J – is for the wonderful Martyn Joseph

Sunday 22nd November

I have written about Martyn before but I keep returning to him.  He is simply a wonderful singer-songwriter.  He is Welsh, and not at all ashamed of it.  He is a Christian and again not ashamed of declaring himself, though he does not shove Christianity down your throat.  But most of all he is a Socialist.  He cares for the poor, the downtrodden, and most of all he sympathises with ordinary people.  One of his songs “Let’s talk about it in the morning” brilliantly takes us to that point that many relationships hit when you are both too tired to argue anymore. ‘Too tired to think of sex from one week to the next; to kiss is such a bore, you leave me wanting more.’  Who hasn’t been there?  Or when he sings of the young boy at school who cannot understand why he saw his father sitting crying in his chair, when they closed the pits.  Or when he sings about the Working Mother, putting jam on the kitchen table for her kids.

He has also managed to carve out a career outside of the music industry.  He has his own record label and releases his own records, lots of them, on the internet.  He records albums of original songs and sometimes cover versions of his favourite artists, or live concerts.  I have over twenty of his CDs, and this is not a complete list by any means.  He has an army of fervent fans and manages to cross-over between folk and rock with ease.  I have seen him half a dozen times and he is always fresh and different, he has no set show, but seems to play whatever takes his fancy on the day.  He has a huge following in Canada and tours there for four months every year.  He is a true original; he actually walked away from a lucrative contract with Sony, because they wanted to turn him into a ‘pop-star’.  He is well worth a listen.

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