Saturday, April 24, 2010

Christopher Martin Hansen - Passage

Hear The Track Here

Now here's a welcome surprise and a return of sorts. Although I'd known about acoustic guitarist par excellence Christopher Martin Hansen (CMH) for a while on another site it wasn't until 2005 that I finally got to bring him to your attention (if you were around back then, of course). I did an extremely belated Artist Overview of his work in August 2005, and we have followed it up over the years with a lot of really excellent tracks, including from his side project Donegal Street. CMH is one of my personal favourite musicians because he is just so awesomely good at what he does, and what he does best is to play the acoustic guitar in the time honoured fashion of artists such as Bert Jansch, Leo Kottke and many others. Now its obvious that as a guitarist I am going to like what he does but I have found that his music is very listener friendly, and his continued fame even during what appears to be a quiet period.

I can't quite believe this but I don't think I've heard anything from CMH for at least two years or more and that's a crying shame, especially when listening to what I have been missing with Passage, a brand new track - or so it would appear. Although Chris has ventured off from time to time into other genres (rock notably) my favourite place for him to be is sitting with an acoustic and just picking the beejeebers out of it, believe me there is nothing better. When I was younger I was considerably influenced by Spanish guitar players like Paco Pena and Manitas de Plata], who are world recognised masters of the art of Flamenco guitar playing which while it may be all castanets and stamping boots in parts can also be heart-breakingly beautiful.

Passage obviously borrows considerably from this, but any guitarist of this kind cannot fail to be influenced by it, what counts is what they do with that influence. Christopher Martin Hansen does what he always does and comes up with a piece of music so stirring, so lyrical and so gorgeously simple, you just want to shoot him for being so damn good. Now I don't know about you but instrumentals are tricky beasts, I like them mostly but could I stand a whole one? Christopher Martin Hansen transcends the instrumental tag perfectly with a wonderfully balanced, crystal clear acoustic guitar piece most of us would give our eye teeth to have come up with. I hope this is indeed a welcome return to form for CMH because musicians of this calibre are priceless, and I urge you to be checking the man out, especially if you like what I've described so woefully.

Beautiful and MUST HAVE.

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