John Martyn - Small Hours
John Martyn is Britain’s most unjustifiably underrated songwriter. I defy anyone to suggest another so overlooked who innovated, inspired and influenced as much as he did throughout his 40 year career. His music relentlessly evolved and mutated, never staying still, drifting through style and genre until the lines blurred so much that there was no genre. It was just his sound, unmistakeable.
Small Hours is taken from his 1977 album One World, released when Martyn was, in my opinion, at his most creative and experimental. Recorded across a lake in the early hours the ambient sounds - the geese, the lapping water - blend with his floating guitar to make an intimate soundscape that steals you for almost nine minutes and still leaves you wishing it was just a minute longer. If you haven’t heard this, you owe it to yourself to listen. If you have, you owe it to John.