Related grooviness

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Peter Knight busking 26th June Banbury !

The lovely PETER KNIGHT ( steeleye, gigspanner, feast of fiddles ) will be BUSKING in Banbury
on the 26th June in aid of cancer research, 12.30 pm onwards

From his announcement on TAW:

" Hiya :)

I will be out on Banbury High Street on the 26th of June, as part of this years 'Busking for Cancer' Fundraising event.

I will be joined by Roger Flack on Guitar and Vincent Salzfaas on percussion. Debs will have the collecting bucket.

If anyone lives in the area and is out shopping in Banbury, come and say hello to us.

Best Wishes,

Peter. "

Don't miss the opportunity to catch Peter play, not only is he a magnificent musician,
he is also a very personable and kind man.

To find out more about Peter go HERE

He also runs popular " Masterclasses " and previous attendees have guested at his gigs...

Monday, 27 April 2009

MORE Judy Dyble news/ Fairport

" Talking with strangers " new album news

Judy has added more teasers from the " Talking with strangers " album ( due for release July 2009 ), one of which will be of particular interest to KING CRIMSON fans

The rather epic " Harpsong " ( featuring Fripp,Ian McDonald and Pat Mastelotto) is now on myspace.

Second sample track snippet is of the beautiful " Grey October Day " (with Tim Bowness singing )


Judy's blog posts the following:

" A little bit of Grey October Day with the silky vocals of Tim Bowness.. this will be a single I think and a tantalising glimpse of the Harpsong - the 20 minute epic- this is a small section just before it all goes a bit bananas :-) There will be more and different tasters over the next few weeks. That's so mean isn't it? :-) "

Another of the many album contributors JULIANNE REGAN has also added samples to her myspace page for your aural delight... listen HERE

This album features a wide variety of guests and promises to be Judy's best yet.

Judy Dyble official site HERE
Judy's blog HERE


Other Judy Dyble news, this time with regard to the band that started it all.. FAIRPORT CONVENTION.. again from Judy's blog:

Barbican 18th July

" I have just been asked if I would like to sing at the Fairport concert here.. I think that might be quite fun to do... Lovely day today and what has made it even nicer is that the masters have arived. Y-a-a-a-y! "


The Barbican gig promises to be an amazing extravaganza !

Originally posted on Dave Swarbrick's site:

"To celebrate the 40th anniversary of three Fairport Convention albums there will be a big Fairport Concert at the
Barbican in London on Saturday 18th July. Swarb will be taking part, alongside other Fairport alumni and there will be a
few surprises on the night. Watch this space for further details."

An All-Star Fairport Convention Concert

18 July 2009 / 19:30
Barbican Hall

Tickets: £10 / 15 / 20 / 25
subject to availability

Update from a Barbican press release:

"• Witchseason Weekender. A celebration of the Witchseason label and the man who did so much to support and promote the British folk-rock scene in the extraordinarily creative years of the late 1960s, Boston-born producer and label boss Joe Boyd. Curated by Boyd himself, the first concert will be a reunion concert by Fairport Convention, with original members including Richard Thompson and material from the group’s classic albums, such as Liege and Lief and Unhalfbricking. The second will feature the music of the Incredible String Band with guest appearances by Richard Thompson, legendary singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan and Canadian folk hero Kate McGarrigle. (18 and 19 July)"

Bloody hell !!
PLEASE take this opportunity to RECORD and RELEASE a dvd of this !!

Just to remind you :D

Jude with Fairport " Time will show the wiser "

Sunday, 26 April 2009

ezfolk.. another resource bites the dust :(

recieved in email just now.. sad news

Hi Folks,

I'm sorry to have to announce the closing of the ezFolk website. There have been some things that have happened recently that have made it difficult to continue, and the site will close as of April 30, 2009.

I received an email from Google last week that it appeared the ezFolk website had been hacked and was being used by spammers of some sort. After looking into it I discovered that hundreds of pages in the general site containing tutorials as well as the main page had been modified by an outside source. It's not the malicious type of a hack that will do damage to a user's computer, so don't worry about that, but it is enough damage to the website that it has to be fixed and it is more of a job than I'm able to do.

Compounding the problem is that Google also informed me they would be removing links to the ezFolk site, and although there were still links coming in from Google the last time I looked, there has been a drop of about 50% in traffic since then.

These are all problems that could be fixed over time, but honestly I'm getting older and really can't keep up with the new technology and it would only get worse over time. I started working on ezFolk almost 10 years ago in the fall of 1999, and I thought if I worked hard enough for long enough it would pay off and I would eventually be able to make a living from the site and make it my full-time occupation. That never worked out and in recent months we've barely been breaking even, which means I've been working for free. With a 50% drop in traffic we won't come close to breaking even, which means that to keep the website up and running I will not only have to work for free, which I'm used to, but I will also have to pay the bills out of my own pocket. That's not a good option.

I sent out a payment today to all artists who have earnings of at least $2.00. I didn't send a payment to those under $2.00 because it would probably be more trouble than it's worth on my end and your end as well, but if you have earnings under $2.00 and want me to pay you, let me know and I'll send it to you. You can email me at

If you don't know how to check your sales, here's how you do it:

Go to your control panel, then...
Click on "Profile"
Click on "Statistics"
Click on "Sales Stats"

I'm sending this message out to all Artists and Members and posting it in the forums as well. If I've left anything out or you have questions or comments, feel free to respond to the forum message or email me.

I do apologize to all of the faithful users of ezFolk who made the site a good place to visit and I hope we're still friends.

All the best,

Richard Hefner

can anyone help out?

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


Judy Dyble has been working on new album " Talking with strangers " and the process is nearing completion :D

If you trot over to her MYSPACE you can read her blog updates there as well as view these fabulous retro pics that she posted up very recently. How great are these?

Also on her myspace she has posted snippets of some of the new album tracks.. well worth a listen.

To interact with Judy about this album you can either go to her MYSPACE or HERE ( the TAW forum thread where she has already answered some questions about the album and new pics )

From that thread Judy says :

" There are snippets from two tracks from my new album, Talking With Strangers, which is now due for release on 20th July 2009 'C'est La Vie' the Greg Lake/Pete Sinfield song and 'Jazzbirds' written by me,Tim Bowness and Alistair Murphy, hope you like them Grin There are also a couple of illustrations from the inlay booklet "

Further conversation revealed a bit about the recording process ( with musicians from all over the world ) :

Me : " i am going to be awkward and ask you who has played on each track from the long list you've put on myspace and also how you went about co-ordinating all of that unless you whipped around the world without us noticing ? "Shocked

Judy : " Mostly done via the clever internet, some people (Simon Nicol, Jacqui McShee, the oboe player Sanchia, and I) were physically recorded in my house- in fact in the room in which I am now typing. Julianne Regan, Robert Fripp, Ian McDonald, Pat Mastelotto (both in the US) and Celia Humphris, (France) sent their contributions by email and others were recorded in Norfolk.. Alistair co-ordinated everything and did most of the recording, Tim added his ears and vocals where needed Cool The track listings are long and complicated....."

Regarding the newly posted pics Judy said:

" Tis a nice old harp isn't it? The first one to tear my fingers to bits.. The photos were taken by my late uncle, a tutor at Hornsey School of Art in London.. he wanted to try out his new camera so we drove out to the countryside in Hertfordshire for him to practise taking these kind of publicity pictures. He only developed 3 of them at the time,but gave me the negatives which have been lying in a drawer,unnoticed for over 40 years, surviving many moves, a house fire and clearings outs. I discovered them a few months ago and wondered what they were, so had them put onto a disc, thinking they were too old to be useable, but lo and behold.. pictures of my youth.. Grin

TALKING WITH STRANGERS by Judy Dyble is released on July 20th


Official site HERE ( with snippets from albums )

Judy's myspace HERE ( with snippets of the new tracks )

Judy's blog HERE

King Crimson news HERE

Judy Dyble Wikipedia HERE

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David Hughes

"Anyone who's in danger of overdosing on the oh-so-sensitive-and-mellow end of the acoustic spectrum should check out David eye..sardonic wit..very British."
Dirty Linen, USA
(Mar 2000)

Why isn't this man rich and famous and a household name?

Wordy, sharp witted, ironic, satirical, a skilled singer songwriter and a fine fingerstyle guitarist and yet relatively unknown except within the folk circuit.

David Hughes is an acoustic guitarist, songwriter, playwright and author. His five albums include ACTIVE IN THE PARISH which, in 1997 was named by Q magazine as one of their albums of the year. His three published books include a diary of a UK tour supporting Fairport Convention in 1998. His plays, with a local focus, regularly sell out in Maldon, Essex.

He has recorded and performed with some of the finest musicians in the UK including Gerry Conway, Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson, Bert Jansch, Eddi Reader, Dave Mattacks, Dave Pegg, Spencer Cozens, Chris While, Julie Matthews, Chris Leslie and Alan Thomson.

"David Hughes can tell a story and he entertains. Warts and all, it's here...Cannily the whole tale is enlightened by a live CD in the back cover which proves Hughes to be not only a lively writer but an adroit songwriter to boot..."
(Dec 1998)



Of great interest to Fairport Convention fans, the 1998 tour diary and cd package is a humerous and lively account of his supporting slot with the biggest folk rock band in the UK

"The Fairport Tour"
(From support act to God Of Rock)
by David Hughes

An account of 30 consecutive nights on the road, as support act on the 1998 Fairport Convention winter tour.
Almost a historic document

This book was originally published on the net, as a daily report from the tour bus. Then with some extra material and a load more photos, it was published as a book in time for the Cropredy festival.
We thought that we had sold out, but with some very late b
ook shop returns, there are now a final 80 copies available.

Even though this was only about four years ago, since then the tour bus and DM have departed. So it's a bit of Fairport history.

Info on this is HERE
Available HERE ( but I believe it really is in short supply )

I own this and it is worth buying


As well as being a solo artist, he tours each year with ST AGNES FOUNTAIN ( with Chris While, Chris Leslie and Julie Matthews ) and has also toured with Pentangle and Fairport.

I am hoping for new material.. but until then will enjoy the collection I have and probably catch him with St Agnes Fountain again if they come to Wales. I have some pics and video of that show in Pontardawe last x mas to shove on here as soon as I can. It was the first time I had seen them and they were excellent.

I urge you to give this man a listen and grab some of his music. It seems very wrong to me that talent like this is not as widely acknowledged as it deserves to be.
And I wish I could play like him !

His albums are available HERE and are well worth buying

David Hughes official website HERE

David Hughes MYSPACE with tracks

Press articles HERE

David Hughes on Cropredy 2002 HERE


Hughes's published books are: THE MALDONIANS, hardback, 1996; THE FAIRPORT TOUR, paperback, 1998, both published by The Folk Corporation, and, most recently, MALDON, published by Black Horse Books.

His plays: LOCAL KNOWLEDGE, 2000.



David's albums are:
(1992 Hypertension HYCD 200 126)
(1995 The Folk Corporation TFCCD 999)
(1997 The Folk Corporation TFCCD 1099)
(1999 The Folk Corporation TFCCD 2003)
RECOGNISED 19 track compilation
(2002 The Folk Corporation TFCCD 2007)
(2004 The Folk Corporation TFCCD 2010).

Other Albums include:

Credits: top pic by Chris Bates

Monday, 2 March 2009

PROMOTION: 10 free ways to increase website traffic

Generating traffic requires that we consider two aspects: Money and Time. Either you invest the money and save yourself a lot of time or, you invest a lot of time and save yourself a lot of money.

Buying traffic is the easiest way to generate traffic. But if you are starting as an Internet marketer, you probably do not have much money to spend on traffic to begin with.

So that leaves you with the need to invest your time.

Free traffic techniques can be time consuming. The good news is that they are 100% free and will get you a fair amount of targeted traffic. It helps a lot to have your site properly optimized for monetization, that way you can start earning enough money to invest in buying traffic, and save your valuable time.

Here is a list of some free traffic techniques you can start using right away:

1. First of all, submit your site to the major search engines (Google, MSN, Yahoo) and to as many other search engines as you can. Last time I checked, there were about 105 good ones.

2. Write 5 articles to start and submit them to the free website and article directories. Remind yourself of Including a link to your site in the article itself or in your bio box. Optimized you article for a keyword your site is targeting.

3. Look for blogs or websites related to your topic and leave useful, quality comments that have a backlink to your site. A way of doing this is to go to, and start answering questions related to your site's subject.

Another very common action is to join the most popular forums that deal with your site's topic and becoming an active poster but keep in mind, do not spam them or you will not last long. Every forum has a signature file unless it has been disabled by the administrator.

And of course, include a link to your site in your signature.

4. Now pay attention to this as it can be very powerful. Write a press release about your site and submit it to popular press release sites is one of several. If you are not familiar with press releases, take some time to do a little research.

Keep in mind that a press release is written differently from an article. Learn how to write one. It's fairly simple, but you need to know how to write one. Some of them are free and others charge you for their services. Start with the free ones and as you generate income, you can add the paid services to your promotional efforts.

5. If you have purchased a product or service and you are happy with it, write an unbiased testimonial and trade it for a back link to your site.

6. One quick way to get extra free traffic is to add a link to your site in your email signature.

7. Start a page on,, and on any other high page rank social bookmarking site you can find.

In the same way, go to, open a few accounts, create a few lenses and link them to your site.

9. Submit a video to Use youtube powerful viral capabilities.You don't really need to be a video producing wizard at all. A simple PowerPoint slideshow with some background music will do the job with no problems.

10. This last tip is not free, but is worth the extra dosh. Check out the misspellings or variations of your domain name, or those of your competitors. If you find a good available domain, grab it and redirect the traffic to your site. This trick has been done for many years by the informed ones.

Now if all this looks like a full time job is because it can be! These techniques work, but you don't have to use them all at the same time. Just pick the one you feel the best with and act now.

Invest 30 minutes to an hour daily in building your free traffic. Then go to your next technique and within several weeks you should be earning enough money to afford to buy traffic and concentrate your time and efforts on building your online business they way you always dreamed of.

PROMOTION : Using Yahoo answers as a promotional tool

Yahoo Answers gets around a billion visitors and practically all of them want to know an answer to their questions? These types of people are an Internet Marketer's dream - highly motivated laser targeted visitors, yet still most marketers are not using Yahoo Answers correctly.

Therefore this article will show you how you can use it to increase your web site traffic so you can get these targeted customers right to your website front door.

Obviously the first thing you need is an account with Yahoo Answers, and then you need to start answering questions.

Do a search for questions in your niche and find those ones that haven't been closed yet. Most questions are open for four days so you'll have plenty of time to find a bunch of questions to write a reply to.

Choose around 10 or so questions that you'd like to answer and only put your link in the resource box in 2 of them.

Why don't you put your link in all your answers?

Well Yahoo hates spammers and if you start putting your link in every answer you give you'll send out warning bells.

It's best to be safe the sorry. So only choose a few to put your link into and the rest just write short quick answers to balance things out.

I always like to answer in different categories too - to make it look more natural - rather than just answering in the one category.

Your overall goal will be to get best answers for those questions that you gave your link to, so try and write a really good response for those ones. You'll get the most website traffic from those questions that you get best answer for because your response will be at the top of the page and most readers don't ready past the first reply.

Of course there are many other considerations that you need to take to make this strategy work best for you - but if you follow them correctly you'll start getting masses of Yahoo answers traffic
in no time.

PROMOTION: using traffic exchanges

A traffic exchange website receives website submissions from webmasters that join traffic exchange networks. The person who submitted the website then has to browse other member sites on the exchange program to earn credits, which enable their sites to be viewed by other members through the surf system. This increases the number of visitors to all the sites involved.

In practice, traffic exchange programs are generally used by small business owners or marketers who either want free advertising or use the exchange programs for low-budget advertisement campaigns. Of course this works amazingly well for musicians including blogs, main websites, my space etc



Many people use traffic exchanges to try and generate traffic for their home-based business . Yes, they may get lots of views from these traffic exchanges but that is just about it. Just views, no sales. The problem with traffic exchanges is everyone is busy advertising their own business instead of looking for new businesses. So basically you have too many advertisers and no buyers.

In order to use traffic exchanges effectively you must cater to the advertisers. You must offer something that appeals to the advertisers in the traffic exchanges. So here is a simple solution. Create a subscription webpage offering a free course / FREE mp3 download or a subscribe only bonus.. then on your thank you page, where you thank them for signing up for your free course/ download etc, you then present whatever product your home-based business is selling, in your case your album etc. Or it could be a subscription to your newsletter or a free e-book with your links in it. Use your imagination, a thank you page is a great way to market your product. When you have your webpage setup, start to market your course on the traffic exchanges. As for the content for the free course, just relay the same information you learned from this article.

This is very effective. Also if you do not have the tech skills to create the two pages above, you will have to hire someone. It should not cost much since this is very simple to do. This is one of the many different techniques you can use to build your home-based business . Some traffic exchanges like TRAFFIC SPLASH offer you FREE splash pages to promote in this way also.

This has worked for me.. one thing I will add is that the MANUAL exachnges work far better than the AUTO ones in my experience...

Althought it may be tempting to let an auto exchange run in the background people do not tend to look at the sites... after all if it does it for you why would you look at anyone elses?
Use a manual exchange with a good conversion/view rate... you will get hits and sign ups and also more importantly sales !

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Surviving a recession as a musician....

Kanon Kulpa recently published a post on Branding During a Recession. After discussions with fellow musicians, I’ve been thinking about how musicians are impacted by an economic slowdown.

As prices rise and incomes are stretched, entertainment is one of the early casualties of cutbacks. As Kanon mentioned in his article, people do not necessarily eliminate entertainment, they tend to look for lower cost alternatives. For example, it is a lot less expensive to grab a 12-pack and have a house party than hit the clubs.

For entertainers and venue owners, this can be a problem. As bar revenue decreases, owners and managers are forced to look at their expenditures and ask the question: Does providing music continue to generate revenue, or is it an expense that can be cut?

Obviously, there are many venue types out there; some are 100% dependent on music, others fall into an area where music is optional because they have other streams of income including food service, juke boxes and dare I say it…karaoke. Not all clubs will survive, others will thrive.

Among fellow musicians, we’ve discussed the following issues:

Clubs asking for musicians to take a cut on their rate
It is important to ask yourself: Do you have a good relationship with the club owner? Will the rate go up once things get better? Will a temporary rate cut lead to long term bookings? Remember, you have to balance your expenses (gas, strings, etc) and make an practical decision.

Reducing travel
With rising gas prices, many musicians are reducing their travel distance or asking for more money to travel further. This is a tightrope issue; if clubs are cutting back and you are asking for more money, will you loose the gig? On the other hand, this may be an excellent to and expand your market by expanding your territory.

Some bands are finding that their gigs are simply canceled due to the economic strain on venues. This situation is difficult for the club, the band and the fans who may have been planning on attending the show.

Promoting Yourself
If you continue to bring in fans and generate income for the venue, chances are you’ll fair considerably better than bands who just ’show up and play’. Recessions are a great time to spend extra effort building and maintaining your fan base.

There are no hard and fast answers to the impact of recessions on the music scene. Every market, venue and performer has idiosyncrasies that make each situation unique.

Handling yourself in a professional manner and promoting yourself is essential at all times, but especially so during hard economic times. The important thing to remember is that recessions tend to come and go on a cyclical basis.

What issues have you seen? What have I missed?

Smartphones and social networking...

Article on social networking for musicians coming soon...

I use a smartphone, and would never use anything else to be honest...

Now that I have been spoilt :D .... I use a SAMSUNG i600 ( BLACKJACK in the states ) which runs on windows and has windows media player and creates a surprising amount of noise through its tiny speaker.

I use it for the obvious.. the texting and calling, but more and more so for social networking re: music stuff inc. facebook and twitter... and also due to the memory capacity, I use it to store an awful lot of music.

So what of ASUS.. I previously only knew them for their laptops, but upon scouting the new phones available came across this beauty:

ASUS Raises the Bar for Mobile and Multimedia Enjoyment with P835 WVGA PDA Phone

ASUS, a leading producer of innovative handhelds, today launched the P835, a PDA phone that delivers an Internet browsing and multimedia viewing experience without equal.

Designed for business-savvy professionals who appreciate a screen as big as their ambitions, the P835 is equipped with a large 3.5” touchscreen that runs at WVGA resolution—offering five times the number of pixels of most phones and delivering the best document, photo, movie and website viewing experience possible.

Apart from being able to display more of a webpage onscreen, the P835 boasts features that greatly enrich users’ online experience, including blazing fast HSUPA 7.2Mbps download speeds, a responsive trackball that makes scrolling effortless and Opera Mobile, a user-friendly and full-featured Web browser.

It wraps all of its impressive functionality in an elegant touch-optimized interface which is intuitive, interactive and attractive.


Social networking of course is essential for any musician, or indeed anyone with a business.

More on the Samsung Blackjack HERE

Thursday, 29 January 2009

John Martyn OBE dies aged 60 pt 2

Still reeling from this, unable to articulate my feelings so i am posting some pics and articles that i have managed to stumble across ..

Firstly from UNCUT magazine: an obit and final interview

It’s ironic that John Martyn’s final live shows, late last year, found him performing his classic 1980 album Grace & Danger in its entirety, as the singer-songwriter had constantly spoken of his reluctance to dwell on the past. He’d previously excused himself from any involvement in the obligatory deluxe edition reissue of the record in 2007, and had taken a similarly hands-off approach to last year’s career-spanning box set Ain’t No Saint.

“I tend to stay away from back catalogue stuff in general,” he said last summer. “I like to focus my energies on what I’m doing now and in the future.” He revealed that he’d amassed about two albums’ worth of new material, and still harboured a desire to collaborate with his “all-time favourite” musician, jazz saxophonist Pharoah Saunders. “We’d best get on with it before one of us dies, though,” he joked. “He’s 74 now, and I don’t feel too well myself!”

Some of those new recordings may appear soon, on an album tentatively entitled Willing To Work. But for now we’re left with a formidable body of music stretching back 40 years that frequently took sly pleasure in moving the goalposts of both folk and jazz. The first solo white act signed to Chris Blackwell’s fledgling Island Records (paving the way for fellow folkies Nick Drake and Richard & Linda Thompson), he was a bold musical adventurer who embraced technology, applying effects pedals and tape loops designed for electric instruments to his own acoustic guitar. But beyond the envelope-pushing of his melodies and chord structures, Martyn was a lyricist of rare honesty and insight. Of his 23 albums, the most celebrated were arguably 1973’s Solid Air – its title track a loose tribute to his friend Drake – and the aforementioned Grace & Danger, a devastatingly forthright account of the disintegration of his marriage to wife and former singing partner Beverley.

Never the household name he plainly should have been, Martyn arguably made as many headlines away from the music he created. Dogged by drink and drugs problems for a large part of career, he also once suffered a broken neck after his car collided with a cow, split his head open in a swimming accident, and had a leg amputated in 2003 following a bout of septicaemia.

An indication to his standing in the broader musical world came at last year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, where Martyn was presented with a lifetime achievement award by his friend and erstwhile producer Phil Collins, and performed a short set with a band that included Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. With his death coming so soon after that of Davy Graham, the folk world finds itself reeling from the loss of yet another true maverick and inspirational force.


Source HERE

FINAL CUT interview:

Echo-loving folk curmudgeon Originally printed in the OCTOBER 2008 issue of Uncut, Martyn talks about Ain't No Saint - a four-disc collection, released to coincide with his 60th birthday. For a review of the box set - click on the link in the side panel on the right.

UNCUT: What do you think of the anthology?

JOHN MARTYN: I haven’t heard it... I keep as far away from all that stuff, man. As soon as I’ve finished it, it’s gone. I love playing live, you know? It’s actually a stricter discipline than being in the studio, because you only get one shot at the gig, whereas in the studio you get loads of shots.

A lot of listeners are thrown by the way you can be quite flippant between songs and then plunge into a highly emotional rendition…

Oh yeah, I like that contrast. It’s not a conscious thing, but I get carried away during the actual performance, and then I try to talk to the audience on a lighter level, ’cos otherwise we’ll all go home fucking crying. Or laughing, depending on which way you take it. I once said to the people, ‘I’ve got to tell you I love you, but oh fuck it, I hate saying that shit.’ It’s embarrassing to watch, but it was really true. I have been known to burst into tears in the middle of a song – it happened quite recently on BBC2. I had to stop and say, ‘Sorry chaps, I can’t go on.’ And I had to go out and sit in the back yard for half an hour before I could come back and sing.

Do you remember the moment you decided to buy an echo machine?

Yeah, it was the day the WEM Copicat broke down. I was using it to try and extend the sound of the fuzztone on the guitar, so I could play the same note for half an hour if I felt like it and twitch it now and again. And I bought the Echoplex, and completely by chance I found out you could make rhythmic noises with it. I was actually looking for sustain. I wanted to sound like Pharoah Sanders, actually.

There’s a live version of “Solid Air” recorded shortly after Nick Drake’s death – was it difficult singing that song in the aftermath?

No, it was never difficult singing that – people shuffle off their mortal coil left, right and centre, don’t they? No one’s written a song about me yet [laughs]. That’s because I’m still here.

Are songs like “Dealer” and “Smiling Stranger” based on actual people?

Oh yes, definitely. I used to hang out with people of dubious legality. None of them nasty, but you know... “Smiling Stranger” was just a piece of advice to the public [laughs]. I’ve always distrusted a smiling stranger, I always have – regardless of colour, race or creed. I spent a long time being fascinated by gangsters and lowlives – just interested, what makes them tick and how they organise their lives, and there are some great things about them – I don’t mind villains at all, to be honest.

What’s the story behind “Big Muff”?

I was having breakfast with Chris Blackwell and Lee Perry, and we had this tea set and all the cups were little pigs and horses with legs. And Scratch is going, ‘Boy, look at the muff on that!’, looking at this horse. ‘Now put this with the pig, see? Now boy, this is one big muff!’ And he was going on about his big muff, and how it was going to get away with the powder puff and everything. That guy’s sense of humour is in the song.It’s silly, Jamaican silly.

How did you come to work with Phil Collins in the early ’80s?

I didn’t know who the fuck he was. I ran out of drummers, and someone said this guy from Genesis is really good. He’s a very lyrical drummer, he could actually play the song as if he was singing it.

Given that you’ve often criticised British folk, how did you feel to be awarded a Lifetime Achievement at this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards?

[Cackles] I’ve never been critical of the British folk scene. I just don’t like when they put a 4/4 against a lovely traditional tune. Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, go away! It’s like a cross between a swan and a duck – the rhythm section being the duck. As soon as you put that bass and drums on it, it coarsens it and changes the nature of the music and makes it into something quite unacceptable to me. I love Martin Carthy and Dick Gaughan, I love proper folk music – Eliza Carthy, The Watersons and all that stuff, but as soon as they put a fucking 4/4 beat on the back of it, it’s no good at all. A purely commercial move.

On Ain’t No Saint, you announce one song as being about trying to remain a scholar and a gentleman in a world of backstabbers.

[Big laugh] Yes, sounds like me! I probably was a trifle the worse for wear, because I wouldn’t have the courage to say that most of the time. But I still feel that’s true now. The industry’s rife with backstabbers, and they always have their legal eagles working behind them. It’s just a really easy area to scam people in. And I don’t like that.

But you managed to come through with the scholar and gentleman intact?

I do believe I have, strangely enough, yeah – to the best of my ability. I’ve been fallible. But in general I think I’ve been a good example. A lot of people in the industry don’t like me because I’ve grassed them up for being charlatans and shysters, and bad players. I don’t in general like the industry, I never did. On a lot of levels it’s nasty. I’m far too old to even think about stuff now.

Source HERE

DAILY MIRROR INTERVIEW ( original source )






John Martyn OBE dies aged 60

John Martyn 11th September 1948 - 29th January 2009

" With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning. "

One of the pioneering figures of the British singer / songwriter movement, the acclaimed singer, songwriter and guitar player was 60 years of age.

Born Ian David McGeachy in Surrey but spent many of his formative years in Scotland and spoke with a refined Scottish burr. He had very strong Irish connections, having married the late Annie Furlong (who had managed Windmill Lane Studios) in 1983. He spent much of his time over recent years in Ireland.

"While John isn't working, he enjoys the simple things of life," his website reveals, "like fishing, swimming and cooking. With his partner Theresa, John spent his time in Scotland and Kilkenny in Ireland. John and Theresa met in Dublin in 1998 and were inseparable ever since, with Theresa accompanying John on his recent tours."

To mark his 60th birthday, Island Records, which had been his artistic home for many years, released a 4 CD boxed set, entitled Ain't No Saint.

Also, in a move that would have caused a younger John Martyn no end of amusement, he was awarded an OBE in the 2009 Honours Lit. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC RAdio 2 Folk Awards.

"I really don't like being referred to as a folk artist." - John Martyn -Magnet

A statement on his website on Thursday said: "With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning."

With a recording history that stretches back to the late '60s, Martyn was prolific early in his career. Hesigned to Island Records, who released his debut album London Conversation in 1967. He went on to become a pioneer of the use of repeat echo and other effects on guitar, playing acoustic, often set to open tunings, and fed through a fuzzbox, an Echoplex and a phase shifter.

He met and fell in love with Beverly Kutner, and they married, collaborating on his albums Stormbringer! and Road To Ruin. The titles proved unintentionally prophetic. Martyn's personal life was hugely turbulent, with his relationship with Beverly finally coming apart towards the end of the 1970s.

In the meantime, he had made a breakthrough with the Solid Air album, the title track of which was a tribute to label mate and friend Nick Drake, who died suddenly in 1974 as as result of an overdose of anti-depressants.

on Nick Drake...

"I don't want to talk about Nick. It's creepy, ghoulish and strange; this lionisation is too late when you're dead. If they'd dug him enough then, he'd still be here now." - Classic Rock 6/00

A hugely accomplished musician, he introduced jazz stylings to his music and with One World, released in 1977, he embraced reggae, working with Lee "Scratch" Perry. The album was recorded outdoors and featured the inclusion of ambient sounds.

His own website recounts that when he finally split with Beverly, he "hit the self-destruct button". The album Grace and Danger documented his feelings of devastation and, difficult as it may be to listen to at times, it remains one of the great autobiographical statements about the sundering of a marriage and a relationship.

His website addresses the issue in very direct terms, quoting John: "I was in a dreadful emotional state over that record. I was hardly in control of my own actions. The reason they finally released it was because I freaked: 'Please get it out! I don't give a damn about how sad it makes you feel – it's what I'm about: the direct communication of emotion'. Grace and Danger was very cathartic, and it really hurt."

While he was out of the limelight in latter years, he continued to write and record, delivering songs of depth and substance in that unique John Martyn style.

"John was an extraordinary performer," Niall Stokes editor of Hot Press comments. "He was a soul singer, with a wonderful distinctive voice. He wrote great songs and in guitar terms he was an innovator. He was also a marvellous live performer, who achieved a kind of rapture when he was onstage. He had a turbulent and often difficult life, but as an artist he was the real deal. His contribution to contemporary music was immense. He will be greatly missed."




" BIG MUFF " - Homepage of the John Martyn Appreciation Society - complete discography and much more


John Martyn's nine lives - interview '08

* More articles HERE

John Martyn speaks about his Folk Award win, how he felt about the reception he got at the event, and the influences that have led to his enduring popularity.

BBC page about the documentary "ORIGINALS: JOHN MARTYN - JOHNNY TOO BAD"

John Martyn is one of Britain's originals; a musician whose distinctive, drawling vocals and virtuoso guitar playing have been an inspiration to household-name musicians for decades.

This intimate documentary follows John Martyn as he emerges from a near-fatal encounter with "a dark cow on a dark night", a "hangman's fracture", infected cysts... At the beginning of filming, he's recording a new album in his front room and facing an operation to have his right leg amputated below the knee. With extraordinary behind-the-scenes access, we spend time with him cooking, drinking, recording, trying on silly hats (and latterly his new prosthetic leg) as he makes the painful progress towards getting back on the road.

Along the way, we dip into the past to learn more about his career - from London's folk clubs in the 1960s, to his best-loved album Solid Air, to his continuing musical experimentation.

The programme includes extracts from the following performance archive:

  • May You Never (1973)
  • Couldn't Love You More with Danny Thompson (1977)
  • Outside In (1973) with Danny Thompson
  • Make No Mistake with Danny Thompson (1973)
  • Small Hours (1978)
  • Sweet Little Mystery with band (Alan Thomson, Danny Cummings & Max Middleton) & Phil Collins on drums (1981)
  • Hurt In Your Heart with band (Foster Patterson, Alan Thomson, Jeff Allen, Danny Cummings) from A Little Night Music (1981)
  • Johnny Too Bad with band (Foster Patterson, Alan Thomson, Jeff Allen & Danny Cummings) on A Little Night Music in 1981
  • Couldn't Love You More on Jock and Roll (1982)
  • Gun Money with band (Ronnie Leahy, Alan Thomson, Jeff Allen and Danny Cummings (1982)
  • Step it Up with band and backing singers (Emma Heywood, Ernestine Pearce, Jerry Underwood, Alan Thomson, Miles Bould, Spencer Cozens) on Later With Jools (1996)

Unless otherwise indicated the performances are taken from The Old Grey Whistle Test.

YOUTUBE " solid air " 1987