Martyn Joseph is a powerful singer and songwriter gifted with the rare ability to speak to the soul with his expressive and poignant lyrics. With a career spanning 30 years, 32 albums, over a half a million record sales and thousands of live performances, the versatility of his music touches genres of folk, rock, soul, folk funk and Americana, yet somehow all these labels cannot define the spirit of his music.
Martyn Joseph is as performer like no other.
He's a jaw dropping guitar player who has developed a unique percussive style, teamed up with a powerful show stopping voice, and has been called “The Welsh Springsteen”, but there are also shades of John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews there may be – but he stands in his own right, built on a reputation for giving what thousands have described as the best live music experience of their lives.
Juxtaposition is a key theme in Martyn’s work. The simplicity and the complexity of the human condition and all that it encompasses is underpinned with a heady promise of hope. There is a versatility to Martyn’s music that is hard to categorise. Many have tried, resulting in labels such as Folk, Rock, Soul, Folk Funk and Americana; all of which somehow miss the mark. But sometimes music doesn’t need a defining genre and with the ability to articulate a sense of the bigger picture, Martyn’s music and social commentary manage to empower and speak for many. His songs are pictures, and stories, and feelings all put to music and delivered by a master craftsman.
2014 saw him take the spirit of his music onto a more practical footing with the launch of his "Let Yourself Trust", a not-for-profit organisation which aims to make a small difference out of great love and commitment by challenging injustice wherever it’s found, educating via advocacy, campaigning for human rights, and raising issues that have been forgotten or ignored via fundraising initiatives, thus bringing about greater awareness for beautiful people in powerless situations.
2016 was one of Martyn’s busiest, and this was acknowledged by him being nominated in the “Hardest Working Artist” category at the UK Independent Music Awards, being the only folk artist to receive any nomination. Playing over 170 shows worldwide he was also part of the Parliament/EFDSS project “Sweet Liberties” marking 800 years of British democracy, with Nancy Kerr, Sam Carter and Maz O’Connor. One of his songs from this, “Nye” celebrating Nye Bevan, the author of the NHS, has been enthusiastically received by audiences everywhere, as well as having BBC national airplay on Mark Radcliffe’s Folk Show and Tom Robinson’s 6 Music show.
Martyn Joseph. A unique talent driven by passion and love for his trade, continues to write, sing and play from the heart.
"Intelligent and enlightened songs are both energising and provocative…from subtle tenderness to growly indignation. A Welsh national treasure”
“Stunning, heartfelt music”
Bob Harris BBC Radio 2,
“A superb album, open yet textured; complex yet immediately listenable: insightful and often hard hitting"
R2 - 5 stars
“heartfelt and ultimately optimistic songs”
“One of the most charismatic and electrifying performers in Britain today…tough and passionate”
Tom Robinson BBC 6 music
“One of acoustic music’s most original voices, and most forward looking of his generation of singer/songwriters”
“A profound experience”
The Boston Globe
“Songs of social commentary as much as love, with a rootsy sensibility”
“Written with craft, performed with passion”