Martin Hutchinson

Water From A Stone

Hutch 003

“Dirty children are happy children” that’s how a familiar Irish saying goes. The dirty hands on the album cover should be an indication of a happy musician, presuming these are Martin Hutchinson’s own hands. Does this fine album emit a feeling of contentment or happiness? It partly does indeed, although Martin succeeds in covering a much wider spectrum of emotions. It is his joie de vivre though that exudes from every track. This Irish immigrant may well be Holland’s best kept roots secret. He has created a perfect and powerful synthesis of Delta Blues and Irish folk. In a well-construed, open production this versatile musician proves himself the missing link between Hans Theesink and Luka Bloom. In an album full of elegant harmonies, generously inviting to roar along to (yes, the Irish are born with a pint in their hand and a voice to sing harmony) there is often a whiff of that typical Irish pub atmosphere , but instrumentally and musically in general there is a lot more to be enjoyed. The album does begin with such a sing-along ditty, but as soon as in the second track Martin’s strength becomes more than obvious; here’s Luka Bloom’s eager younger brother, with a slide guitar tingling down your spine. He seamlessly includes a Louisiana country blues in Come Home, showing his sensitive side with Mick Kinsela coming up with a Toots Thielemans-ish harmonica, as he does too in one of the prize numbers In The Ground. This is not your typical folk album, some of these songs really rock! Just give Bad New Day or Dirty Rotten Traitor a spin and you’ll hear a Mark Knopfler on speed. Though it is With A Whisper in particular that sets hell on fire. Evoking images of Sonny Landreth, Martin produces a scorching slide that is sure to leave John Hiatt in doubt. Holiday Hangover provides an effortless sidestep into cajun and the closing track Banker’s Blues is a pianobar blues with keyboardist Roel Spanjers, who has been providing elegant and driving fills throughout the album, putting in a great performance, in line with the general level of musicianship on this album. Although Martin’s vocal chords may not be his strongest asset, this is abundantly compensated for by the strength of his songs and his immense mastery of the six strings, especially the slide. Martin Hutchinson has conquered us, he is on course for the rest of the world.

Bert van Kessel

Please visit Martin's Website