Even if you’ve never heard of Martin Harley before, the words “feat. Jerry Douglas” tagged on to the title of track 2 should set expectations as high as they come before you’ve even broken the seal on the cd packet. I mean, if the great Jerry Douglas is picking up the phone to this guy, there must be something seriously worthwhile going on here, right?
Static In The Wires has been out for nearly a year now, and was launched on the back of a UK tour last Spring. But the good news if you missed that is that there is another UK tour about to get under way, starting in Cambridge on February 19th, stopping off at Bristol on February 28th, and finishing in London on March 10th.
The album itself kicks straight into high gear with the first track being a recipe straight out of the Little Feat / New Orleans cookbook. The aforementioned track two, “Feat Don’t Fail Me” provides not only the title of the upcoming tour, but also a perfect example of the delights and goodies that everyone who still thinks blues is nothing more than three chords crying into stale beer is missing out on!
The rest of the album lives well up to the standards set early on, mixing poignant Americana with folk roots and easy blues, delivered easily and gently by consummate musicians and deft production.
From start to finish, this is a thoroughly listenable album, with engaging songs and equally engaging personality – and that sort of engagement doesn’t come along very often. I am reminded of Kelly Joe Phelps and Tom Waits at several points along the way, and the album stands up well to the comparison.
Tour dates are below – do yourself a huge favour and start the new year off with a musical gift that you will not regret!
Mon 19 Cambridge Cambridge Junction
Tue 20 Norwich Norwich Arts Centre
Wed 21 Derby Guildhall Theatre
Thu 22 Liverpool Liverpool Philharmonic, Music Room
Fri 23 Bury The Met, Derby Hall
Sat 24 Newcastle upon Tyne Cluny 2
Mon 26 Edinburgh Traverse Theatre
Tue 27 Shrewsbury Henry Tudor House
Wed 28 Bristol The Lantern, Colston Hall
Thu 1 Coventry Warwick Arts Centre
Fri 2 Stamford, Lincs. Stamford Arts Centre
Sat 3 Lewes The Con Club
Tue 6 New Milton, Hants. Forest Arts Centre
Wed 7 Falmouth The Poly
Thu 8 Exeter Exeter Phoenix
Fri 9 Street Strode Theatre
Sat 10 London Union Chapel