Even a couple of months ago I could never have considered a post about John Martyn: I had rarely listened to him, had never listened to a track from beginning to end; skipped his tracks on compilation CDs. How ignorant of me! How wrong I was!
Now I am entranced by the man, his music, his songs and his guitar-playing : the words often unintelligible are irrelevant. He said in an interview, in the second video here,”the power of the notes is very good for the heid. Sometimes you don’t have to sing a damn thing as long as you’re playing and something … an’ the music says it for you”.
Music from his soul that reaches our souls too.
Sit back, relax, have a sip of your coffee now and again and enjoy John Martyn.
May You Never
In this version we hear John at Celtic Connections in Glasgow performing with Kathy Mattea and Danny Thompson (double bass).
John and Danny Thompson – an early member of Pentangle and fabulous talented bassist – toured for many years.
John Martyn was the musical name of Iain David McGeachy, born in 1948. We learn a little of his background in this short clip from a BBC Scotland documentary of 2007 and seeing him it is perhaps unsurprising that he died less than 2 years later. We also see here the emotion that drove him.
There is such emotion in these few minutes that it is unsurprising his songs are incredibly moving.
Later, in fact the last video, is a complete rendition of this song.
Excuse Me Mister
Here we have Martyn and significant others playing at Transatlantic Sessions 2.
Excuse me, mister, but that was fabulous.
Sweet Little Mystery
There’s a comment at the video which I copy here.
“Recall reading a story about . John Martyn, waking up after passing out on a hotel room floor, to find himself under a rug which Thompson had nailed down, leaving only Martyn's head exposed. Thompson went about his business, eating breakfast etc., ignoring Martyn's pleas to let him loose ..”
Who knows if this is true but from what I have read about Martyn it could well be.
We move so quickly onto the second last song which is taken from Transatlantic Sessions.
He Got All the Whiskey
Previously I would have walked right past this song but now …. over and over again.
There is only one place to put your coffee down and that’s here with “Hurt in Your Heart”.
Hurt in Your Heart
A younger Martyn than we saw in the mini-documentary (2nd clip) but the feeling!!!!!
John Martyn died last year in his 61st year and now, in my 61st year, I have found his music. Thank God.
A man who lived his music and whose music lived and lives on.
As long as music is played his music will be loved.
Many play but few reach his heights!
Well, that’s it for another week. Tune in again next week and thanks for listening.