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Inside Out - excerpt
File under: acid folk

John Martyn

Inside Out (Lp)

Label: Island

Format: LP

Genre: Psych

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Of all the musicians who attempted to marry modern jazz/rock ideas with traditional British folk in the late '60s/early '70s, John Martyn was the most challenging and aggressive. He had others giving him a run for his money, sure -- Richard Thompson attacked the guitar with Sufi focus and clarity; Bert Jansch often employed a sharp, metallic edge in his work; and John Renbourn was capable of guitar maelstroms -- but when it came down to it, no one was as out-there as Martyn, as experimental in their approach, or as violent in their vocal delivery. Martyn could coo with the best of them, but he seemed more at home howling, growling, and slurring his lyrics over wildly distorted -- and Echoplex-laden -- guitar work. And while his early work with wife Beverly often rocked gently like American contemporaries The Byrds or national kin Fairport Convention, his solo albums, starting with 1968’s London Conversation, found him blending American blues, jazz, and world music to startling effect. 1970’s Stormbringer! introduced the Echoplex to his sound, and by 1973’s Solid Air and Inside Out, it had defined it; both albums bare little resemblance to what was going on in contemporary music, let alone folk at that time. But while Solid Air maintained significant footing in folk standards, Inside Out did not. This is Martyn cut loose: long stretches of distorted jazz punctuated by funky drum kit work, Danny Thompson’s slippery, singing double-bass, washes of saxophone, and Steve Winwood’s deft synthesizer coloring.
Details
File under: acid folk
Cat. number: 5707125
Year: 2018

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