance concert in the context of Celtic Connections at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, is reason for Uncut magazine to give some attention to JM.
Their February issue features a three page article on the making of the track Solid Air, by Graeme Thomson. There's a lot of direct quotes from the people involved: John Wood, Dave Mattacks, Danny Thompson, John 'Rabbit' Bundrick and Tristan Fry.
Funny thing is that Uncut also wrote about Solid Air ten years earlier, in December 2000. This piece is called Emotional Rescue. Both stories have been sort of recreated on this site.
During the last few months I found a LOT of new Dutch publications. Announcements, articles and a dozen concert reviews. Sometimes there were three journalists in the audience. I added them all and I think they can be translated reasonably well by the Google service.
Try this for starters:
Today John would have turned 70.
So here's a happy birthday to the man that makes Heaven a less boring place.