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.

July 31, 2006 11:28 am

USA back to Canada..guitar or gun

Played the ‘Ark’ in Michigan on Tuesday evening. I really enjoyed the show and the crossing at the border into the USA was equally as enjoyable. It took us around an hour and a half to get through the interview, but there was this guy there who was trying to get in who had to be connected to the mob or something. He was trying to get back into the USA but they were finding all sorts of stuff, like fake guns and severe looking baseball bats and a bunch of clothing in his car. He said he had been camping, though he no longer had the tent and he was wearing a pin stripe suite.

It was fantastic entertainment and this guy just didn’t seem to care. We drove back to Canada after the show and were waived through in the car after a short passport check. It took less than a minute. Have just finished playing the Hillside festival near Guelph, Ont. Had a wonderful time and great reception. Played my main set on the main stage today and had a blast. Played in others sessions and sweated it out all day. Just got back to the lovely haven of an air conditioned hotel room to face the same horrifying images of children under rubble and in body bags. It’s a nightmare, its absolutely crazy. Sure, I have a go at the leaders today on stage, talk of these things, ask the questions we all do, but get to thread them through chords and melody. It’s easy to stand there and do that. Kind people even applaud, stand up and applaud, they cry, smile and say the kindest things to me. It’s another thing to pull your kids out of broken concrete and raise your fists to the sky and scream at God or your oppressors. Today we sang in the sun, celebrating the talents of many fantastic musicians who walk in a tradition of ‘telling the story’. I imagine the folk in the village of Qana are struggling to find any words; they must struggle to breathe, take another step. If someone did that to my home, my family, how long before my guitar became a gun..not long. Again I do not condone the rockets that are fired at Israel, my heart bleeds the same for the Israeli casualties in this madness. But it is one thing to see terrorist atrocities; it’s another to see them inflicted by a so-called responsible state. I stare at blue skies from the shared stages, whilst other fine artists sing, a little lost at times. These horrors haunt me and I can never completely disengage from the fact that this goes on, right now, right now.

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