Bless The Weather (Original CD Release)
The beginnings of John Martyn’s career are described in the sleeve note to his first album ‘London Conversation and continue on the Stormbringer! LP. Both are now available on CD.
John’s fourth album The Road To Ruin had introduced Danny Thompson on bass who joined from Pentangle. This proved to be a long and historic partnership. With Thompson’s help, the tho albums made in the early seventies, Bless The Weather (1971) and later Solid Air (1973) turned Martyn into an established figure on the UK concert circuit. “Aye, there was a time we played naked in Bolton Town, and the time he (Thompson) actually nailed me to the floor under the carpet, with real nails, and proceeded to order and eat a full hotel breakfast at a table above me as I was coming to.”
“Aye, those were wild times, all part of the Jazzy thing. I was determined to live that lifestyle, look sharp, be sharp, be on the ball non-stop, smoke all the dope, drink all the juice, just get to it and be Jack the Lad. Of all the musicians I’ve come into contact with, Danny has taught me the most particularly about style and jazz technique. I’m greatly indebted to the man.”
This reputation of a live act with a difference, coupled with excellent album reviews, brought the people in, and John acquired a loyal following that has stayed with him through thick and thin, the high times and the long silences. John and his wife Beverley had set up home in Hastings in Southern England and in addition to Wesley, Beverley’s son by a previous relationship, there were two more children Mhairy and Spencer. Bless The Weather took further John’s unique fusion of folk rock and jazz deploying in addition to Danny and Richard Thompson, Fairport Convention’s Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks and Simon Nicol. It is a rich subtle mix of gentle songs with the echoplex complementing and giving depth to John’s characteristic touch of mystery. Like Tim Buckley, Martyn’s lyricism in this as in much of his later material, makes explicit use of images of femininity and romance.