Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Acoustic+ 25 March - Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin

This was the next problem that led to the travails of The Off Chance, as mentioned in the post below.
When you pay £5 ($8) for a ticket to see four acts live you really have no right to expect one of them to be as good as Barbara J. Hunt and Dizzi Dulcimer. When as a very new band just starting out, as is the case with The Off Chance and the first album just a mirage on the horizon, you end up playing immediately after the former and just before Exeter-based duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin it is going to be tough; very tough indeed and this flyer, which was everywhere in the Cheese & Grain, says a great deal about the kind of pressure they were up against:

In my humble opinion they were truly worthy of the recommendation.
The term roots music is very wisely used here for Phillip often plays a resonator guitar, in the case below one with an electric pick-up, the concept of which only dates back to 1927.
They were originally designed to be a louder version of acoustic, which became lost in big-band music, but soon found a place of their own for their unique sound. There are various modifications of the thin spun-metal cone that acts as the primary resonator (in the version above that is amplified by the electric pick-up in the same way as with an electro-acoustic) and are sometimes all known generically as 'dobros'; this is now a registered trademark of Gibson Guitars but there are many manufacturers of  such instruments.
They are often found in both bluegrass and Hawaiian guitar music. In the former case they partner fiddle particularly well, which has a great deal to do with the music here.  Another very suitable partner instrument is this...
Hannah Martin playing 4-string banjo.
Or even 4-string banjo accompanied by a standard acoustic guitar.

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