Tuesday, May 19, 2015

7: Cardiff Bay - Martyn Joseph

Probably the biggest surprise in the top ten - maybe with one exception still to come - this is a song that seems simple, although the acoustic guitar line at the beginning is pretty instantly recognisable to those who've heard the song, and Martyn Joseph's picking is careful and deliberate that you know he's not just another hack guitarist with no real sense of how to play. The words are simple enough also but when the song finishes and you've listened to the words, you suddenly realise Joseph has painted a picture in your mind, lovingly, of both his home town and the love he has for his son. I don't have any particularly fond thoughts or memories of Cardiff from the few times I've been, although it's a perfectly decent place, but after this song I feel like I have another set of memories all together, and they're his, not mine.

It's also, and this is less important actually, the first relatively complex picking I worked out on the guitar. I enjoyed listening to this song sufficiently when I first began playing the guitar some twenty years ago that I sat down and worked out, note by note (and I didn't know my scales then) what he played, then what chords each bit related to, and eventually worked out a fingering to it (which may or may not be accurate, although my capo is on the same place as his when he plays it live). It's something I play now when just noodling around on the guitar and the one most likely to make people say "hey, that's nice, is that a tune or are you just plucking something?"

But it's there, it's one of my all-time favourites and I can't see any way to put even Wuthering Heights or Nessum Dorma above it. We're getting pretty high up the chart now, nose bleed time. Going to take something pretty special to get above Cardiff Bay.

No comments: