The MM series in which musicians talk about the artists they love and why. This week: JOHN MARTYN
His newly released album Sunday's Child follows a familiar formula - it's an album of mood music that only comes to life after dark so that one immediately recalls his penchant for booking studio time at Island between the hours of midnight and dawn.
JOHN MARTYN: SUNDAY'S CHILD (ISLAND)
THE sound of running water in a pitch black hall. The lights go up and John Martyn in a grubby raincoat with his back to the audience, looks round in surprise, pretending he has been caught in the middle of answering nature's call.
Two solo acoustic tracks recorded in the BBC London studio.
Solo acoustic performance, recorded Maida Vale 4 studio 7 January 1975.
These tracks were released as bonus material on the expanded and remastered Sunday's Child (2005).
Being a vegetarian myself, which leads to many difficulties on tours of America, I'd choose John Martyn's Bless The Weather.
Probably the most decisive influence on developing acoustic guitarists on the folk scene these days is a young Glaswegian who hasn't played the folk circuit himself for many months. But although John Martyn is now established quite firmly as an electric rock player, his style and his unique approach to the acoustic guitar have spawned a whole generation of imitators. It is virtually impossible to spend an evening in any but the most traditionally-oriented clubs without seeing at least one guitarist trying to achieve the rhythmic pungency and explosive dynamics which are the Martyn trademarks. And though John's career has led him away from the clubs, his spirit is as dominant now as that of, say, Bert Jansch or Davy Graham in the late sixties.
John Martyn/ Southampton
"NICE TO see ya," cried the exuberant John Martyn in between yet another pint of cloudy beer. "To see ya nice," was the spontaneous reply. And indeed it was.
With the preliminaries over John began the task of stimulating the semi-conscious audience. This was achieved successfully with help from nimble-fingered double bass player Danny Thompson, whose musical reflexes suggested he was having multiple orgasms.
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