John Martyn’s playing in Cork

I’m a big fan of the music of 70s singer songwriterjohn martyn as most of my friends will testify. In particular the album solid air (pictured) which never loses its magical quality no matter how many times I listen to it. John’s wonderful and deeply expressive voice together with his stunning acoustic technique are something to behold in concert. So I was delighted to learn that he’s playing in DeBarra’s in Clonakilty, Cork on December 4th.
For those of you not familiar with his music here’s a lyrical sample from “I don’t want to know”

Sometimes it gets so hard to listen
Hard for us to use our eyes
All around the cold is glistening
Making sure it keeps us hypnotized
I don’t want to know about evil
I only want to know about love
I don’t want to know one thing about evil
I only want to know about love


Rodrigo Y Gabriela

Rodrigo Y Gabriela are two young 20-something (I think, no time to check at the moment!) guitarists that form a two-piece specialising in classical/jazz/rock fusion. With blistering solo runs, intriguing harmonies, innovative use of harmonics and a wonderful percussive style on heavier numbers they prove that classical guitar really can rock. I recommend going to their website and downloading some of the sample tracks here. I met these two in small theatre in my home town of Waterford, Ireland and I think they’re both pretty damn fantastic. Check it out.


The art of the mix-tape

It’s good to broaden your musical tastes and one great way to do it is to get others to suggest the songs that have soundtracked their lives. Kinda like making a mix tape for your friends.. We’re in high fidelity terrority here!

Rob: “The making of a great compilation tape like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick it off with a killer to grab attention. Then you gotta take it up a notch but you don’t want to blow your wad. So then you gotta cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules. Anyway…I’ve started to make a tape. In my head, for Laura. Full of stuff she’d like. Full of stuff that’d make her happy. For the first time, I can see how that’s done.”
(from the movie High Fidelity staring John Cusack)

Recently I was forced to come up with a list of songs to be distributed to friends and colleagues over the next few weeks. Here’s what I picked. Not going to comment on them, it’s just like a musical snapshot of my life at the moment and whatever truths are here lie in the ear of the interpreter.

  • Are You Going With Me – Pat Metheny Group
  • Pink Moon – Nick Drake
  • Free Falling – Tom Petty
  • Samba Pa Ti – Santana
  • Belfast (Original Version) – Orbital
  • Into The Mystic – Van Morrison
  • Natural Beauty – Neil Young
  • She Is So Beautiful – The Waterboys
  • Wild Flowers – Ryan Adams
  • Get Down Make Love – Nine Inch Nails
  • Step Outside in The Morning Light – David Kitt
  • Lay It All On Me – The Black Crowes
  • Electrolite – REM
  • Zero – Smashing Pumpkins
  • Gorecki – Lamb
  • Whipping Boy – We don’t need nobody else
  • One/Take 5 – Rodrigo Y Gabriela
  • Pyramid Song – Radiohead
  • Nobody’s Fault But My Own – Beck
  • Go Down Easy – John Martyn
  • The Man in the Station – John Martyn
  • When the Stars Go Blue – Ryan Adams
  • No More Tears – Ozzy & Zakk Wylde
  • Redemption Song – Bob Marley

Pretty eclectic mix there but with some real gems aswell. I think that’s one of the unacknowledged benefits of the current wave of file-sharing apps. Broadening the musical palettes of a generation. To quote Rob again
“What are you guys doing? Stealing for other people?”