Martyn Joseph - The Shirley Sessions

Friday 1st December 2000
Martyn Joseph - The Shirley Sessions
Martyn Joseph - The Shirley Sessions

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 2912-16410

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

After playing only eight dates as the unlikely opening act for Shirley Bassey's UK tour, Martyn's services were, errrm-mmm, no longer required. Having already begun writing new songs whilst on the tour and with time suddenly on his hands, he headed to the attic and in his home studio recorded this new set of songs, sometimes writing along the way. Available only via his website, this has an immediacy facilitated by new technology and it acts as an interesting snapshot of Martyn's music while waiting for the next album to be birthed. Almost totally stripped down to guitar and vocals, these eight songs still sum up everything that is great about his music. The usual Joseph melancholy mixed with tender humanity, harsh observation and the undercurrents of his faith wafting in and out of the songs. Highlights? I'll choose three! I love the hope-filled "Kiss The World Beautiful" which was actually recorded a year ago and available on a free CD for fans only. "Hush Mother (Do Not Cry)" closes the album with its understated beauty as a dying child killed by the radiation from Chernobyl comforts his mother. The mandolin song "He's Mine" finds Martyn half way through his life with his mind on eternity and in characteristic style, he's not anticipating the crowns he will receive. Instead he's filled with the hope of simply wanting his Saviour to identify him and say "he's mine." It's a beautiful moment.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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