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Martin Harley and Daniel Kimbro - Static in the Wires

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 25 / 2 / 2017

Martin Harley and Daniel Kimbro - Static in the Wires
Label: Del Mundo Records
Format: CD


Appealing and versatile second joint album from blues guitarist Martin Harley and double bassist DanieL Kimbro

Bluesman Martin Harley may not be a household name, but he has built up a loyal following for his tours on both sides of the Atlantic, where audiences can browse through the product of a long recording career on the merch table. Whether recording as a solo artist and with ‘the Martin Harley Band’, the only rival to his place as the star of the show has been his century-old Weissenborn Hawaiian lap guitar. So, it stands as a testament to the strength of his bond with double-bassist Daniel Kimbro that they have now shared equal billing on his last two albums. ‘Static in the Wires’ is the follow-up to their first collaboration. It probably didn’t hurt that ‘Live at Southern Ground’ got some of the best reviews of Harley’s career. To put down these eleven new tunes, they were back at the same Southern Ground studio. Four days of recording saw them occupying every corner of the studio in search of a unique analogue sound for each track. They were only interrupted by the sound of freight trains in the background and, just once, by armed police sealing the area off to conduct a manhunt, an incident that can’t have been fun for anyone but certainly ups the finished album’s blues credentials. Born in the UK, raised in Australia and a diehard fan of American barroom blues, Harley has an accent that is hard to place, but a mastery of guitar that makes any questions of authenticity irrelevant. He’s more than happy to kick out his own variations on classic themes, such as the rolling ‘Trouble’, the rollicking ‘One Horse Town’ and the moody ‘Mean Old City – Part Two’. But, in fact, Harley is at his very best when penning gently swaying country-tinged pop ballads. ‘Postcard from Hamburg’ is a beautiful two part-harmony over fingerpicked acoustic guitar, complete with a singalong chorus. Then, ‘Sweet & Low’ is a classic homesickness ballad complete with a delightful chorus of overlapping guitar lines. ‘Dancing on the Rocks’ begins with a fluid almost Flamenco-style guitar line before breaking in a jaunty melody. Anyone reading who has followed Harley for some time will know that he’s best experienced playing live, ideally with a well-stocked bar nearby. Luckily, he’ll be embarking on one of his regular UK tours a month after this record’s release, and as usual, taking in plenty of small town venues unused to performers with his pedigree. Until then, ‘Static in the Wires’ will more than whet the appetite.

Track Listing:-
1 One Horse Town
2 Feet Don't Fail Me (Feat. Jerry Douglas)
3 Postcard From Hamburg
4 Gold
5 Sweet & Low
6 My Lovers Arms
7 Dancing On The Rocks
8 Trouble
9 This Little Bird
10 I Need A Friend
11 Mean Old City Part 2

Band Links:-

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