IT IS in the nature of folk clubs that almost any kind of act can precede the main attraction. Phil Hare would not have been expecting to follow Django Reinhardt's grand-nephew, guitarist Lulo Reinhardt's extravagantly accomplished new band, who just happened to be in town and fancied a play.
A lesser character might have tossed a towel onstage and repaired to the bar but Hare has the personality to roll with such a punch and the acoustic guitar chops to stand up for himself. A bluff Liverpudlian who now lives on the Cambridgeshire flatlands, Hare comes from the line of fingerpickers that schooled themselves on Davy Graham and Bert Jansch's 1960s experiments with tunings and enquiries into jazz.
Like a number of those who devoted much time to developing a flowing, rolling six string technique, his voice can be an acquired taste but he compensates for any deficiencies with entertaining repartee and a repertoire that follows Graham's Folk, Blues and Beyond train of thought.
His own barrelhouse piano-styled Potato Man segued easily into Thelonious Monk's Blue Monk, uilleann pipes king Leo Rowsome's The West Wind air found a natural extension in the Britpop of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know, and his mirthfully unforgiving Hedge Fund Shuffle referenced Graham himself before splicing together Mason Williams, George Harrison, Blue Oyster Cult and Led Zeppelin.
Even Mrs Mills' influence was acknowledged, in Everyone's a Hard Man Now's ragtime-music hall examination of today's aggressive society, and I particularly liked Hare's self-deprecating tale of a middle aged guitar picker posting his latest achievement on YouTube and within seconds being regaled with praise – for his Tennessee hunting hat. Rob Adams - Edinburgh Herald.