Beverley Martyn announces new album
Legendary singer Beverley Martyn is set to return to a career in music after many years living privately and continuing to write and play music in Brighton. Beverley Martyn’s new album ‘The Phoenix and The Turtle’ (out on the 21st April) is a work of art, which sits comfortably alongside her seminal albums with John Martyn, Stormbringer! and Road to Ruin. Incorporateing sweet melodies and heartfelt lyrics, the accumulated years of hard-won experience embody every note Beverley sings.
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’. The album has been produced by Mark Pavey who worked with Davy Graham and features bass by Matt Malley (Counting Crows), drums by Victor Bisetti (Los Lobos), acoustic guitars by Mark Pavey, electric guitars Michael Watts and Strings by Owain Roberts.
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 “When The Levee Breaks” 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.