We were lucky Dom Martin was convinced to come to Ipswich while on his ‘Spain to Italy’ tour for a free gig at The Salutation. No, he wasn’t going to Italy from Spain via Ipswich, it’s the title of his debut album which he is currently touring in the UK.
An Irish singer/songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire who only burst onto the UK scene last year, Dom is already up for several blues awards and was a nominee for the European Blues Awards 2019.
Opening with John Martyn’s ‘The Easy Blues’ set the scene for the audience, in an instant we knew we had a gifted musician in front of us.
It was delightful to hear a talented guitarist for a change. There were no strumming of chords going on here this night, there were times I thought there were two guitars in the room as was Dom’s dexterity and command he has over his instrument. There was no looping going on before you ask – proper guitar playing.
Although the music was steeped in blues, Dom is exceptionally versatile, there were snifters of classical, a sprinkling of Latin, a cartload of country, a flickering of folk and a touch of magic to blend his style into something incredibly listenable. The beautiful tones to his guitars were smooth as silk during the throbbing blues (with metal slide) and the heart-breaking ballads.
Dom’s rich accent added to the bluesy lyrics and his voice was as versatile as his playing. It was rich, deep, warm, soft, gravelly and raspy all at the right times. He only did a few covers and of course played many tracks from his album.
Dom is a natural artist/talent – you can always tell as half the time his is lost in his own musical wonderland. Each track was stretched out for his impromptu extension as he tickled the strings while he was lost in the song. It’s an experience to witness when a musician almost forgets there is an audience and just plays for the music and allows it to see where it takes him.
This night was a showcase for many styles and sounds that one man could create with the guitar. Can’t deny that he is an exceptional talent. I bought the CD and have it on repeat in the truck, it is a very enjoyable listen – my favourite track is ‘Hell For You’.
Dom’s debut album ‘Spain to Italy’ is for release physically on 18th October and digitally on all major platforms on 4th December.
The evening was recorded for an Ipswich Community Radio (ICR) broadcast.
This review first appeared on GrapevineLIVE