John Martyn – UK Folk Songwriter – Dies at 60

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John Martyn – UK Folk Singer/Songwriter died last week on Thursday, January 29. John was a leading figure of the 1960’s UK folk scene. His first album, London Conversation, was released in 1967. From there, he went onto release a number of recordings that spanned four decades, often venturing outside of the folk realm and into Jazz, reggae, rock and even funk. In 1973, Martyn released one of the defining British albums of the 1970s, Solid Air. On the album, as with the one that preceded it, Bless the Weather, Martyn collaborated with jazz bass player, Danny Thompson, with whom he proceeded to have a fruitful musical partnership. He also developed a new, slurred vocal style, the timbre of which resembled a tenor saxophone. Paying tribute to Martyn, BBC Radio 2’s folk presenter Mike Harding said: “John Martyn was a true original, one of the giants of the folk scene. He could write and sing classics like ‘May You Never’ and ‘Fairy Tale Lullaby’ like nobody else, and he could sing traditional songs like ‘Spencer The Rover’ in a way that made them seem new minted.”

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