Song of the Day, October 2: I’d Rather Be the Devil by John Martyn

MartynDevilToday’s song is I’d Rather Be the Devil as interpreted by John Martyn. The song was written by Delta blues master Skip James. It’s a scorching song of dark independence, fitting into the tradition of songs like Hellhound on My Trail.

Martyn had just recorded the brilliant Bless the Weather, a significant point of growth in his career. The follow-up, Solid Air, proved the second of a one-two punch that few artists ever accomplish. Rocking harder and more fully incorporating jazz and hinting at world sounds, it set the stage for the rest of his productive career. This one cover in a set of strong originals was well-chosen. Martyn’s guitar work is as stunning as ever, and he growls the lyrics with a perfectly grim determination.

Enjoy this amazing song today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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