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
In 1978 I got a call from a drummer called Timi Donald, who'd been in the Pathfinders in Glasgow. He told me, 'John Martyn is looking for you. I'm playing with him – would you mind coming in? He's doing production work for Grace & Danger.' I was getting £100 a day for production, which at that time was fantastic.
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.
The Bottom Line
Interesting and well documented release in the so-called RePresents series
Recorded at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas
Engineers Andy Lyden & Steven Stanley, Assisted by Benji Armbrister, Kendal Stubbs & Frankie Gibson and Ca Va Sound Workshops, Glasgow
Engineer Brian Young
'This reissue is respectfully dedicated to Beverley, Mhairi, Spenser and Teresa'
The Bottom Line:
Well produced collectors item in the so-called RePresents series
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.
Danny Thompson is celebrating his 75th birthday with a series of concerts with musical collaborators such as Richard Thompson and Donovan. Here the double bass maestro talks about his varied career playing with folk and jazz greats and pop stars such as Kate Bush and Cliff Richard.
Singing From The Floor
A History Of British Folk Clubs