23 May 2019

Last night: Jim Hurst and Rick Shea in Dublin

The BIB editor reports:

It's not often that one's ideas of what can be done with an instrument are shaken up, but this happened last night through going to hear Jim Hurst (USA) at the DC Music Club. As Jim had invited songwriter Rick Shea (USA) - with whom he played two double gigs earlier this week - to come along, the audience could hear two singer-guitarists, both stunning in their very different individual ways, and both with a complete command of their sound.

Rick Shea's flat-pick playing, like his singing, has a relaxed power, clarity, and fully controlled dynamics - very satisfying. As for Jim Hurst (IBMA Guitar Performer 2001, 2002) the BIB post of Monday (20 May) quoted John Nyhan: 'If you think of the guitar playing of Chet Atkins, Doc Watson, and Jerry Reed you get Jim Hurst.' If anything, this sells Jim short. His set included tunes by Atkins, Watson, and Reed, but everything that came out of him was Hurst, and that needs to be heard to be believed. I would have liked to hear him play banjo; his medley in open G tuning hinted at what an original banjo player he can be.

Tonight (Thursday 23 May) Jim will be playing at the Spirit Store, Dundalk, and subsequently at the Red Room in Cookstown, Co. Tyrone (Friday), finishing this tour at the American Bar, 65 Dock St., Belfast (Saturday).

Tonight at 8.00 p.m. Rick Shea is playing at the American Bar, Belfast, and tomorrow (Friday) night he will be back in Dublin, playing at the Vintage Room, Workman’s Club, 10 Wellington Quay, Dublin 2, from 8.00 p.m.

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