John Martyn has been a cult figure on the pop music scene for more than 20 years. The Glasgow-born guitarist, singer an songwriter will be making a rare Chicago appearance at 8 and 10 p.m. Thursday at the Beat Kitchen, 2100 Belmont Ave. (312-281-4444). The cover charge is $10. Martyn is in town to cut a record1 with the aid of long-time Chicago studio musician Jim Tullio.
Martyn is a versatile performer, equally at home in folk, jazz and rock settings. He learned guitar from Scottish folksinger Hamish lmlach, for example, while still in his teens before turning to a folk jazz fusion in the early '70s.
But Martyn has never been one to stay within the limits of strictly defined musical boundaries. His inspirations range from the work of veteran bluesman Skip James but have also included some light dabbling in reggae to collaborations with such rock superstars as Phil Collins, Eric Clapton and Robert Palmer. Several years back one of his best and most evocative songs, Fisherman's Dream, received a gorgeous interpretation by the Gaelic folk/rock band, Capercaillie.
One never knows where Martyn's musical musing may end up next. But it's always fun to join him on the journey.
1 No Little Boy.
This story was published in the Chicago Tribune of Friday 26 June 1992. The Beat Kitchen date on a Thursday must therefore have taken place on the 2nd of July.