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Martyn Joseph

Singer and songwriter Martyn Joseph writes passionate, articulate songs that speak from the heart, the soul, and the conscience, and he's earned an international reputation as both a performer and a tunesmith. Joseph was born in Penarth, Wales on July 15, 1960. As a youngster, his first passion wasn't music but golf: he began playing when he was 10, and by the time he was 15, he was good enough to play with a handicap and went on to win a handful of amateur tournaments. But in his late teens, Joseph was bitten by the music bug, and he soon started performing and writing his own tunes. In 1983, he recorded the first of several self-distributed albums, and as his following grew, his 1989 release An Aching and a Longing sold close to 30,000 copies, nearly all of them from the merchandise table at his shows. Myrrh Records eventually picked up the album for retail distribution, and the song "Dolphins Make Me Cry" began garnering airplay. The Sony-distributed Epic label was impressed with Joseph's growing fan following and signed him to a recording contract; 1992's Being There was his first release for Epic, and included "Dolphins Make Me Cry" as well as "Please Sir" and "Working Mother," all of which were charting singles in the U.K. However, after 1995's Martyn Joseph, the label and the artist reached an impasse, and Joseph recorded his next two albums, 1996's Full Colour Black and White and 1998's Tangled Souls, for the respected U.K. independent label Grapevine Records. In 1999, the fiercely independent Joseph decided to take control of his recording career and founded his own label, Pipe, which allowed him to record and release material as he pleased. His first album for the new concern arrived in 1999, Far from Silent, and he subsequently released a steady stream of music through Pipe, among them periodic studio efforts as well as plenty of live albums documenting his concert appearances (including a series of official bootleg releases), as his busy schedule found him performing regularly in the U.K., Europe, the United States, and Canada. On tour, Joseph has shared stages with a wide range of artists, from Joan Armatrading and Suzanne Vega to Celine Dion and Shirley Bassey, and collaborated with Tom Robinson and Steve Knightley on the 2004 release Faith, Folk and Anarchy. Also in 2004, Joseph was named Best Male Artist at the BBC Welsh Music Awards, and he took home the trophy for best folk song ("There's Always Maybe") at the 2012 World Independent Music Awards. A longtime fan of Bruce Springsteen, Joseph released Tires Rushing by in the Rain in 2013, on which he performed his own interpretations of 17 songs from Springsteen's catalog. Joseph is also an activist whose work for human rights and economic justice groups have earned him citations from Amnesty International, and he's also one of the founders of the Let Yourself Trust, intended to help fund and promote charities and human rights campaigns around the world. ~ Mark Deming
full bio

Comments

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will.graves2
Great music. Challenging ideas. One of the few artists both my wife and I both really enjoy listening to. Hope he comes to Australia soon!
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As a young serviceman stationed in England during the early 1990's. I was introduced to Martyn Joseph's music. All I can say is his earlier music pierced the hearts of many who followed his music. The way he played his guitar strings, struck chords deep within many a souls. His lyrics were ensightful, memorable and beautifully written. His song "Handle with Care" to this day still plays as a familiar melody in my mind, reminding me of a special time and season in my life gone by.
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Glad he stuck to music instead of golf.
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joe.kleiner
I just saw Martyn Joseph play at a small music festival outside of Seattle this last weekend. His lyrics have some meat to them. His understandin g of pop culture and history make for very intersting, if not funny at times, listening. His guitar playing is very good(undersc o r e s his lyrics and over-all performance) . He compells his audience to think about what small things they can dod to make the world a better place to live (and not just for themselves). This, coupled with a great sense of humor
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His song-writing equals Dylan, Leonard Cohen, John Prine. May his metaphors and narratives inspire us for generations as we make each step lead the way to peace and equality. He truly walks the path of dedication effectively.

He has touched me over and over the past few years in half a dozen concerts, lots of albums, his "Notes on Words" book with music, lyrics and anecdotes for the true fanatic. The Movement for Landless People in South America benefits enormously from his support. LOVE him.
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Highly recommended. A very talented singer-songw r i t e r with a strong sense of spirituality and passion in his songs.
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Tremendously talented live performer; can sound like three people playing guitar; lyrics are poetry standing alone. Has a very active and fervent fan base.

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