John Martyn, born Ian David McGeachy in 1948, was a brilliant British guitarist/singer/songwriter. Over his forty-year career he recorded twenty studio albums and worked with artists like Phil Collins, Eric Clapton, and David Gilmore. The London Times described him as an electrifying guitarist and singer whose music transcended the boundaries of folk, jazz, rock, and blues.
He began his professional career at the age of seventeen, playing a blend of folk and blues, and rose to a prominent place in the 1960s London Folk scene. He had a long time collaboration with jazz bassist Danny Thompson, with whom he partnered until his death.
As was the case with many musicians in the late 60s, he became addicted to drugs and alcohol, which resulted in the breakup of his marriage. Martyn sank into a dark depression for several years, but it actually enhanced his song writing. He pulled out of the darkness and again rose to musical prominence. On February 4, 2008, Phil Collins presented Martyn with the lifetime achievement award on behalf of the BBC Folk awards. The BBC said, “his heartfelt performances have either suggested or fully demonstrated his idiosyncratic genius.” Eric Clapton stated that Martyn was so far ahead of everything, it was almost inconceivable. John performed several songs at the ceremony accompanied by John Paul Jones (Led Zepplin) on mandolin.
Martyn died of double pneumonia in a hospital on January 29, 2009. His music truly transcends genres. I hope you enjoy him.
May You Never: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOi_wxypeGc&feature=related
Johnny Too Bad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_Jdeaf4mF8&feature=fvwrel
Make No Mistake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1kWiqKBAig&feature=related
One Day Without You: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beh7g6Iz4Vg&feature=related
So Much In Love With You: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx_idQqnT8Y&feature=related
Couldn’t Love You More: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_zxphApcrY&feature=related
Head and Heart: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lusPaLec9TE&feature=related
Bless the Weather: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofPpzAdhIOU&feature=related
Spencer the Rover: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SyJRLSnUEc&feature=related
One for the Road: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84LzpQKsuts&feature=fvwrel
Small Hours: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYLVM560Fok&feature=related
I'm pairing John with a 2007 Morgan Twelve Clones Pinot noir ($21.00). The wine is medium ruby red with aromas of dark cherries, vanilla, and strawberry. The palate is full of cherry, strawberry, currents, and a touch of mocha with a long, flavorful finish of fruit, fine tannins, and a bit of spice. All in all, a very nice Pinot Noir and perfect for kicking back after a long week and relaxing to the sounds of John Martyn. Enjoy!