'+ Sam Brookes
Thu 10 Oct 2019
‘Im ready to make a bigger noise Muddy Waters invented electricity right?’
In 2019 British guitarist and songwriter Martin Harley is making a change. Having created a deep impression on the acoustic blues roots and Americana scene with his last two Nashville recorded albums, his highly anticipated new record finds a new and exciting sound. An Intimate and gritty analogue album, recorded in a remote chapel deep in the wilds of Pembrokeshire. Taking country blues riffs to the electric bottleneck slide guitar, served with sweet vocal harmonies and the driving rhythms of co-producer and drummer Harry Harding (Yola Carter/William the Conqueror).
Through his road worn song writing style this record explores hopes and fears for fast changing times, offering gospel like comfort and consolation. The song ‘Roll with the Punches’ implores the listener not to get dragged down when challenges seem unsurmountable. Coming Home’ asks questions beyond the end of life and explores freedom from worldly desires.
If success can be measured by growing global demand to attend Martins dynamic live performances, then perhaps his touring schedule is proof of that. He recently played to a full house at the Union Chapel in Islington, London and has appeared at Edmonton, Vancouver, Canmore and Calgary Folk Festivals in Canada, Glastonbury Festival, Bestival and Beautiful Days in the UK, numerous European and US tours and events including the Americana Music Association UKs AmericanaFest in London, The Bluebird in Nashville and Tønder in Denmark.
In 2018 Martin Harley was ranked #16 in the worlds greatest acoustic guitarist poll in Total Guitar Magazine and he was nominated as Instrumentalist of the Year at the Americana Music Association UK Awards.
‘Harley offers the listener a masterclass in taste, style and roots blues’
‘No doubt that he is a slide guitar master. He is the business’
‘Quite simply a great live act’
TIME OUT LONDON
Sam Brookes is reminiscent of Tim Buckley as he glides between the lower and upper registers of his four-octave range. His pure voice, evocative lyrics and soaring melodies have made him a rising figure in the alt-folk scene.
‘he excels at propulsive, narratively rich folk, delivered in a soaring, clear-as-a-bell singing voice’
THE SUNDAY TIMES
‘a stunning work on so many levels’