John Martyn is dead. Now I’m a bit upset about this. And on hearing this – late it must be said, I hadn’t had the radio on all day so I didn’t find out until about 11pm – I did what probably a lot of people did: I played ‘Solid Air’.
If you haven’t heard this, you are in for a treat when you do. Martyn is often tagged as ‘folky’ , which he is sort of, the instruments are folky. Usually. But sometimes he’s almost ambient, his acoustic guitar fed through an Echoplex and drifting into waves of sound, his voice a slurred mumble, another instrument. At other times, notably on the raging reworking of the blues ‘I’d Rather Be The Devil’ , the music is a propulsive funk. ‘Glistening Glyndebourne’ is an ambient guitar masterpiece. You simply must go now and listen to the album ‘Solid Air’ , as it is genius.