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At first glance Martyn Joseph is (just) another gifted
singer songwriter. First impressions are there to mislead of course: Joseph's
ambition is broader than entertainment, deeper than commerce. Some musicians
want to move your feet, some just want to move you: Martyn Joseph wants to move
heaven and earth. Somewhere back in the middle distance Martyn Joseph emerged
from the pack and we began to notice. For a moment there he might have been a
pop-star, certainly a protest-singer, a balladeer now and then, a Celtic rock
star before they were in vogue, a folk troubadour and then, just, Martyn
Joseph. Darkness on the edge of
Martyn's 20 year career has embraced some notable achievements including 5 Top 50 UK chart positions, with such songs as 'Dolphins Make Me Cry', 'Working Mother' and 'Let's Talk About It In The Morning', and appearances and tours with, amongst others, Suzanne Vega, Marc Cohn, Joan Armatrading, Clannad, Chris De Burgh, Jools Holland, Art Garfunkel, and even, Celine Dion. However, for Martyn, these various accomplishments, satisfying though they are, count as just part of the process, the necessary presentation aspect. As he says, 'Really what I do is try and write songs that might make a difference'.
Across a 10 year cycle of albums from the Sony days of 'Being There' to his recent two volume live compilation 'Don't Talk About Love, Martyn's song catalogue is an awesomely impressive archive of our times, our tribulations, our wonder and our wounds. Amongst the considerable collection of positive reviews of Martyn's recording and live work, the two regularly recurring words describing, in particular, his performances are 'passion' and 'humour'. One observer after seeing Martyn in concert likened the experience and content to 'the beautiful business of being alive with all its jokes, absurdity and sadness, seared by music for the heart and head'. When you encounter Martyn Joseph, you'll hear likewise...