Interview: Sam Brookes on Bristol Statues, John Martyn and working with Ethan Johns

Sam Brookes is an independent artist who has been compared to a number of artists including Bon Iver and Jeff Buckley. He has been following this path since he was 16 and his career got a major boost in 2014 when his album, ‘Kairos’, was made a Stand-out Album by The Independent and he was named a Breaking Act by The Sunday Times Culture. There are clear ‘60s influences in Sam Brookes guitar playing which recall Davey Graham, Bert Jansch and John Martyn from the ‘70s. Continue reading “Interview: Sam Brookes on Bristol Statues, John Martyn and working with Ethan Johns”

Book Review: Graeme Thomson “Small Hours: The Long Night of John Martyn” (Omnibus Press, 2020)

There is a passage in the prologue to this book where author Graeme Thomson writes about the sound of a John Martyn song – “He loved water and used it again and again as a lyrical and musical motif. It is the element that best fits the sounds he created: ripples, waves, currents, eddies; rocks plunging, stones skimming, whirlpools boiling. He drew fat circles in wet sand, surrendered his anchor to tidal drift, echoed the irregular patter of snow melt.” As someone who, long ago, fell under the spell of Martyn’s music, I don’t think I’ve ever read a better description of the magic he could create. Thomson’s book is full of insightful observation on the man and his music but it also delves into the darkness in his soul and paints a very full picture of a troubled man; the difficulties he faced in reconciling a past that, in his mind, lacked the love and attention he craved and how that came to impact on his own marriages and friendships. Continue reading “Book Review: Graeme Thomson “Small Hours: The Long Night of John Martyn” (Omnibus Press, 2020)”