The Phoenix And The Turtle

Beverley Martyn – The Phoenix And The Turtle.

First album in 14 years from legendary folk singer; among many jewels, expect a co-write with Nick Drake.

The Phoenix And The Turtle“My last album was No Frills in about 2000, but I’ve always kept singing. We started work about two years ago, but stopped for a while because I was quite ill. It was recorded in Wales, in Mark Pavey’s studio. I would start just with guitar and a click track, and through the magic of computers we’d send a track to Matt Malley, ex-Counting Crows, and Victor Bisetti, ex-Los Lobos, in California. They would put the bass and drums on, then other things were added. It still has that in-a-room feel, it sounds like an old style analogue record. It’s very me, very transatlantic.”

“I’ve recorded Going To Germany and When The Levee Breaks, which are songs I used to do with my old ’60s jug band, The Levee Breakers. Reckless Jane, was started in ’74 with Nick Drake. When John and I lived in Hampstead, Nick lived one stop down the tube line, he’d come and babysit sometimes. We started writing Reckless Jane one day as a bit of a joke. I had the guiatar and he was sitting on the floor, trying to look small and not be in the way, as usual! I couldn’t look at it for a long time after he died, but finally I decided to finish it. It’s a pastoral English thing – the strings are a tribute to Nick. Women And Malt Whisky is about John. There’s a verse about our son, who is a bit wild. He didn’t have a good father’s hand, John didn’t teach him good things. Another line is about Davey Graham, John’s hero, and Bobby [Dylan] who was mine. The whole album is very personal.”

Graeme Thomson
1 February 2014