House Concert No. 24
31 January 2015
I hate to think how many years have passed since first listening to Martyn
when he played
at the Cockatoo Cafe in Dunolly. Since starting the house concerts, we've been hoping for
an opportunity to lure Martyn to the Duckpond, and, although it wasn't an ideal time
'fire danger wise', we couldn't let the opportunity slip by.
It was way back in 1960, when Martyn first came to Australia to work as a jackaroo, that he first
fell in love with Australian traditional songs, and, since then, he has become renowned worldwide
as one of the greatest ambassadors of Australian folk song. He has a special feeling for the work
of Henry Lawson, and I can imagine his beautiful warm voice ringing out
from around the bushmans' campfire.
Two essentials for any stand (or in Martyn's case sit)-alone performer is
the ability to tell stories, talk about the origins of the songs, and it's a bonus
if there's a wicked sense of humour to go with it. Martyn has it all.
Interval time is not only an opportunity for guests to buy the artist's CDs, but also a rare opportunity
to meet and talk to them. And for the artists, it's an opportunity to swap stories with others who
are also doing their bit to keep traditional music alive.
The very first time I heard Martyn he sang the beautiful but sad song written by his friend
Graeme Miles - Where Ravens Feed. It still just about brings me to tears every time
I hear it, but I never stop waiting for him to sing it once more.