Album Release of Johnny Boy Would Love This – A Tribute To John Martyn

A unique tribute album dedicated to the legendary John Martyn is due to be released in the UK via Hole In The Rain Music/Absolute on August 15th 2011.

  Entitled Johnny Boy Would Love This – A Tribute To John Martyn, the project features two CDs and thirty cover versions of Martyn’s songs recorded by such musical luminaries as Beck, Phil Collins, Snow Patrol, David Gray, Paolo Nutini, Morcheeba, Beth Orton and The Cure’s Robert Smith. The package will also include a DVD that will contain interviews with a number of the artists, some special John Martyn performances and a music video.  All proceeds from the record will go to Martyn’s family.

CD1 – David Gray – Let The Good Things Come; Clarence Fountain and Sam Butler – Glorious Fool; Robert Smith –Small Hours; Beck – Stormbringer; Ted Barnes (featuring Gavin Clark) – Over The Hill; The Swell Season – I Don’t Wanna Know; The Emprerors Of Wyoming – Bless The Weather; Lis Hannigan – Couldn’t Love You More; Vetiver – Go Easy; Skye Edwards – Solid Air; Cheryl Wilson – You Can Discover; Joe Bonamassa – The Easy Blues; Sonia Dada – Dancing; Sabrina Dinan – Certain Surprise; Paolo Nutini – One World.

CD2 – Snow Patrol – May You Never; Beth Orton – Go Down Easy; Bombay Bicycle Club – Fairytale Lullaby; Syd Kitchen – Fine Lines; Vashti Bunyan – Head And Heart; Morcheeba – Run Honey Run; Nicholas Barron – Angeline; John Smith – Walk To The Water; Judy Tzuke – Hurt In Your Heart; Jim Tullio – Road To Ruin; Oh My God – John Wayne; The Blackships – Rope Soul’d; Ultan Conlon – Back To Stay; Brendan Campbell – Anna; Phil Collins – Tearing And Breaking.

Contributors comments:

Phil Collins  a long-term Martyn collaborator playing on John’s Grace and Danger (1980) and Glorious Fool (1981) albums, says: “John Martyn was unique. Completely unique. He had such power, such emotion, in his music that he could overwhelm the listener even when it was just him and an acoustic guitar.

He gave ‘Tearing and Breaking’ to me as he didn’t know what to do with it. It consisted of the chorus melody and not much else really. Proud of collaborating with him, I wrote the rest, but never considered it my song.

It was his song on loan to me. I loved him very much as there was no half measures, literally and musically. I hope people remember him and his music always.” 

Robert Smith comments “I first heard ‘Small Hours’ on the John Peel Show late in 1977 and fell instantly in love with it… ‘One World’ very quickly became my favourite John Martyn album… And these beautiful songs were, are and always will be an inspiration and an enchantment” 

David Gray says “John Martyn was a true pioneer within the world of acoustic music. As a writer he was a master of understatement, who always managed to conjure songs that were deeply poetic, whilst using only the simplest words and phrases. Entering into his music, is like finding another place to be…”

Beth Orton suggests that “John Martyn was the very first folktroniker if ever there was one” 

Judy Tzuke reveals that ‘Solid Air’ is still my favourite album ever. I have done versions of both ‘May You Never’ and ‘Head and Heart’ on my own albums and was so happy to be asked to contribute to this tribute album”.


Singer/songwriter/guitarist John Martyn was born Iain David McGeachy on September 11, 1948. He began his innovative and expansive career at the age of 17 with a style influenced by American blues artists like Robert Johnson and Skip James, the traditional music of his homeland, and the eclectic folk of Davey Graham.

With the aid of his mentor, traditional singer Hamish Imlach, Martyn began to make a name for himself and eventually moved to London, where he became a fixture at Cousins, the centre for the local folk scene that spawned the likes of Bert Jansch, Ralph McTell and Al Stewart. Soon after, he caught the attention of Island Records founder Chris Blackwell who made him the first white solo act to join the roster of his reggae-based label.

The subsequent album London Conversation (February 1968), only hinted at what was to come in Martyn’s career. Although it contained touches of blues along with Martyn’s rhythmic playing and distinctive voice, it was for the most part a fairly straightforward British folk record. With his follow-up later that same year, The Tumbler (produced by Al Stewart), Martyn began to flesh out his sound and encompass more jazzy elements.

Subsequent recordings such as Bless The Weather (1971) and Solid Air  (1973) helped form the foundation of Martyn’s fan base and featured some of his most mature and enduring songs: “Solid Air,” written for close friend Nick Drake, “May You Never”(recorded by Eric Clapton and “Head and Heart” (recorded by America). Other seminal works include Inside Out (1973),Sunday’s Child (1974), Grace and Danger (1980), Glorious Fool (1981), Well Kept Secret (1982) and Philentropy (1983).

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