Martyn Joseph is a performer like no other: Shades of Springsteen, 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 delivering his "songs of lyrical intelligence" according to BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris.

February 20, 2008 7:47 pm


If I don’t do regular diary entries on a tour this frantic then it all becomes a bit of a blur. Ok, lets try and cast the mind back. We left Ridgefield a week ago and flew from New York to Memphis. A bizarre cock up on the terminal monitor so us having to go through security three times in fifteen minutes as they kept changing the gate. Memphis was grand. After a great show we strode out to show Paul around a little and stood cold but moved at midnight outside the motel and balcony where Martin Luther King lost his life.

We made it to Beal St and Sun recording studios, which was eerie in its legend on a cold Memphis night. The next day on the way to the airport we stopped of at Graceland’s to pay our respects to the King. I hadn’t visited since the eighties and it was as sad now as it was then. The voice that moved me and caused me to shed a tear as a ten year old when I heard it sing the ‘Wonder Of You’ was everywhere, and yet it’s all memory with nothing to touch. What would he be doing music wise now if the inevitable hadn’t happened? Dueting with Bono and Bruce no doubt, and still touching millions. The original pub singer and the only voice allowed as far as my ears are concerned to play it that way.

From Memphis we flew to Houston via Denver and played a show in a great place called Mo Jo Rising. The warmth of Houston was bizarre given the weather we have been through in the last month. It was a great feeling to walk down the street in a t-shirt and the sun on our back. Next day we flew via Denver to San Francisco. Played a house show in Santa Rosa the next day drove up to Lake Tahoe, Nevada to play a huge casino. Pictures of past performers like Tony Bennett, Willie Nelson and of course Tom Jones were on the walls. Elvis played here too apparently. Bryan Adams was playing next door. I was opening for an R&B act called Jackie Greene. He is only 27 years old but is a gifted musician having just been given the gig of becoming the Grateful Dead’s new front man. The surroundings inspired and it was a blinder of a show and very ‘Las Vegas’. A different audience for me but it didn’t seem to be a problem. We drove the four hours back to Berkeley that night under a huge sky, through Californian mountains illuminated by moon, snow and stars.

Last night I played the Freight and Selvedge in Berkeley. I found my name four times on the dressing room wall along with all the other performers who have scribbled through they years. Another great show and the last for me at the venue as it will soon move to a new location. We taped the show and it sounded good in the car just now. I’m not at San Fran airport waiting to fly to Portland for a show tonight. We have been on the road here a month now and it feels like three. By the time we fly home on Sunday evening it will have been fifteen flights. Three days later the UK tour starts so not much time to recover but that’s ok. It will just be good to be home. Change is in the air here, but I’m holding my breath, not quite believing it will happen.

Since writing the above our flight got delayed by three hours so we got to the show at 7.45 with an audience waiting! It went fine and Paul and I are just heading for the airport to fly to Chicago guessed it, Denver.

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