Thursday, January 29, 2009

Legendary Folk Rock Guitarist John Martyn Dead At 60

Legendary British singer/songwriter John Martyn has been found dead, aged 60.

A cause of death is yet to be determined for the Scottish musician with only the following message being left on his official website: “With heavy heart and an unbearable sense of loss we must announce that John died this morning.”

The celebrated songwriter collaborated with Dave Gilmour, Eric Clapton and Phil Collins amongst others on his 20 studio albums and was awarded an OBE in the last new year’s honors list.

A legendary figure in folk / world music, Martyn first came to prominence as a folk singer / guitarist with a laconic jazz style, teaming up with bassist Danny Thompson to create an acclaimed musical duo. After aquiring an echoplex guitar effects unit, Martyn's experimental side took hold resulting in the acclaimed albums "Solid Air" and "One World".

Martyn's unique hybrid of styles earned him the attention of Island Records' Chris Blackwell and in 1967 he became the first non-reggae artist signed to that label, which grew to include many other seminal British folk artists, such as Richard and Linda Thompson, Traffic, Free, and Fairport Convention. He released his acclaimed debut, London Conversation, on Island in 1968 and followed up with the jazz-fueled Tumbler. On 1970's Stormbringer! he debuted what was to become his signature--an acoustic guitar fed through various electronic processors, such as a fuzzbox, phase-shifter or Echoplex. While such effects have since become commonplace, this approach was considered revolutionary at the time.

1 comment:

Wes Philbin said...

I had just this moment sent a link from the "Small Hours" youtube video. While searching for links...I learned of his death. As I watch him perform Small Hours from 'One World' 20/10/1978 ....I raise my heart and your beautiful music in heaven on...

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