2015 – Del Mundo Records
By Phillip Smith; Oct. 24, 2015
UK singer/songwriter/guitarist Martin Harley along with Daniel Kimbro, an extremely talented upright bass player from Eastern Tennessee, should work together more often. The duo recorded the magnificent ten track album, Live at Southern Ground in just a ‘handful of hours’ at Southern Ground Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. With the exception of a couple of covers, the majority of the album features the engrossing lyrics and fetching melodies written by Harley.
“Cardboard King” is such a beautiful song about loss and disappointment. Harley’s buttery vocals are the icing on this cake filled with an amazing blend of resonator with slide and bow-played bass. I love the playful and fun approach Martin takes as he picks “Honey Bee” banjo-style. This one makes me smile, as does the swinging “Love in the Afternoon”.
I can feel the emotion emanating from Harley as he goes to church and plays the hell out of Tom Waits’ “Chocolate Jesus”. They also nail Blind Willie Johnson’s “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” to the wall. Harley has the perfect voice for wailing out the blues. That voice paired with his unique guitar stylings make for a delightful listen.
Live at Southern Ground certainly lands in my personal list of favorite records this year.