Sunday, May 27, 2007

Christopher Martin Hansen - In The Hedgerow

Hear The Track Here

In The Hedgerow is CMH's tribute to the late, and very great, Michael Hedges], an acoustic guitarist much in the same vein as Chris himself. I have often likened CMH's playing to the work of Leo Kottke but the same comparison could be made for Micheal Hedges - although Chris would deny that he is anything like as good as either of these artists. I disagree vehemently and I've often told him exactly that. In truth, Christopher Martin Hansen is probably my favourite unsigned guitar player and has been ever since I first came across him a couple of years ago. At the time (2005) I had been hearing a lot of his work through (yet again!) Mike-K's Saturday Night Rocks show on Songplanet and did a quick thumbnail sketch of what I found on his site.

Since then Chris has become a Gilmore favourite, because I do love to hear a guitar played well and this is one guitarist I would urge everyone to hear; quality all the way. Chris is what I would call a classic guitarist, pretty much able to play anything but his own works are where he shines. The Road To Dublin, Dance Of the Spanish Maiden (with the aforementioned Mike-K) and the perfect Visions collaboration with Alderman and many more have found residence on my hard drive since then. It's a given then that I am biased towards this artist (and probably this style of playing too if the truth were known) so take it as read that I am a fan. Mind you, there are still lots of other people out there who haven't heard this fluid, experienced player and that's something that should be put right. Stylistically and technically, a couple of minutes alone with In The Hedgerow will show that you are either going to be in awe of this guy as a guitarist, or not. Doesn't detract whatsoever from the pull of his music and I'll bet this one would pick its way into your brain quick enough. A bit more of a straightforward guitar track this time, and to my mind much more reminiscent of guitarists like Kottke, Hedges et al; with a mix as deep as an ocean.

Obviously being a mostly acoustic guitarist with the edge in technical ability means that the music is definitely not going to be lauded universally, but the charm of his music and his excellence as a guitarist has won him many fans. But there's a slight departure in the works, and its an interesting one so read on... I first heard Delusions (on his Songplanet page) on Mike's show last week and fekk me, the boy went electric! At first I thought it was a 12 string but discovered that Chris was actually playing a Telecaster - all of course blindingly obvious with hindsight. At the time I was gobsmacked by the sound he was churning out and I remember thinking I should include it in this review. It's insistent pulse and intricate fills really filled out the usual wide-as-the-ocean mix Chris generally delivers. These two tracks do kinda match too, at least stylistically so grab a listen to them both and meet a singular guitarist.

No one like CMH. You read it here. Highly Recommended.

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