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Martin Stephenson @ The Half Moon, Putney

September 19, 2019

September 18th 2019

A packed Half Moon gave an enthusiastic welcome to troubadour Martin Stephenson (Daintees) sympathetically supported by Jim Morrison (really) on violin, James Cole on banjo / guitar and Anna Lavigne on occasional vocals. The sound balance in this intimate setting was perfect, allowing Martin’s acoustic guitar picking to shine and his stream of jokes and stories to hit their mark. The material was a well judged blend of originals and rootsy covers such as Cannonball Rag (Merle Travis) and Deep River Blues (Delmore Brothers), giving a Mike Wilhelm/Ronnie Lane vibe. A highlight  of the first set was Goodbye John, Martin’s tribute to Speedy Keen. For the second set special guest John Perry (Only Ones) added his 1976 Martin acoustic to the mix. His clean and considered solos and subtle fills fitted seamlessly, belying the lack of rehearsal. Martin and Anna’s vocals combined perfectly on Signposts to Heaven before the band encored with rousing versions of Wholly Humble Heart (featuring Ian Roberts on vocals) and Little Red Bottle.

Gig Collectibles: exclusive selection of CDs released on Martin’s Barbaraville Records (£10)

Review written for Record Collector magazine

Photo credit: Anna Lavigne

First Set
Took My Gal A Walking  (Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers)
Cannonball Rag (Merle Travis)
All I do is dream (Arthur Freed)
Joe McCue
Deep River Blues (The Delmore Brothers)
Home
Every Kind Of Heaven (Stephenson/Lavigne)
Goodbye John

Second Set
Western Eagle
Open Road (David Foster)
The Whisky
Stone Broke
Left Us To Burn
Little Red Bottle
Mother’s Son
Signposts to Heaven (Stephenson/Lavigne)
Me And Mathew
The Hangman
Salutation Road
Wholly Humble Heart
Little Red Bottle

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