V.A. - Johnny Boy Would Love This: A Tribute To John Martyn (2011)
Long a revered and influential figure in Britain, late great folk-rock songsmith John Martyn has remained a cult favourite this side of the Atlantic. No surprise then that, aside from the notable likes of Joe Bonamassa, Vetiver and Clarence Fountain and Sam Butler (Blind Boys of Alabama), the line-up on this double CD tribute set is primarily British. Such albums are inevitably uneven, but the success rate here is pleasingly high. It's hard to screw up material this musically and lyrically rich. Notable names include Beth Orton, David Gray, Beck, the Swell Season, Paolo Nutini, Vashti Bunyan and Morcheeba, and they turn in expectedly high-quality versions, with Orton and Beck shining brightest. A highlight is Robert Smith's take on "Small Hours," sesting Martyn may well have been an influence on the Cure's moody sound. Martyn's pioneering, atmospheric, dub-inflected work in the '70s is similarly now viewed as a progenitor of the trip-hop style. After a promising start, Snow Patrol stumble on signature Martyn tune "May You Never," by over-reaching for the epic, something Martyn never did. Phil Collins may have been a close friend and Martyn career booster, but his contribution ("Tearing and Breaking") is typically banal. Quite a few lesser-known artists appear, with those impressing including Ted Barnes, Lisa Hannigan and Syd Kitchen. A worthwhile tribute, especially if it encourages more people to check out Martyn's rich catalogue (such as Solid Air and One World).
DISC 1: 01. Let The Good Things Come - David Gray 02. Glorious Fool - Clarence Fountain & Sam Butler (Formely Of Blind Boys Of Alabama) 03. Small Hours - Robert Smith (Cure) 04. Stormbringer - Beck 05. Over The Hill - Ted Barnes Feat. Gavin Clark 06. I Don’t Want To Know - The Swell Season 07. Bless The Weather - The Emperors Of Wyoming (Butch Vig And Company) 08. Couldn’t Love You More - Lisa Hannigan 09. Go Easy - Vetiver 10. Solid Air - Skye Edwards (Of Morcheeba) 11. You Can Discover - Cheryl Wilson 12. The Easy Blues - Joe Bonamassa 13. Dancing - Sonia Dada 14. Certain Surprise - Sabrina Dinan 15. One World - Paolo Nutini
DISC 2: 01. May You Never - Snow Patrol 02. Go Down Easy - Beth Orton 03. Fairytale Lullaby - Bombay Bicycle Club 04. Fine Lines - Syd Kitchen 05. Head And Heart - Vashti Bunyan 06. Run Honey Run - Morcheeba Feat. Bradley Burgess 07. Angeline - Nicholas Barron 08. Walk To The Water - John Smith 09. Hurt In Your Heart - Judie Tzuke 10. Road To Ruin - Jim Tullio 11. John Wayne - Oh My God 12. Rope Soul’d - The Blackships Feat. David McKellar 13. Back To Stay - Ultan Conlon 14. Anna - Brendan Campbell 15. Tearing And Breaking - Phil Collins
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