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Martin Harley – Live at Black Deer Festival – ***** Review

Martin Harley, one of the UK’s finest blues guitarists, gave a virtuoso solo set in the afternoon sunshine at the Black Deer festival in Kent with a later band set on one of the bar stages.

Harley is the master of the electric bottleneck slide guitar, with scintillating technique on tracks such as Chocolate Jesus, Feets Don’t Fail Me and the blues standard Nobody’s Fault But Mine.

His band set later in the evening had the crowd buzzing. Australian bassist Rex Horan and William The Conqueror drummer Harry Harding provided the backing to turn Harley from a mesmerising solo artist into the front man of a slick blues trio.

After the slow Blues At My Window Harley quipped “If that doesn’t get you in the party spirit nothing will” before launching into a punchy uptempo track about BB King.

If you appreciate fine blues playing Martin Harley is your man. He’s playing support to Keb’ Mo’ at London’s Union Chapel on July 2nd.

Words and Live Photo by Chaz Brooks

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