Out of the Ordinary Tour, at Steam GWR Swindon, tickets £14.
Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin bring a wide variety of roots influences and stunning lyrical and instrumental virtuosity to create passionate and powerful songs.
“Subtle, atmospheric… Bravely original” The Guardian ****
“Keen, curious and concerned intellects are at work here. Hannah Martin is an enthralling singer; Phillip Henry plays all manner of guitars and the harmonica, terrifically.” Songlines
“Rich and complex – there is something of June Tabor about Hannah’s vocal performance – a voice that is strong and flexible and which, coupled with Phillip’s instrumental virtuosity, suggests we’re hearing stars of the future” Dai Jeffries, R2 ****
Winners of 2014’s BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Duo, and nominated again in 2016 Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin are now well established artists of the highest calibre with three acclaimed albums to their credit. The alchemy of Martin’s ever evocative songwriting, fiddle and banjo playing and the much extolled skills of Henry on dobro, harmonica and lap steel fuse into a wholly distinctive world sound – songs of lament, tunes of hope, and totally unpredictable twist and turn music.
Their journey started in 2009 and in a story that now goes down in folk legend, Steve Knightley (Show Of Hands) spotted them busking and recognising the potential of Henry and Martin’s partnership, he invited them to accompany Show Of Hands on a nationwide tour, culminating with a show at the Royal Albert Hall at Easter 2012.
The pair’s first album, Singing The Bones, was released in 2011 to warm praise, “I was completely knocked out by this duo…just a terrific album…absolutely great, wonderful” (BBC Radio Two). They went on to win “Best Folk Act” at the 2012 South West Music Awards, and began 2013 by being voted “Best Duo” by the public at the Spiral Awards. Their second studio album, Mynd, was released to great acclaim in September 2013, appearing in end of year best-ofs for The Guardian, The Telegraph, fRoots Critics Poll, Mark Radcliffe’s Radio Two Top Ten, and Songlines. They were voted Best Duo at the Radio Two Folk Awards.
The last 18 months have been their busiest to date. They recorded a concert, Live In Calstock, to make a record of their sound during these initial years; the resulting album once again went down a storm with the critics, “utterly inspired and magnificent” (Spiral Earth). They toured with folk legend Seth Lakeman. They attended Folk Alliance in Kansas City, and bookings for Canada and Australia in 2016 swiftly followed. As well as around 130 UK dates, they have also played in South Africa, France, Norway, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium during this period.
Watershed, their third studio album, is their most emotionally charged, personal and pertinent work to date. A collection of 12 inspired original songs and tunes, recorded live with The Watershed Band in Devon’s Blackdown Hills, it centres around the idea of turning points. Moving away from the historical figures and events that peopled their highly acclaimed previous album Mynd they explore the idea of a modern folk tale – drawing on personal experience to create edgier, grittier material whilst retaining an ‘everyman’ empathy.
The ‘Out of the Ordinary’ tour takes them to very special venues! They will perform in front of the locomotive Caerphilly Castle in the Steam GWR Museum in Swindon. You’re welcome to tour the museum as well. Join the black duck folk for great music, fine company and good ale!