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In Session At the BBC

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Album Review

These are the complete sessions that John Martyn recorded for two BBC disc jockeys between 1973 and 1978, and though a few have seen release elsewhere before, the majority are new to CD and a welcome addition to the Martyn canon. There's plenty of electric improvisation here, including "Devil Got My Woman" (really "I'd Rather Be the Devil") and "Inside" (better known as "Inside Out"), which get extensive workouts, and there's a 1978 take on "Small Hours" that ends the disc on a lovely, aching note. In between there's plenty of acoustic music (four tracks with a barely audible Danny Thompson on bass) that trawls through Martyn's work on three classic albums from his golden period. He pulls out some excellent performances, his fingers wonderfully agile, and his voice as deep as the bottom of a bottle of Scotch. This is good enough to be more than a footnote; for Martyn fans it's essential.


Born: 11 September 1948 in New Malden, Surrey, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Singer/songwriter/guitarist John Martyn was born Iain David McGeachy on September 11, 1948, in New Malden, Surrey, and raised in Glasgow by his grandmother. He began his innovative and expansive career at the age of 17 with a style influenced by American blues artists such as Robert Johnson and Skip James, the traditional music of his homeland, and the eclectic folk of Davey Graham (Graham remained an influence and idol of Martyn's throughout his career). With the aid of his mentor, traditional singer...
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In Session At the BBC, John Martyn
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