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A complex and sometimes belligerent character in real life, on record, John Martyn was the epitome of the folk-dreamer, embodying the spirit of the bourgeoning London acoustic scene of the late 60s – Well-known and respected for his 70s albums Solid Air and One World, this is where it began.
Produced by fellow London scenester Al Stewart, The Tumbler was a huge step forward, presenting Martyn as the questing soul he would become; yet, for the abstraction of The Gardeners, there was the simple folk ditty of Fishin’ Blues. With the exemplary flute playing of Harold McNair, Fly On Home is clear in its influence on Martyn’s peer, Nick Drake. Knuckeldy Crunch and Slippledee-Slee Song demonstrates what would have happened if Syd Barrett had gone folk. The Tumbler can be viewed also as the beginning of Martyn’s slurred vocal style and sweet sentiment that was to chime with thousands of his aficionados in the UK.
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