The Martin Harley Band are a uniquely talented acoustic trio whose musical palette incorporates all the best roots music styles, from blues to jazz to folk, yet are masters of their own art. With tender acoustic balladry, hot-blooded blues, complex rhythms and gorgeous three-part harmonies, and an almost boundless energy, the Martin Harley Band effortlessly challenge expectations of what a three-piece should be capable of.
Having spurred prominent music magazines to proclaim them "shining talents in the British acoustic scene...definitely ones to watch" (Guitarist Magazine) and declare "In the Martin Harley Band the future of British roots and blues is assured" (Blues Nights), there now appears to be a healthy buzz growing around the band. With an ever-expanding fanbase, reams of plaudits and acclaim, and a constantly ascendant profile, this band are beginning to reap the rewards for years of toil.
Unwilling to wait for lady luck to find them, the band have always preferred to gig and tour almost incessantly. Audiences across the world can attest to the energetic entertainment spectacle that is a Martin Harley Band gig.
As a live act, the Martin Harley Band have a pedigree that takes some beating. Every show, no matter how many they play, is an event, be it in the intimacy of a tiny West-Country pub or the grandeur of the Royal Albert Hall. In the past year or so, they have notched up scores of UK gigs from Penzance to Shetland, yet still miraculously found time for tours in France, Germany, Italy, Barbados and Australia.
Martin Harley (UK): acoustic guitar, slide Guitar, weissenborn and vocals Jay Carter (UK): double Bass, guitar, B-Vocals Pete Swatton (UK): Drums, Cajon, Percussion, Balalaika, B-Vocals
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The Martin Harley Band at the Arts Theatre Club, London W1
Martin Harley has packed a lot into his 35 years. The singer, songwriter and guitarist has lived in a car in Australia, a monastery in Thailand, and staged the "world's highest gig" somewhere in the Himalayas. He has travelled and played with musicians in Mali, Guinea and Senegal. Such exotic experiences contrast with his upbringing in Woking, Surrey, and he presents himself with the wry, unpretentious air of a man whose own cultural heritage is firmly nailed to the bohemian edge of the stockbroker belt.
('The Times', UK)