Having created a deep impression on the acoustic blues roots and Americana scene with his last two Nashville recorded albums, Harleys gritty electric album ‘Roll With The Punches’, recorded in a remote chapel deep in the wilds of Pembrokeshire, takes country blues riffs to the electric bottleneck slide guitar and serves them with sweet vocal harmonies. It features some of the UK’s musicians including Rex Horan on Bass, Harry Harding on drums and Jonny Henderson on Hammond organ. The band hit the road this October to satisfy the continuing demand for bigger live shows including the prestigious Lafayette in London. This year Martin is nominated as Acoustic Blues Artist of the year and Instrumentalist of the year at the UK Blues Awards. Music Rader placed him #7 in the World Greatest Blues Guitarist poll. In 2018 Martin Harley was ranked #16 in the World’s Best Acoustic Guitarist in Total Guitar Magazine and he was nominated as Instrumentalist of the Year at the Americana Music Association UK Awards.
"I’m ready to make a bigger noise…...Muddy Waters invented electricity right?"
In 2019 British guitarist and songwriter Martin Harley is making a change. Having created a deep impression on the acoustic blues roots and Americana scene with his last two Nashville recorded albums, his highly anticipated new record finds a new and exciting sound. An Intimate and gritty analogue album, recorded in a remote chapel deep in the wilds of Pembrokeshire. Taking county blues riffs to the electric bottleneck slide guitar, served with sweet vocal harmonies over the driving rhythms of co producer and drummer Harry Harding (Yola Carter/William the Conquerer) Award winning Australian bassist Rex Horan finalises the line up. He has recorded and performed with Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and Laura Marling.
Through Harley's road worn songwriting style this record explores hopes and fears for fast changing times, offering gospel like comfort and consolation. The song 'Roll with the Punches' implores the listener not to get dragged down when challenges seem unsurmountable. ‘Coming Home' asks questions beyond the end of life and ruminates on freedom from worldly desires.
If success can be measured by growing global demand to attend Martins dynamic life performances then perhaps his touring schedule is proof of that. (He recently played to full house at the Union Chapel in Islington and has appeared at Edmonton, Vancouver, Canmore and Calgary folk festivals in Canada, Glastonbury, Bestival, Beautiful days in the UK, numerous European and US tours and events including the AMAs, The Bluebird in Nashville and Tønder in Denmark) In 2018 Total guitar ranked him #16 in the worlds greatest acoustic guitarist poll and he was nominated as Instrumentalist of the year at the Americana music awards.
“Harley offers the listener a masterclass in taste, style and roots blues” – Guitarist Magazine
“No doubt that he is a slide guitar master. He is the business” – Roots Magazine
“Spellbinding” – The Guardian
“Quite simply a great live act” – Time Out London