‘Watershed’ from Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin - inventive and imaginative(September 27, 2015)
There’s an essential and enduring beauty seeping through the music of Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. It’s driven by an inventive composing style that lifts their work way above the ordinary into realms not readily reached by many. Their latest album ‘Watershed’ offers all that one would expect of this original duo, the difference is this time the compositions come with distinct and diverse approaches that encapsulate the watershed theme. As the ‘Watershed’ cover states: “A time of decision. A moment of change. Turning point.” And that’s precisely the feeling this album generates. It’s so strong you can touch it.
Again, their musical span strides across folk to blues, country to Americana, blending and fusing each in a way that delivers a result that’s seamless and wholly integrated. Again, Henry’s multi-layered instrumentation forms perfectly around Martin’s beguiling vocals. The themes on ‘Watershed’ explore those moments in time that make a difference, to those immediately affected or the wider impact on friends, family, places and communities. These songs explore the task of living in the moment, reflect on allowing the present fade as time to rushes past, and examines those instants that really have an effect in past, present and future. From the multiple paths of ‘Watershed’ and the rebuke of ‘Stones’ through the simple truths of ‘Yarrow Mill’ and childhood muse in ‘Conkers’ to the yearning loss of ‘Letter (Unsent)’ and the thought-provoking ‘Foundling’.
‘Watershed’ may well live up to its title and become the point where Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin find they have reached a ‘… time of decision, moment of change, and turning point’ and marks them out as that rare commodity – a perfect pairing.
The ‘Watershed’ band are: Hannah Martin (vocals, fiddle, banjo, five string violin) Phillip Henry (Dobro, harmonica, vocals, lap steel, Weissenborn guitar, acoustic guitar, tenor guitar) Matt Downer (double bass) James Taylor (drums, percussion, vibraphone) with Rex Preston (mandolin).
Find Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin here: www.philliphenryandhannahmartin.co.uk
Review: Tim Carroll