Martin Harley – new album

Martin Harley

Static In The Wires is the new album from blues-Americana singer-songwriter Martin Harley and bass player extraordinaire Daniel Kimbro (Jerry Douglas, Larkin Poe).

Martin Harley is a supremely talented acoustic roots and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter with a burgeoning global reputation. Static in the Wires is his seventh album and the second with Daniel. The two first met through mutual friend, Sam Lewis, at Hippie Jack’s music festival in Crawford Tennessee. After a brief backstage rehearsal the two took to the stage for an hour of largely improvised music. A few weeks later they were cutting a record at Zac Brown’s iconic Southern Ground studios. Their live shows bring aspects of blues, Americana and folk to the table; Martin playing a 100 year Weissenborn (Hawaiian acoustic lap guitar), while Daniel beats scratches and bows a double bass to create an unexpected array of textures and sounds.

Static In The Wires was tracked live at Wow & Flutter Studios in East Nashville over four days. Engineered and mixed by analogue guru Joe V. McMahan making use of every corner of the space. The drums sounded great in the kitchen and if you listen carefully you can hear the freight trains rolling past. At one point heavily armed police sealed off the area to conduct a manhunt.

Mixing elements of Santo & Johnny, JJ Cale and Taj Mahal, Static in the Wires follows 2015’s Live at Southern Ground, glowingly described by The Observer as “A spellbinding 50 minutes”.

Guests on Static In The Wires include multiple Grammy Award-winner Jerry Douglas (Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Dolly Parton), Derek Mixon (Chris Stapleton, Sam Lewis), and Micah Hulsher (Alabama Shakes).

Martin has headlined Music City Roots in Nashville, performed on the Cayamo Cruise with Chris Stapleton, toured coast to coast with ZZ Ward and Delta Rae and opened for Iron & Wine, Bruce Hornsby, Five for Fighting, World Party, Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa amongst others. His music has featured on hit TV shows The Vampire Diaries and Banshee among others. In summer 2016 Martin and Daniel played Winnipeg, Vancouver, Canmore and Calgary Folk Music Festival as well as shows in the Caribbean, the US and Europe.

Daniel has played the Ryman Auditorium, The Grand Ole Opry, the Tennessee Theatre, Bonnaroo, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, MerleFest, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Stordfest, The Kate Wolf Folk Festival, The Edmonton Folk Festival, New Orleans Jazz Fest, The Blue Note Tokyo, Chateau St. Michelle, Jammin at Hippie Jack’s and  many more.

Artist’s website:

‘One For The Road’ live:

Martin Harley and Daniel Kimbro – new album

Martin Harley and Daniel Kimbro

A supremely talented acoustic roots and blues guitarist, singer and songwriter with a burgeoning global reputation Martin Harley’s recently released and widely acclaimed new album Live at Southern Ground was recorded in Nashville in collaboration with Daniel Kimbro (Jerry Douglas, Larkin Poe) on upright bass.

As Martin explains “Daniel and I met in Knoxville through a mutual friend… he handed me his card which read… ‘alright guitar player… good upright bass player’ … an understatement on both parts!”

“It’s a simple, honest and direct album with no overdubs in a warm sounding room with some great microphones and two new friends playing a few songs over a cold beer or two” says Martin. “There’s a great feeling when you click with someone. It frees you up to experiment with the arrangement and the dynamic of a song.”

A mixture of retrospective solo and duo arrangements recorded during an afternoon at the esteemed Southern Ground studio in Nashville, Live at Southern Ground features Martin on Weissenborn… a traditional Hawaiian acoustic guitar played across the lap, resonators and archtops, and of course Daniel Kimbro on upright bass, and in March 2016 they’ll be performing together in the UK for the first time.

Along with many years of international touring and countless festivals Martin has built a strong international fan-base across the globe. Renowned for his prowess as a slide guitarist, Martin is almost unique in the UK in his playing lap slide. During year-round worldwide touring he’s absorbed a plethora of diverse influences, honing his craft into the classic songwriting style he possesses today.

In the US, Martin has headlined Music City Roots in Nashville and toured coast to coast with ZZ Ward, Delta Rae and opened for Iron and Wine, Bruce Hornsby, Five for Fighting, World Party, Beth Hart, Joe Bonamassa amongst many others.

Live At Southern Ground follows on from Martin’s five previously acclaimed albums, most recently Mojo Fix in 2012.

“For all lovers of acoustic blues and top class roots music . . . this is for you!” Blues In The North West

“From the first note to the last, this is a gorgeous album, played beautifully and with some real respect between the players.” (5 stars)

“Quite simply a great live act” Time Out London

Artist’s website: 

‘Love In The Afternoon’:

MARTIN HARLEY AND DANIEL KIMBRO – Live at Southern Ground (Del Mundo)

MARTIN HARLEY AND DANIEL KIMBRO Live at Southern GroundA celebrated guitar virtuoso, acclaimed for his work on Weissenborn and slide, Welsh-born Harley met upright bassist Kimbro in Nashville and the pair heading off to Southern Ground Studios to lay down an album that would, in the former’s words, represent “where I’m at musically at the moment.” As such, as the title suggests, working with Weissenborn, resonator guitars and bass, the pair recorded a selection of tracks in a live setting, the material ranging across a variety of numbers from Harley’s career, given new textures and arrangements.

It kicks off with ‘Cardboard King’, Harley’s vocals bringing a country edge to the descending chords of the bluesy resonator picking before slipping into the choppy mid-tempo shuffle of ‘Winter Coat’. There’s three covers that underscore Harley’s blues roots, first up being a world-weary Weissenborn-accompanied reading of the Lead Belly chestnut ‘Goodnight Irene’, the second staying with the old guard for a frisky skip through Blind Willie Johnson’s ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ that introduces a dash of bluegrass, The third comes form a more contemporary blues man in the shape of a slide-driven, choppy rhythm take on Tom Waits’ ‘Chocolate Jesus’.

I say three covers, but if you leave the disc running for about three minutes after the tenth track, then you’ll discover what seems to be a variation of the stark traditional ‘Hello Blues’ featuring some spooky bass bowing from Kimbro and menacing slide as Harley slurs through the lyrics like a man with the weight of the world bearing down on his shoulders.

The other five numbers are all from Harley, ranging from the Mississippi style slide guitar blues ‘Can’t Help Moving’ and the resonator led blues swing ‘Money Don’t Matter’ to the cascading notes of the country-inflected ‘Automatic Life’, a nimbly fingerpicked, almost ragtime jellyroll ‘Honey Bee’ and the playful jazzily up-tempo ‘Love In The Afternoon’ (first featured, as were three other of the numbers here, on 2010’s Drumrolls for Somersaults and sounding much the same but without the drums) with Kimbro slapping bass and providing harmonies while Harley shows what Stephane Grapelli might sound like if he played guitar rather than fiddle. The pairing clearly works well, so here’s hoping this isn’t just a one off and next time round they might work together to produce some new material as well.

Mike Davies

Artists’ website:

Larkin Poe and Thom Hell – THE SOUND OF THE OCEAN SOUND

Larkin Poe & Thom Hell (300dpi)Having toured internationally as The Lovell Sisters between 2005 and 2010, including performances at the Grand Ole Opry, Telluride and numerous other top venues and festivals, Rebecca and Megan relaunched themselves as Larkin Poe in January 2010, following the departure of eldest sister Jessica.

Still only in their early twenties, in just a little over two years as Larkin Poe, Rebecca and Megan have released five EPs and a live DVD and have performed with such luminaries as Elvis Costello, Fairport Convention and The Indigo Girls. During 2012 alone they have played headline shows at festivals across Europe including Beautiful Days, Celtic Connections, the Hebridean Celtic Festival and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention where they broke the festival record for CD sales.

During a particularly productive and rewarding year in 2012, they have also made guest appearances on new albums by Blair Dunlop and Gilmore & Roberts, rising stars of the UK folk scene, who were both recently nominated for prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, which take place on the 30th of January 2013.

Now Rebecca & Megan present a first full-length album, The Sound Of The Ocean Sound, a collaboration with multiple Norwegian ‘Spellemann’ (Grammy) winner Thom Hell, and special guest Sola Akingbola (Jamiroquai). Luck brought them together when Thom attended one of the band’s concerts, and two visits to the studio later the 10 songs of The Sound Of The Ocean Sound were complete. The album was recorded in two periods over the last two years at Ocean Sound Recordings studio in Giske, Norway, where Travis recently completed their forthcoming album.

Sola Akingbola, long-standing percussionist with Jamiroquai heard a rough mix of the record after playing at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Norway, and was so eager to play on the album he spent his only 2 days off during a 2 month long Jamiroquai tour, to lay down some exemplary percussion work.

The distinctive voices and harmonies of Larkin Poe and Thom Hell, combined with Rebecca and Megan’s signature mandolin and dobro sound, result in ten masterpieces of roots-inflected pop.

Larkin Poe & Thom Hell - 'The Sound Of The Ocean Sound' - cover (300dpi)The album also features Daniel Kimbro on bass, Chad Melton on drums and Mike Seal on guitar, all musicians who’ve played with Larkin Poe until recently. Norwegian producer Audun Borrmann recorded and produced the album in close collaboration with Larkin Poe and Thom Hell.

It will be available on CD, Vinyl and Digital download at the folking store below (RELEASE DATE MARCH 4 2013). The Sound Of The Ocean Sound features 10 tracks, six written by Rebecca & Megan Lovell, three by Thom Hell, and one co-written by Rebecca Lovell and Thom Hell in the studio.

“Though never quite abandoning the duo’s bluegrass roots the mandolin/dobro combination has clearly been harnessed to newly ambitious songwriting that’s taken a joyful, ultra-confident left-field swerve.” Acoustic

“Every exposure to Larkin Poe brings increasing evidence of emerging greatness.” The Herald

“. . . the 20-year-old sisters’ dynamic story-songs open up new realms of cream-fresh Americana” The Independent

“. . . rootsy, melodic, and reflective, not to mention highly irresistible.” Maverick

“With the Dixie Chicks on sabbatical, this could be Larkin Poe’s season in the sun.” The Observer

“What makes it all special is the pair’s ability to push the envelope, especially in the use of vocal arrangements . . . just when you think you know where you are, you’re taken someplace further. That’s a genuine gift.” R2