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John Martyn - Bless The Weather CD (album) cover


John Martyn


Prog Folk

3.97 | 38 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars As both albums recorded with his wife Beverley were critically well received, the sales proved to be deceiving, so when Beverly was again pregnant (their second child), John went public criticizing the production of the albums (rightly so, IMHO), and finally giving in to Island's pressure resumed at being a "solo" artiste again. The couple then resettled in the UK in Hastings (a stone's throw from Canterbury), Kent. Recorded mid 71, Bless The Weather is filled with an all-star cast of guests such as Pentangle Danny Thompson, Colosseum & Greenslade's Tony Reeves, roger powell's, Fairport's Richard Thompson and of course his wife.

Although there are still some pure folk tracks like the opening Go Easy and the cover of Singing In The Rain or straight blues like Sugar Lump, Bless The Weather (both the track and the album) are the cornerstone on which Martyn's most revered part of his career is built upon. Indeed the title track takes the previous' album Road To Ruin had left things at. In this track and on Walk On Water, Martyn's style veer frankly jazz with his Echoplex pedal effect, with the huge Danny Thompson double bass assuming most of the blue notes and on the latter track, there is a marimba to give it a Caribbean touch. But nowhere in this album and previously did Martyn reach greatness than with the to-die-for Glistening Glyndenbourne. Starting out on a Tyner-like piano, rarely will Martyn ever reach such perfect sense of fusion between jazz and whatever folk he's still willing tio feature in such a track. Of course the man behind all of this is the amazing Danny Thompson (his namesake Richard is doing a few brilliant licks behind Martyn's Echoplex-filled guitar, providing a fantastic bed of guitars. This track will be quickly a concert favourite and will grow to gargantuan proportions. In between these two extremes (the pure styles and the fusions) there are tracks, there are tracks like Just Now and Back Down The River are slightly mixing styles but still very folky. On the other hand, Head And Heart, Good Things Come (Hi, Bev), XYZ

While it's clear that Martyn has not reached his top form yet, Bless The Weather is the album where he breaks loose. If the following brilliant Solid air album exists, it's clearly that it took things where Glyndenbourne, Weather and Walk On Water left things at on this album. Certainly in the top 7 of most of John Martyn's aficionados, Bless The Weather is John first essential album.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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