Sandy Denny Biography

This fantastic new biography of Sandy Denny by Mick Houghton is released on 5th March by Faber and Faber.

unicornI’ve Always Kept a Unicorn tells the story of Sandy Denny, one of the greatest British singers of her time and the first female British singer-songwriter to produce a substantial and enduring body of original songs. Sandy emerged from the passionate, hard-drinking folk scene of the sixties – a world of larger-than-life characters such as Alex Campbell, Bert Jansch, Jackson C. Frank, Anne Briggs and her future husband, the Australian singer Trevor Lucas. She then laid down the marker for folk-rock when she joined Fairport Convention in 1968, recording three albums with them before her shock departure in November 1969 just ahead of the release of the last, the seminal Liege & Lief.

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Nick Drake – Remembered For A While

drake71QXG2pSyELNick Drake – Remembered For A While is a fantastic new book celebrating the life and music of Nick Drake. Press release;  “This is not a biography. It is, rather, an attempt to cast a few shards of light on Nick Drake the poet, the musician, the singer, the friend, son and brother, who was also more than all of these. We hope it will accompany all those in search of an elusive artist, who was as indefinable as the morning mist.”

Superbly presented with copies of hand written lyric sheets and never seen before photographs. Further information here.

 

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John Martyn’s City Struggle

JOHN MARTYN’S CITY STRUGGLE

FOUR YEARS ago John Martyn came south from Scotland, and next February he will be moving back with his wife and family. Those four years have been a constant struggle against the oppression of the city, but considering his abject Sounds 12 December 1970aversion to this kind of environment, he has succeeded in his task. He has made his mark produced several fine albums which bare the mark of an inventive, refreshing brain, and on the face of it are wholly irreconcilable with the confused conglomeration in which he lives.

So when his wife Beverley has their second child, they will be moving to Peebleshire, within a stone’s throw of the Incredible String Bands retreat, to escape a programmed routine which John analogises with the non-changing flight patterns of insects. The real break for John was the “Stormbringer!” album he made with Beverley – an album which extricated him well and truly from his folk club upbringing. But even then the

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London Conversation Review

Mojo September 2014London Conversation Vinyl Release 21st July 2014.

Beginners, please.

A teenage greenhorn lays the foundation of Island’s folk-rock village. By Jim Irvin.

Debut albums can be a mixed blessing, perhaps a tentative wave hello, a flood of suppressed creative outpourings, or a clearing house for childish guff. They’re most fascinating when they wrong-foot posterity. Who could have extrapolated Radiohead’s In Rainbows from Pablo Honey or Tom Waits’ Mule Variations from Closing Time? Solidly in that subset lies John Martyn’s London Conversation, now back on vinyl (Universal ***). ILP 952, issued in October 1967, was the first release on the new pink Island label, marking the company’s shift from its reggae origins. It’s a jejeune thing – cut, so they say, in a couple of evenings for £158 – that bears almost no resemblance to his mature work, not in the sound or swing of the playing, the tone of his voice or the acuity of the writing. And the whiff of childish guff is strong on opening song

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New Old Gig Review – Eric’s Liverpool 1977

Sounds 19March 1977Folk’s answer to Ted Nugent? John Martyn: If he’s too loud then you’re too old!

FOR THOSE of you who do not know, let me merely say this: John Martyn is Britain’s number one singer/songwriter. Absolutely. Without doubt. His fine, unique vocals excellently complement his subtle blend of guitar pyrotechnics. You heard correctly – pyrotechnics! (And if any of you Ted Nugent/Buck Dharma/Ace Frehley fans wanna argue, come right up!).

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Well Kept Secret (Remastered And Expanded)

Well Kept Secret is to be re-released by Cherry Red Records in remastered and expanded form with two bonus songs and enhanced artwork. Revised release date is 14th July 2014.

Well Kept SecretAvailable to pre-order now and here is the full tracklisting is-

  1. Could’ve Been Me (J. Martyn)
  2. You Might Need A Man (J. Martyn)
  3. Hung Up (J. Martyn)
  4. Gun Money (J. Martyn)
  5. Never Let Me Go (Joe Scott)
  6. Love Up (J. Martyn)
  7. Changes Her Mind (J. Martyn)
  8. Hiss On The Tape (J. Martyn)
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The Bitterest Beard in Britain

New old NME interview from 1975.

Meet the man they call The Bitterest Beard in Britain.
Yes, JOHN MARTYN is uptight. About almost everything. As usual. Or maybe it’s just his way. ROD McSHANE endures the onslaught.

EVEN THOUGH John Martyn will be taking a year off from gigging in Britain after his current tour ends this month, there won’t be any accusations of short-changing from the man’s considerable British following. He’s currently on his third tour of the year, and apart from that there’ve been numerous dates in Europe (including the Montreaux Jazz Festival), and the anti-climactic ‘end of the Rainbow’ gig.

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