Quotes & Reviews

            "Martyn Wylde took us to that special place that most artists can only dream of achieving."

                                                                                       "...captivating and moving.”  

    "...held the audience spellbound.”      

Multi-instrumentalist and Bard, Martyn Wylde brings to life some of the old Child Ballads in his most recent album, The Child Ballads, Volume 1.  Having been trained as a Bard through a British organization known as The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD), Martyn’s interest in the old ballads categorized by scholar Francis James Child in the 19th century was a natural fit. He is said to want to be a “true keeper of the traditions and history of the Celtic people.”

Moreover, these traditional folk songs in the Child’s Ballads weave such incredible stories that they are perfect for Martyn’s style of singing, vocal range and guitar picking. Through his musicianship and light touch each song on the album is allowed to come to life and bring the listener in on these fantastic stories. On this follow-up album, Martyn plays all of the instruments and even harmonizes with himself. Thus, allowing him to control the clear direction and mood he wishes to set. All of it, in the end works masterfully. To listen to this album is to get wrapped up in one incredible adventure after another.

On this album, there are so many songs about loss, heartbreak, and love. The first song on the album, The Wife of Usher’s Well, tells the sad tale of a mother who sends her three children off to sea to find they died shortly after. Grieving for them, the ghostly specters of her sons come back. However, she sees them as living and tries to feed them and give them a place to sleep. In the end, all comes for naught and they must leave her before the day breaks. Throughout this song Martyn’s powerful vocals showcases the struggle and grief while his guitar adds a richness that compliments the higher vocals.

Clyde Water, however, is a song of heartbreak and betrayal. This is a song where the mother lies and consequently causes her child’s death. In this song, Willie is thinking of his love Margaret and it is here the trouble starts. With this song, Martyn still keeps the lyrics in the front, but uses a precise picking pattern to help emphasize key elements of the story. The pressure applied highlights certain focal points. Likewise, as the song progressives it helps to drive up the tension.

On the other hand, The Daemon Lover is a song about false love and needing to deal with the consequences. In the song progresses, there seems to be a hollowness or forlornness that resonates with the woman’s betrayal of her child and husband. This is especially true near the end where her lover and her are looking at the hills in the distance of Paradise and Hell. The way this story is told is remarkable and certainly one of my favorites on the album.

Other Child Ballads that are featured on this album are Fair Annie, The Broomfield Wager, The Grey Cock, The Broom Of The Cowdenowes and Jock O’Hazeldeen. If you love traditional Celtic music and songs that tell marvelous stories, this is a remarkable album and should certainly be in your collection. You will not be disappointed. With several decades of performing and recording under his belt, Maryn Wylde showcases these years of experience in this wonderful collection of timeless tales.

Furthermore, if you enjoy this album you should look at his debut solo CD, “Minstrel’s Lament”.

— Stephen McSweeney, Celtic Music Magazine

Martyn Wylde’s “The Child Ballads Vol. 1"

As a lifetime devotee of authentic folk music, I have endeavored to track down as many as possible of the 305 or 306 folk ballads collected by Frances J. Child over a century ago. Not all my purchases were pleasant to the ear, but in the interest of fulfilling my collection, I was happy to add the ballads. What a pleasure it is to run across Wylde's versions of these songs. Martyn Wylde is a "classic" folk singer along the lines of a Richard Dyer-Bennett or a John Runge. Every track is beautifully done, accomplished with the ease of delivery of the consummate professional artist he is. His instrumentation is perfectly done, as well. I look forward to Vol. 2 and hopefully additional releases. Perhaps he will fill in the estimated 70 or 80 gaps in my collection that I haven't run across as yet. If the folk style is your musical choice, as it is mine, you will not go wrong, as it is mine, you will not go wrong with this album.

 - Ed LaNeve

The Child Ballads, Vol. 1

The Child Ballads album serves as a collection of work that embodies what storytelling in music is all about. Melodically taking the listener into a different time, a perspective with a particular romanticism. The vocal arrangements and guitar work join to form a unique interpretation of traditional British folk music , honoring the depth of its culture and history. These recordings leave you wanting to hear some ballads over and over again, or stick around to hear what tale will be told next. Musically well performed, and sentimentally moving.  
A highly recommended listen for all fans of acoustic folk music.

- Aleksandr Lev

What a voice!

I'd enjoyed hearing Martyn Wylde sing as part of Wyldefyre and Celtic Mayhem at renaissance faires throughout the country, but I never realized how amazing a musician and singer he really was - until now! This album showcases his superb voice, along with his guitar, bass and bouzouki playing. In fact, Martyn played all the instruments on this album and sang harmonies with himself. He also wrote four of the songs, and they are every bit as good as the traditional songs he chose to present. 

My favorites are Two Hearts (an original), Black Waterside and a wonderful version of Robert Burns' Green Grow The Rashes with three part harmony. If you get the chance to see Martyn with Wyldefyre or Celtic Mayhem, by all means take it! And/or buy this CD - I'll say it again... what a voice!

Minstrel’s Lament

This album took me by surprise.

Martyn Wylde is a true bard who's a capella version of Danny Boy Brought me to tears quickly, though I am Irish and cry easily! I listened to his rendition of Black Waterside perhaps five times before I got my fill of it - best I have heard.

This effort is beautiful in its simplicity, allowing you to feel the emotion in Martyn which he shares here generously. I truly stumbled upon this album while browsing Amazon for Elizabethan music, a trip so well worth my money! 

Thank you, Martyn!

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