This poster reminded me of the fun people used to have at the John Martyn gatherings in the North. After one year of isolation and cancellations, it really feels like we are missing something here. My wife and I have excellent memories of the Januari meetings in the Clutha and we were planning to come to Yorkshire in June. But all that went under in the corona waves and subsequent lockdowns.
Chris Blackwell was always a bit of a rebel. Born in London, raised in Jamaica, he was schooled at Harrow but scorned its uniform - especially the straw boater pupils were obliged to don.
A poignant epistle to Nick Drake, the delicate folk jazz title track on Martyn's third solo LP emerged from a session "almost like a big jam"
Hard drinker with a soft heart who outshone many of his musical peers
Soulmates don't always feel the need to tell each other their feelings. It would take the singer-songwriter John Martyn the best part of four decades to let Danny Thompson know, "You're my best friend."
Musical genius or a wasted talent? In search of the real John Martyn
John Martyn played many roles in his three score years. Curly-haired troubadour, spaced-out innovator, thug, fisherman, wizard, wastrel, lover and fighter.
For decades he made some of the most beautiful music Scotland has ever produced, yet his life was haunted by demons which tore apart his marriage and drove him to drink. Now the album which documented his divorce in heartbreaking detail is to be celebrated at Celtic Connections. Jonny Jobson reflects on the grace and danger of a true genius.
Danny Thompson talks to Lisa-Marie Ferla about his legendary friendship with folk hero John Martyn ahead of a special night at Celtic Connections
Having come through the same secondary school –Shawlands Academy– as Moors Murderer Ian Brady, John Martyn was wont to present himself as a Glasgow tough in his darker days, a mask that suited him well as alcohol and drug use exacerbated his meanest tendencies.
Things come full circle as Martyn, whose acoustic beginnings gave way to forceful, brooding electronica, is stripped bare.
If you were too strapped or scared to commit to last year's Brobdingnagian 18-disc Island Years box set, this comparatively svelte four-disc iteration creams off the most noteworthy alternate takes, epochal live performances and rarities featured on its corpulent parent.