Philip Henry & Hannah Martin at The Rum Store
The last 18 months have been their busiest to date. They recorded a concert, Live In Calstock, to make a record of their sound during these initial years; the resulting album once again went down a storm with the critics, “utterly inspired and magnificent” (Spiral Earth). They toured with folk legend Seth Lakeman. They attended Folk Alliance in Kansas City, and bookings for Canada and Australia in 2016 swiftly followed. As well as around 130 UK dates, they have also played in South Africa, France, Norway, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium during this period.
Watershed, Henry and Martin’s keenly anticipated third studio album, is their most emotionally charged, personal and pertinent work to date. A collection of 12 inspired original songs and tunes, recorded live with The Watershed Band in Devon’s Blackdown Hills, it centres around the idea of turning points. Moving away from the historical figures and events that peopled their highly acclaimed previous album Mynd they explore the idea of a modern folk tale – drawing on personal experience to create edgier, grittier material whilst retaining an ‘everyman’ empathy.
Kith and kin inspire many of the tracks, from foundlings to mill workers, all bonded by a theme of split second decisions and forked paths that shape sliding door destinies.
The alchemy of Martin’s ever evocative songwriting, fiddle and banjo playing and the much extolled skills of Henry on dobro, harmonica and lap steel fuse into a wholly distinctive world sound – songs of lament, tunes of hope, and totally unpredictable twist and turn music, burgeoning with deft double bass from Matt Downer (Jamie Smith’s Mabon) and the textured percussion of James Taylor.
A mesmerising release to further endorse the reputation of a duo who have deservedly gained a rapid and sure foothold in the higher echelons of the roots genre.