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.

December 22, 2009 12:05 pm

Sunday over Cardiff Bay

Time for a few wind up thoughts for the year. The tour ploughed on through the country and ended in my hometown on the 13th Dec.  I don’t know how many tours of the UK I have done in the last twenty nine years, in many ways its been one long never ending tour, but I think this one really has been the most creative and uplifting experience I have known. It may be a question of taste but for me these shows have reached a level of journey, fun, commitment, passion and joy not reached before. Also the commitment from the listener, the audience is at a new high and I think that is a huge part of the picture.

We have had many new folk taking a risk and coming out for the first time and leaving raving about the experience and looking forward to the next time. It really feels like a lot of hard graft by the whole team here is beginning to bear fruit. Thanks to all of you who dragged new friends along; that really helped big time.

I have had a week or so now to catch up with myself and look back on 2009. It’s been, as most are, incredibly busy (117 shows) but always enjoyable and with enough big moments and meaning to propel into 2010 with an eager heart and willing fingers. No set list has stayed the same for over two years now, each concert will find an unexpected twist and turn and Elvis is always in the building. Three trips across the ocean to America and Canada brought far more blessing than jet lag and I will return to start the 2010 schedule there in mid January. I played a lot more festivals in the UK this year, which is something we have been working on for some time, and next year is looking good in that regard. We have launched a new bootleg CD series with the first volume doing very well and a whole bunch of new material has been introduced across the shows, which brings me onto next year.

2010 will see the release of a new studio album. I’m not sure how it will be recorded yet, as that is always something of a journey in itself, but I do have in mind, as mentioned occasionally on this last tour, the thought of doing a few shows with a band line up next year. I have been commissioned to write a collection of songs to be used by schools in Wales in two special concerts to commemorate the Tonypandy riots of 1910, so I will be doing plenty of research on that topic.  There will be more UK dates in March followed by a return to Canada in May with Stewart Henderson as I felt it was time we unleashed the wise little poet amongst them! From then on it will be a question of completing the new album, playing festival dates here and abroad and planning the new album UK tour for the end of the year. And that’s without all the stuff that arrives that can’t be planned for yet. As you can see there is no slowing down on my part.

Next year will be my thirtieth year in the ‘business’. It has been an incredible journey with so many amazing moments, but it’s hard to match the pride I felt when introducing my fifteen year old daughter Harriet on stage in Cardiff. She played beautiful violin on what was in fact a Sunday Over Cardiff Bay and it made me reflect on a lot of things. I don’t know where time goe, but it goes and I’m a blessed man to still be doing something I love so much in front of folk who seem to feel a connection in it all themselves. Who knows where it all leads, I have ideas upon ideas but not always enough time to see them through, but I can’t help but feel that so much is yet to come. Thanks so much to all of you who are part of this great circle. Here’s to a great Christmas for all and the hope that 2010 is a peaceful and productive way forward for this planet of ours.

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