|Tuesday 05 August 2014 @ 09:00pm : -
Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin
When it comes to a distinctive sound, exceptional duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin have shown they are in a league of their own.
One of the most inventive and captivating rising acts on the acoustic roots scene they unveiled their evocative second studio album in September to marked acclaim from all quarters. From the West Country hotspot of musical talent, the harmonious Devon duo followed up their 2012 debut Singing the Bones with the moving and mystical Mynd (Old English for memory and remembrance) - an exquisite 12-track album infused with Phil''s trademark instrumental virtuosity, Hannah''s clear vocals and the pair''s highly original thought-provoking songs often trawled from some of the less obvious moments in history.
Widely regarded as one of the best slide guitarists in the UK, Lancashire-born multi instrumentalist Phillip Henry has been described as "one of the most extraordinary musicians around". Henry, who studied in Calcutta with India''s premier slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya, is also a virtuoso on the harmonica and brilliant on beatbox harmonica whilst Brixham-born singer-songwriter Hannah, is a skilled fiddler, viola and banjo player with a real lightness of touch, a distinctive voice and a gift for tapping traditional music veins to create contemporary songs.
Mynd inhabits an English landscape of Neolithic barrows and haunted East Anglian fens, while other narrative songs transport you to the heat of Syria, Egypt and the American south and across to the Swedish chill and Arctic ice.
Sometimes mournful, often haunting and always compelling each Henry and Martin song is a fresh journey of discovery - twisting, curling melodies and eclectic rhythms wrapping themselves around perceptive lyrics. Produced by Mark Tucker, Mynd draws inspiration from unexpected places - championing remarkable women in several tracks - c18th German astronomer William Herschel''s sister Caroline, (the sublime Song for Caroline Herschel) ; Anna Charlier, the fiancée of lost Arctic explorer Nils Strindberg who, though buried in Torquay, wanted her heart to be placed in a box in his Stockholm grave (Silver Box) , esteemed Victorian gardener Ellen Willmott whose lasting legacy grew from seeds surreptitiously sprinkled in other people''s gardens (Miss Willmott''s Ghost) and the courageous Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin killed in Syria''s Siege of Homs in 2012 whose story is movingly recounted in the haunting Hannah Martin-penned song Last Broadcast, with lyrics drawn from the correspondent''s final article.
Winners of Best Folk Act in the 2012 South West Music Awards and Best Duo in the 2013 Spiral Awards, this class act played the biggest venue of their career last year, when they supported Show of Hands at the Royal Albert Hall while this summer they played Glastonbury, Cambridge and Broadstairs festivals. They have the knack of transporting listeners into a reverie with their almost tactile music, all delivered with a gossamer light touch, none more so than the languid Thirty Miles with Phil on vocal, inspired by Toni Morrison''s book Beloved; Phil''s drifting dobro interlude Elegy, first played at the Albert Hall and the album closer - a beautifully understated take on James Taylor''s Close Your Eyes.
Henry & Martin continuw to showcase this stand-out album on a UK tour through the end of 2013 and spring 2014.
Press Quotes for the album "MYND":
"On hearing the first notes of the first track I knew that I was listening to a modern classic. One of the most exciting albums I''ve heard in years" ~ Mike Harding
"Subtle, atmospheric, bravely original" ~ Robin Denselow, The Guardian ****
"This duo has a combination of virtuosity, intensity and charisma that merits a slot on much bigger stages" ~ John L. Walters, The Guardian
"An imaginative and innovative album - songs that linger in the memory held together by the fine musicianship of Henry and Martin. Strong and original - an unusual treat" ~ Martin Chilton, Daily Telegraph ****
"A thoughtful and moving album with great arrangements" ~ Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
"Eloquent performers - a musical success story" ~ Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3