There must be something in the water of the British Isles. Or at least there has to be something special that makes the British so able to take American forms in popular music, appreciate them, add a twist of their own and make fine music that crosses all our categories.
While most people here were listening to stuff like Patti Page, the baby Beatles were appropriating Elmore James and Chuck Berry as the cornerstone of their own early music. Same process with the Stones or Van Morrison or most of the transatlantic hybrids in their age group.
Like Dave Edmunds, who hasn't attained the stature of those people, although he's been around about as long.
So Far So Good (Island) fits into that category of British assimilation that Edmunds does, even if John Martyn's American influences are farther reaching than Edmunds' - accommodating jazz along with country and black American music while keeping the Scottish sound that he started off with. His vocals and guitar work reach a long way. On Solid Air, the vocal could be called either reminiscent of Billie Holiday or terribly experimental for a folkie. Either is a compliment. This too is a fine record much more subtle than Edmunds' and, as a 'best of', a fine introduction to Martyn.
This review was printed in the Philadelphia Daily News of Friday 17 June 1977. Other albums reviewed were Get It by Dave Edmunds and The Mountain Dulcimer Instrumental Album.