Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Christopher Martin Hansen - 80 Days

Hear The Track Here

I have been very, very fortunate in my musical life, insofar as I spent a lot of my early years in music surrounded by incredible musicians who I was able to see many, many times in the best situation of all - live. One of my seminal influences from this period, certainly as a guitar player anyway, is American solo guitarist Leo Kottke who I saw live in a great many different venues during 1976-77. Just one man and a guitar (and a serious line in patter). It amazed me at how totally he could transfix an audience. What really stunned me though, was the incredible wash of sound he was able to extract from that one tiny guitar. Consequently I've been into that finger picking style ever since. Always considered it one of the hardest guitar disciplines, with its almost Spanish Classical flourishes.

Even since I heard Christopher Martin Hansen (CMH) over on Songplanet about five years ago, he has occupied much the same niche Leo has sat in in my peculiar musical worldview. Although he will modestly dispute being put up against such a legendary figure, I already saw the real thing and I knows what I knows and CMH has every right to feel a bit chuffed. Truth is, he's a blindingly good guitarist in many style favourite of all is when he picks up an acoustic and records a track right there and then.

Now seeing as 80 Days has THREE acoustic tracks on it, things can only go from here to nirvana. The reason Kottke casts such a huge shadow over this review is because - on this particular track - Christopher Martin Hansen does exactly the kind of guitar thing I associate with Kottke. Now while I know a lot of people are not interested in some guy plucking on a guitar (or three in this case), almost no one I know is anything less than floored when they hear the result of that guy and that guitar. Certainly there are going to be less people interested in the almost Spanish feel of 80 Days but this is exactly what I want from Christopher Martin Hansen and I'd advise you to catch this guitarist if any of this has interested you.

World class solo guitar piece. MUST HAVE

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