As usually happens, I go on a massive binge on an older artist or band, say Gil Scott-Heron – then find out they have a big release in the next week or two after years or decades of nothing. It happens a lot to me, and just happened with John Martyn. I wasn’t really up on John Martyn’s work past Primrose Hill and New Day. I can guess why – he does get a bit jazzy and prog, but strangely it doesn’t freak me, I think it’s the funk/dub rhythms he uses, and via a Nick Drake song strayed into his work on YouTube last week and loved it (the link being Solid Air, obv.).
The new podcasts feature a lot of his songs including Small Hours and the amazing One World album…and then I find after finishing recording the second podcast – I find out there’s a tribute album out next month. You can’t make it up!
Here’s Robert Smith of the Cure’s take on Small Hours, strangely one of the first tracks I loved from Martyn, ripped off Lauren Laverne’s show on 6Music: