John Martyn - Bless The Weather (1971)

John Martyn was a British singer-songwriter and guitarist.

After two albums with his wife Beverly, John Martyn returned to work as a solo artist. Apparently this was the idea of Island Records, who thought he would be more successful by himself. But he had obviously progressed alot through his albums with Beverly (Stormbringer and The Road To Ruin, both from 1970), as when Bless The Weather came out it proved to be a radical step forward from his first two solo albums. Whilst the duo albums were quite diverse and wide-ranging in styles, they at points distinctly set the foundations for Martyn's new solo direction.
Bless The Weather saw his fusion of folk, blues and jazz come together perfectly. The material ranges from tender solo ballads to dark, captivating jams, all characterized by his articulate finger-picking acoustic guitar and distinctive vocals. For the most part, the instrumental backing is subtle and more restrained than some of the more rock-based numbers on the duo albums, with hand percussion and echoes of ghostly piano here and there. Much of the album is notable for some fantastic stand-up bass accompaniment (presumably most of which is played by Danny Thompson), which complements his guitar pefectly (the guitar/bass interaction is particularly fantastic on the title track and "Head And Heart"). The album also saw Martyn experiment with echo effects on his guitar for the first time, most notably on the breath-taking, almost hallucinatory experience that is the instrumental "Glistening Glyndebourne".
With Bless The Weather John Martyn finally found his 'sound', making it a very important album in his career. It is generally seen as among his best.

The Road To Ruin (1970) <> Solid Air (1973)
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