From: Folk in the Barn [debs_at_folkinthebarn_dot_co_dot_uk]
Sent: 01 November 2017 12:08
Subject: Much More Than The 'Welsh Springsteen'
A warm welcome if you've recently signed up. We had a lot of new 'joiners' at the Breabach gig which is always heartwarming. What a beautiful concert and thanks so much for coming along. We were 60 down on last time strangely but I guess there is a lot else going on at the moment, so we're grateful to have your support. Here's a snap showing their beautiful gobo.
Coming next we have the one and only Martyn Joseph, this Sunday at the Cathedral Lodge.
Now it occurred to me maybe I take for granted how unique and brilliant this man is. There may be many of you reading this that haven't yet come across the fire, compassion and poetry of this hard working singer songwriter from Penarth. We found him by accident, back in 2002 he toured with Steve Knightley of Show of Hands, and Tom Robinson as a trio titled aptly Faith, Folk and Anarchy, you can work out who was who. We went along because we were fans of Steve and curious to see the others. When we started promoting gigs back in 2003 and by 2005 realised that we were probably going to continue doing this, top of my list was to book Martyn and we did and have been ever since. He is one of a very select few that gets to return each year. One friend put it like this. "If I were told the world would end tomorrow, and had the chance to see one last gig, it would be a Martyn Joseph gig".
Rather than go on about him myself (too much), I'll post below a gig review that I found online from a show he did in January. Among a sea of amazingly talented wannabees in the business of entertainment, he is the real deal. Honest, harder working than any musician out there, driven to put his music to people to tell it as it is, to cut through the froth, to highlight the beauty, the hope and the kindness. He put his money where his mouth is and started a charity to support varied projects all over the world to help people in small ways and make a difference. It's already achieved amazing things. Above all his music is the best. Moving, powerful, transporting, meaningful and beautiful, and what a voice! Yep I'm a huge fan.
Sunday 5th November 2017, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge
6.45pm for 7.30pm start
?17 offline (cash or cheque in advance)
?18 on the door
Martyn Joseph at The Lantern, Colston Hall - Live Music Review, January 2017
Demonstrating his unique, incomparable ability to combine songs of personal intimacy and political intensity, folk music legend Martyn Joseph played an enthralling set at The Lantern venue in Bristol's Colston Hall on Wednesday 18 January 2017.
On stage donning jeans, checked shirt and with his trusty acoustic guitar strapped across his shoulder, he performed against a minimalist, simply-lit stage background and proved to the packed-out crowd precisely why he's one of the most talented, uncompromising and brilliant artists working in the genre today.
Born in Penarth, Joseph's career has spanned more than 30 years with over 30 albums to his credit with musical stylings that also skillfully straddle soul and Americana. He won Best Male Artist at 2004's BBC Welsh Music Awards and in 2012 took home the gong for Best Folk Song and World Independent Music Awards for There's Always Maybe, while over the years he's toured with the likes of Art Garfunkel and Jools Holland.
Often cited as the Welsh Springsteen there were certainly strong echoes of that particular American legend, but throughout the two-and-a-half hour set there were also hints and shades of Ralph McTell, Leonard Cohen and John Mayer.
Make no mistake though, Joseph has a style, personality and character all his own - not just in terms of his music which primarily encompasses themes of social justice, the opportunities for real global change and the immutable forces of love and hope, but also in terms of his easy-going, affable charm and endearing charisma.
Passion is the pure motivation and the ultimate driving force for Joseph in his life and his work and this constantly shines through; a man who is as comfortable riffing off the crowd - the majority of which were clearly made up of a hardcore, loyal fanbase - with interesting tales and anecdotes of his life, travels, encounters and his amazing charity work which has raised thousands of pounds for a raft of well-deserving humanitarian causes in the UK and abroad.
Many of the evening's songs were comprised of tracks from this latest album, Sanctuary, and the gig kick-started his UK tour promoting it. From his opening salvo to I Searched For You, The Light of Guatemala, Cardiff Bay and Her Name Is Rose, a doffing of the cap to his Welsh political hero Nye Bevan, and to the protracted, crowd-pleasing encore of On My Way, it was a set that circumnavigated the entire gamut of emotions.
Personal and political fire blended with intense passion and feeling, themes of love, loss, friendship, humanity and compassion vying for attention with sometimes contentious, provocative political tropes across a catalogue of past-and-present tracks that traversed folksy lyricism with raw, gutsy energy.
A consummate craftsman and artist, a stunningly masterful acoustic guitar virtuoso with a vocal range that accordingly alternated between rough, gravelly textures and a softer, melodic lightness of touch, Joseph is a musician unquestionably now at the top of his game.
Using the power of folk music as a definite force for good in the world (his life-changing fundraising initiatives have shown - unlike many artists full of self-congratulatory, sententious hot air - his track record and dedication to helping mankind and enriching the lives of others is hard to beat), this is a courageous, warm-hearted man capable of articulating life's joys, agonies, marvels, verisimilitude and the whole damned meaning of it all.
"I was wondering if I still had it," Joseph ruminated at one point. He needn't have worried. To the man and his music, the gig was an undisputed triumph from start to finish.
(Thanks to Martin Smith for the photo taken in concert at the Cathedral Lodge last year)
Hope you'll give him a try if you haven't before.