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Bless the Weather

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iTunes Review

Though his earlier albums had merit, John Martyn truly came into his own with 1971’s Bless the Weather. The bittersweet grace of “Go Easy,” “Back Down the River,” and “Head and Heart” showcase Martyn’s agile folk-blues guitar touch as well as his delicate vocal shadings and sparse lyric style. A brooding Celtic atmosphere hangs over these tracks, reflected in the mellow fatalism of the title tune and the regretful yet accepting outlook of “Let the Good Things Come.” Whatever the feelings expressed, the music here moves with a remarkable fluidity, propelled by Martyn’s pulsing six-string rhythms and Danny Thompson’s supple acoustic bass work. “Sugar Lump” adds some lowdown bluesy swagger, while the instrumental “Glistening Glyndebourne” introduces the jazz-rock strain that would be fleshed out on later Martyn releases. An acoustic rendering of “Singin’ in the Rain” closes things with a lighthearted flourish. Bless the Weather was later overshadowed by its celebrated follow-up, Solid Air, but by any standard, this album is an outstanding, subtly haunting work, as well as a turning point in Martyn’s now-legendary career.

Customer Reviews

An Album That Resonates Beauty Throughout...

One of the most wonderful singer/songwriters ever. His voice so soulful and urgent followed by an equally charged arrangement of music. This was the first John Martyn album I had ever heard. Since this I have been an avid fan, from prior to latter albums. All deserving of praise. Music to surpass the sound of time.

Convivial to the -nth degree, it’ll make you smile

Talk about congenial, mild-mannered folk, John Martyn’s Bless the Weather is convivial to the –nth degree. The album is certainly one of those that you just click on to make you smile. Great background music. And that, of course, is what distinguishes it from Martyn’s 1973 masterpiece, Solid Air. There are some outstanding songs here: “Go Easy,” “Bless the Weather,” “Just Now,” “Head and Heart” (especially), and the instrumental “Glistening Glyndebourne.” Of the latter, I wouldn’t call it so much jazz-rock and folk-jazz, along the lines of Leo Koetke. And it’s worth noting that there’s not a clunker on the album. All the songs stand up, even Martyn’s remarkable cover of “Singin’ in the Rain,” of all songs. What a strange selection to cover, but Martyn pulls it off. So, don’t go looking here for anything really deep. It’s not exactly superficial, but it’s quiet and delightful, but few of the tracks are all that memorable. Still, at $4.99, it is definitely worth purchasing and listening to on those dark, cold winter days when you need some music to make you smile.


Born: September 11, 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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Bless the Weather, John Martyn
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