Beverley Martyn: NEW ALBUM ANNOUNCED + TRACK STREAM

Beverley MartynBeverley Martyn started her musical career at just 16 with the jug band The Levee Breakers and recorded her first single “Babe I’m Leaving You” in 1965. In 1966 she was chosen to launch Deram Records and released a single, “Happy New Year” written by Randy Newman. She contributed to the Simon & Garfunkel album Bookends, toured America with the duo and later appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival on 16 June 1967.

In 1969 she met John Martyn, whom she later married. As a duo they issued two albums, Stormbringer! and The Road to Ruin. Although she was spending more time with her children, Beverley continued to contribute to John’s solo projects until the breakdown of their marriage.

At various times, Martyn has worked with Levon Helm, Jimmy Page, Dave Pegg, Richard Thompson, John Renbourn, Ralph McTell, Davy Graham, and Sandy Denny. She appeared in the photograph on the album sleeve of Bert Jansch’s 1965 album It Don’t Bother Me; where she can be seen lounging in the background.  In December 2013, Beverley appeared at the Royal Festival Hall as part of a celebration of Bert Jansch, alongside friends and contemporaries such as Donovan, Martin Carthy, Pentangle and Robert Plant. Her powerhouse performance of “” was described by Mojo as ‘sounding almost Janis Joplin-esque’.  A film of the event is due to be shown by the BBC in the spring.

In 2004, Fat Boy Slim sampled Beverley Martyn’s song “Primrose Hill” for the track “North West Three” which is on his album Palookaville. Beverley still performs the song live along with ‘Auntie Aviator’, also from The Road The Ruin.

April 2014 will see the release of her new album entitled The Phoenix and the Turtle. Described by Beverley as a very personal album, it features songs written throughout her entire career, from her very first song, “Sweet Joy”, to the previously unrecorded Nick Drake & Beverley Martyn song “Reckless Jane” which was started in 1974 when Drake lived nearby Beverley in Hampstead. “We started writing the song as a bit of a joke,” she says, “I couldn’t look at it for a long time after he died, but then finally I decided to finish it.”

“When The Levee Breaks’ and ‘Going To Germany’ are songs Beverley used to sing with The Levee Breakers. Another song, ‘Women And Malt Whiskey’ is, in part, about John Martyn and other friends from the scene back then.

The Phoenix and the Turtle is Beverley’s first album in fourteen years and was recorded in Wales with guitarist and producer Mark Pavey; it also features contributions from bass player Matt Malley, ex-Counting Crows and drummer Victor Bisetti, ex-Los Lobos which were recorded “by the magic of computer” in California. The album “still has that in-a-room feel,” said Beverley recently, “it sounds like an old style analogue record. It’s very me, very transatlantic.”

LED ZEPPELIN – Celebration Day

(Los Angeles, Date, 2012) – On December 10, 2007,  Led Zeppelin took the stage at London’s O2 Arena to headline a tribute concert for dear friend and Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. What followed was a two-hour-plus tour de force of the band’s signature blues-infused rock ’n’ roll that instantly became part of the legend of Led Zeppelin. Founding members John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were joined by Jason Bonham, the son of their late drummer John Bonham, to perform 16 songs from their celebrated catalog including landmark tracks “Whole Lotta Love,” “Rock And Roll,” “Kashmir,” and “Stairway To Heaven.”

Although 20 million people applied for tickets, the band’s first headline show in 27 years was seen only by the 18,000 ticket holders who were fortunate enough to have secured seats through the worldwide lottery.

Celebration Day will then be available in multiple video and audio formats on November 19 from Swan Song/Atlantic Records. Click on the link below to pre-order.

Led Zeppelin has also been selected as one of the recipients of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors. The band is set to receive the Honors at the annual gala on December 2 in Washington, DC.

LED ZEPPELIN PRESS CONFERENCE – 21 September 2012

“Last memory? Getting through it all. It was pretty good I think it worked out really well but it was a relief come the end of it I have to say” John Paul Jones

“To get back in the middle of that music was a spectacular experience. I was approaching it from a different angle so to get through it and out the other side was not much short of miraculous but great fun” Robert Plant

“I remember walking up the steps onto the stage and then the moment right at the very end of it. The rest of it has past very very quickly but I knew that what we had intended to do which was to go out there and stand up and be counted and that people who didn’t know Led Zeppelin but had heard a lot about it to show why we were what we were…” Jimmy Page

“Five years is like five minutes in Zeppelin time I am surprised we got it out so quickly” John Paul Jones

“There was a willingness to do this” Jimmy Page

“The whole concert was a fantasy sequence really.” Jimmy Page

[when asked about the emotions that were in the room with regards to Jason Bonham representing his dad on the drums] “His vigour was so fantastic… he drove us… Jason would blast through the whole thing… It was peculiar and strange at times but at the same time it was very rewarding for all of us and it really did work as a performance, him driving us on.” Robert Plant

“There was a real feeling of camaraderie, and actually, successful adventure.” Robert Plant

“I wasn’t aware of anybody being there apart from us on the stage and communicating with an audience. I heard there were like three generations of Presley’s there which was quite something.” Jimmy Page

“The idea of going to play the O2 wasn’t to make a DVD or a film or anything like that at all. It just so happened that we had all of this material going on behind us… it just made sense to record it at least to record it for our own collection and our own amusement. It is what it is now though and I’m really pleased you are all enjoying it, because it’s great.“ Jimmy Page

“The concert was what it was, there was very little that needed to be messed about with because we really did it well in the first place.” Jimmy Page

when asked about what rock ‘n’ roll means to you now compared to 30 or 40 years ago] “That music that I heard when I was 12 or 13 really seduced me and still does.” Jimmy Page

“The blues and rock ‘n’ roll for me is still part of the pulse of my life.” Robert Plant

 

Bert Jansch…R.I.P

I was very sad to learn today that Bert Jansch  has died of lung cancer. I was lucky enough to catch the man back-stage at the London Fleadh in 2000 which I will always remember as we shared a banana in his caravan prior to the interview.

Bert was a virtuoso guitarist, hailed by the likes of Jimmy Page,  Neil Young and Johnny Marr of the Smiths as a force to be reckoned with -and learned from, and was  recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time. He was also a prolific songwriter. The man was at the very center of the British folk revival of the late 1960s and early 1970s . He was a founder member of Pentangle, who were unique, with their slightly different, visionary mix of folk and jazz music that found a huge audience for its complex arrangements and stunning musicianship.

His solo career was bookended by the outstanding “Bert Jansch” album in 1965 – recorded on borrowed guitars – and the critically acclaimed “Black Swan” CD released in 2006.

Neil Young, who earlier this year invited Jansch to open for him on a concert tour, said that Jansch created a new approach to the acoustic guitar much as Jimi Hendrix changed the sound of the electric guitar.

John Barrow, Bert’s U.K. concert booking agent said: “I’ve been his agent for just over 10 years and when I met him he was at a low ebb and not really getting the recognition he deserved,” Barrow said. “But it is a measure of the man that he had at that point continued playing in a pub in Carnaby Street in London. Even at that time Liam and Noel Gallagher from Oasis were turning up at that pub to listen to him.”

Bert was born in Scotland, & was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music in 2007 by Edinburgh Napier University.

Pentangle was hailed by critics and fans for providing modern renditions of classic folk songs, helping to keep traditional music alive and vibrant, and also for innovative, jazz-inflected new material. They attracted a substantial following in an era when Bob Dylan, Donovan, Fairport Convention and others were looking to traditional acoustic sounds for inspiration.

Bert’s final performance was at with  Pentangle at London’s Royal Festival Hall on Aug. 1. Bert died at the Marie Curie Hospice in north London. He  had recently been forced to cancel several planned solo concerts because of his failing health.

Folk singer Eddi Reader called Jansch “a gentle, gentle gentleman.” In a message on Twitter she said: “God speed, darlin’ Bert – get us on the guest list.”

Bert  is survived by his wife, Loren, and son, Adam.

ROY HARPER – Songs Of Love And Loss – SALVO SALVOCDC222

Roy Harper is seventy and living in semi-retirement as far as making new music is concerned. He has, however, been preparing to make his complete catalogue available as digital downloads for the first time beginning with this double set which is also released on CD.

These are, as the title suggests, love songs so there are none of the long musical excursions that Roy is also noted for. Thinking of a song like ‘I Hate The White Man’ it’s easy to pigeon-hole Roy as a political song-writer but that’s not really the way he is. Certainly he has strong views and principles that have made for edgy relationships with record companies. He is firmly opposed to organised religion of any kind but his thoughts on the existence of a deity are more complicated than the simplistic “God is dead”. Most of his songs are about people, family and lovers, and England in all its beauty and ugliness. Included in this set is ‘South Africa’ which could be an ode to a country imprisoned by apartheid or a metaphor for a woman of whom he says “We have never met each other but it can’t be long”. That’s the beauty of Roy Harper: you can analyse his lyrics fruitlessly for hours.

This album includes some of Roy’s perennial favourites: ‘Francesca’, ‘Commune’, ‘Another Day’ and ‘North Country’ amongst them but there are songs from later, perhaps lesser-known albums: songs like ‘Sleeping At The Wheel’, ‘On Summer Day’ and ‘Waiting For Godot’. The quality of the remixing/remastering is astonishing. Even listening in the car I swear I can hear things I’ve never heard before. The tracks drawn from Valentine are gorgeous with David Bedford’s orchestrations soaring and leaping from the speakers. Most of my Harper albums are on vinyl and although I’d never part with them I’m seriously considering supplementing them with new digital versions. Dai Jeffries

Artist Web Link: www.royharper.co.uk

ROY HARPER – ‘SONGS OF LOVE AND LOSS’

Few survivors from the golden age of British folk-rock have kept their reputations intact. Of the generation of troubadours who came of age in the folk clubs of Londonin the mid-1960s, there is one figure whose body of work, comprising 23 studio LPs and almost as many live and compilation releases, has come to stand for a particularly single-minded form of integrity. That man is Roy Harper.

On September 19th Union Square Music/Salvo Records releases the physical version of the 2CD set ‘Songs of Love and Loss’ Volumes 1 & 2 – 23 songs of raw, uncompromising honesty and emotion spanning Harper’s work from 1966 to 1992. One of the most innovative song writers to come out of the mid 60’s folk boom, ‘Songs of Love and Loss’ displays his remarkable array of styles, from the early folk finger pickings of Black Clouds and mysterious All You Need Is, to the bluesy ‘Little Lady’, the resonating ‘Frozen Moment’ and the lamenting ‘Another Day’.

Now officially ‘retired’, and living in a secluded corner of Ireland, Harper has recently been hailed as a key influence by a much younger generation of devoted starsailors who instinctively recognise his innovations, his refusal to compromise and his visionary world view. The likes of Fleet Foxes, Joanna Newsom and Jim O’Rourke are avowed fans; and in previous decades he has enjoyed public endorsements and tributes from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Kate Bush, Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour and many more.

Born in 1941 near Manchester, he was raised by a father and Jehovah’s Witness stepmother (his mother died when he was a baby) and developed an early aversion to dogma and organized religion. Running away he joined the Royal Air Force as a teenager, but didn’t take too well to their rules and regulations. Leaving wasn’t so easy as running away from home, however, and Harper opted to plead insanity to get his release. Part of the discharge deal meant he had to undergo unpleasant ECT treatment at a mental hospital. Harper later drifted throughout Europe, and by 1965 was a mainstay of London’s Les Cousins folk club, performing alongside the likes of Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Nick Drake.

In 1966 the tiny indie label Strike issued Harper’s debut LP, The Sophisticated Beggar; the record brought him to the attention of Columbia, which released his sophomore effort, Come Out Fighting Genghis Smith, the following year. In 1968, Harper mounted a series of free concerts in London’s Hyde Park, which greatly expanded his fan base in preparation for the release of 1969’s Folkjokeopus, which included “McGoohan’s Blues,” the first of his many extended compositions.

After meeting Pink Floyd manager Peter Jenner, Harper was signed to EMI’s Harvest subsidiary, and in 1970 he issued Flat Baroque and Berserk, recorded with contributions from members of the Nice; that same year marked the appearance of Led Zeppelin III and its track “Hats Off to Harper,” a tribute penned by longtime friend Jimmy Page. Upon relocating to the Big Sur area of California, Harper began writing 1971’s Stormcock, regarded by many as his finest record; the following year he starred in the film Made, releasing the music he composed for the picture’s soundtrack in 1973 under the title Lifemask.

Valentine, a collection of love songs, appeared in 1974, and was quickly followed by the live album Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion, featuring appearances by Page, Keith Moon, Ronnie Lane, and Ian Anderson. In 1975, Harper formed Trigger, a backing group including guitarist Chris Spedding and drummer Bill Bruford; however, after releasing just one LP, HQ, the unit disbanded. In 1975 Harper also took lead vocals on “Have a Cigar,” a track on Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.

Harper rode the unsteady waves of the music industry during the 1980s but kept up a productive output and in 1994, he set up his own record label, Science Friction, to curate and re-release his entire back catalogue, along with a clutch of CDs of live and unreleased material covering his entire career. In his book, The Passions Of Great Fortune (2003), he published his complete lyrics together with photos, annotations and re-evaluations of every one of his songs. In 2005, old pal Jimmy Page presented him with the prestigious Mojo magazine Hero Award.

2011 will see a great deal of Roy Harper activity; Roy celebrates his 70th birthday, ITV Home Studios are to release a live concert DVD newly recorded at Metropolis studios and Roy will also play a sell-out gig at the Royal Festival Hall. Along with the reissue of a number of his original albums in digital form, Roy Harper’s incredible, visionary catalogue of work enters the digital domain in time for his music to take on a new, urgent and timely appeal, in an age in which the hypocrisies and injustices he railed against are more present than ever before. It’s been a damned good innings and he’s still not out.

Track listing sequence:

Volume 1

1.Black Clouds
2. Girlie
3. All You Need Is
4. Francesca
5. East Of The Sun
6. Little Lady
7. North Country
8. I’ll See You Again
9. Naked Flame
10. Commune
11. Frozen Moment

Volume 2

1. Davey
2. Another Day
3. South Africa
4. Hallucinating Light
5. Sleeping At The Wheel
6. Waiting For Godot
7. The Flycatcher
8. On Summer Day
9. Cherishing The Lonesome
10. My Friend
11. One More Tomorrow
12. Forever

Artist Web Link: http://www.royharper.co.uk/