CD Review: Martin Harley and Daniel Kimbro ~ Live At Southern Ground

CD Review: Martin Harley and Daniel Kimbro ~ Live At Southern GroundMartin Harley and Daniel Kimbro
Live At Southern Ground
Del Mundo Records

This is an album steeped in acoustic blues and the vocals of Martin Harley are deep southern USA; yet in reality he is from the home counties, not a delta, but Woking nearer to the winding Thames rather than the majestic Mississippi. This is a live in the studio album recorded in Nashville and the music and vocals flow and there is a warmth to the production so you feel as if you are in the same space as Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro whose Double bass adds a deep brooding texture. Live At Southern Ground is an album for everyone who loves acoustic blues, music that curls around a lyrical story as influences shine through on the self-penned numbers and the covers are given the Hartley Treatment.

The music is delivered in a relaxed manner, the opening two tracks having the feel of Ry Cooder, Cardboard King and Winter Coat both tracks are stylish with Martin’s dexterous fingers shaping the strings of the acoustic so the sound has a springing freshness to two tracks from his back catalogue. The covers are Leadbelly’s, Goodnight Irene which is a number that still feels modern and relevant despite the fact that Leadbelly sung it at the turn of the twentieth Century. Chocolate Jesus part of Tom Waits discography is given a guitar led rootsy treatment with the focus still on the words, an arrangement that reminds you this is a great narrative. The final cover is Blind Willie Johnson’s oft-covered Nobody’s Fault But Mine is revitalised and fits the shape of this album perfectly. This is no mono-tempo, tonal shaped acoustic album with Money Don’t Matter setting off at a foot tapping lick and Honey Bee this may be short the flip side is the dextrous finger picking is awesome!
The whole album is as perfect as a sun ripened peach full of juicy musical snippets and lyrics that keep the music rooted in the blues the guitar playing is special and the arrangements and writing are perfect in this no over-dubbed album. The album captivates for the whole fifty minutes; as the end with Love In The Afternoon an 13 minute track that just makes you smile and want to join them in a glass of champagne. And keep listening when the silence falls as there is something special a guitar extravaganza and the glory of the bow and double bass a spellbinding hidden bonus track.

NINE pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

1. Cardboard King
2. Winter Coat
3. Goodnight Irene
4. Can’t Help Moving
5. Honey Bee
6. Chocolate Jesus
7. Automatic Life
8. Money Doesn’t Matter
9. Nobody’s Fault But Mine
10. Love In The Afternoon

Martin Harley Solo UK Tour – Winter 2015


Thursday 12th Blue Sky Café, Bangor N. Wales
Friday 13th The Atkinson, Southport
Saturday 14th The Independent, Sunderland
Sunday 15th The Met, Bury
Tuesday 17th Komedia, Brighton
Wednesday 18th The Convent, Stroud
Thursday 19th Ropsley Village Hall, Ropsley, Lincs
Friday 20th Rolleston Village Hall, Rolleston, Notts
Saturday 21st Treswell Village Hall, Treswell, Notts
Sunday 22nd Victoria Hall, Settle, N. Yorks
Monday 23rd Henry Tudor House, Shrewsbury
Tuesday 24th Junction 2, Cambridge
Thursday 26th Octagon Chapel, Norwich
Friday 27th Fairkytes Arts Centre, Hornchurch
Saturday 28th West End Centre, Aldershot
Sunday 29th Chapel Arts Centre, Bath


Thursday 3rd The Railway, Winchester
Friday 4th The David Hall, Barnstable
Saturday 5th Barnstable Guildhall, Barnstable
Sunday 6th The Old Grammar School, Truro
Thursday 10th River Cottage, Axminster

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