Review Archive

‘Live in Calstock’ - Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin - a hypnotic, almost mesmerising power

(August 10, 2014)

Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin are adept at leading their audience through their worlds of musical creation into somewhere altogether extraordinary. Their music creates voyages of Live in Calstockimagination combining myth, legend, history and heritage. The album, ‘Live in Calstock’ is perhaps the most classic example of this creativity to date. The atmosphere they craft takes you along on their travels with the venue contributing its own peculiar touch. Recorded in the Calstock Arts community arts centre in the stunningly evocative atmosphere of The Old Chapel on the banks of the River Tamar, one listen leads to a magical experience.

The combination of Phillip’s instrumental virtuosity and Hannah’s crystal-clear haunting voice give this album a hypnotic, almost mesmerising power. There’s an otherworldly feeling that calls to you. Each song pulls you further into that embrace, from the lingering introduction of ‘Cucko’s Nest/ Old Adam The Poacher’ through the equally evocative‘Death and the Lady’ to the enduring brilliance of ‘Thirty Miles’ there’s everything here that their followers will relish. A special indulgence lies in the presence of harmonica-driven virtuosity that is ‘Underground Railroad’ with Henry showing why he’s a master of his art, while the medley of instrument and voice ‘Elegy/ Whitsun Dance/ Banks of the Nile’ is both intense and delicate. The ‘live’ element also delivers lavish takes on ‘Silbury Hill’ and ‘The Nailmakers Strike Pt. II’.

‘Live in Calstock’ displays incredible musical dexterity and depth augmented by the most alluring vocals. Quite simply it's an album that demands your attention - find it here:

Reviewer: Tim Carroll

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