Fast-rising Devon musicians and singer songwriters Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (who recently clinched the Best Duo title in the recent 2013 Spiral Awards) are now out on tour. The Exeter pair also recently won the Best Folk Act title in the South West Music Awards.
They were originally “discovered” by Show of Hands front-man Steve Knightley who first encountered the duo busking on the seafront during Devon’s Sidmouth Folk Week. He describes their sound as “textured, hypnotic and utterly captivating”.
Henry, studied in Calcutta with India’s premier slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya which no doubt has helped his growing reparation as an accomplished slide guitarist. Henry is also a fine singer (as demonstrated in the video below of The Boy That Wouldn’t Hoe Corn) and plays beat-box harmonica like a man possessed. Coupled with Hannah light touched fiddle/ banjo playing skills and haunting vocals the pair have knack for tapping traditional music veins to create contemporary songs that are interwoven into the pair’s subtle chemistry. Certainly, a sound different from the run of the mill duo experience which is drawn from a wellspring of English folk music, Indian classical melodies, gospel and American blues.
The duo have supported the likes of fellow West Country folk roots luminaries Seth Lakeman, Show of Hands, Cara Dillon and Steve Knightley (solo UK tour) and played key festivals from Glastonbury to Sidmouth. Their debut album Singing the Bones, released in 2011, was praised by Radio 2’s Mike Harding and Radio 3’s Fiona Talkington (Late Junction).
In September the duo will release their second studio album, entitled Mynd, which will focus on music deeply rooted in the landscapes and history of England, particularly their native south-west. We are told that it will also include a haunting Hannah Martin penned song called Last Broadcast which is about the late American-born Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin, who lost her life in Syria last year.
Artist’s website: www.philliphenryandhannahmartin.co.uk