On Saturday night the Brecon Tap was treated to a very enjoyable and entertaining evening with Bwlch’s finest: Mike and Dave Harries – collectively known as The Hillbillies, together with Brecon’s own Mark Duggan on percussion.
It was a welcome treat to see them perform a full-length set of both classic and self-penned songs spanning a wide range of musical styles. From the outset, they established their characteristic mix of slide resonator and tenor guitars, combined with effective harmony singing, to create a mellow blend of blues and folk-tinged Americana.
They play with an authenticity and an unaffected modesty that is immediately engaging and immensely likeable. Mark’s expert and delicate drumming blended perfectly with the overall sound – never dominating, but providing just the right degree of extra drive to get the audience up on their feet and dancing.
As they worked their way through their eclectic repertoire, some memorable moments included their accomplished treatment of songs by J.J. Cale, Steve Earle, Little Feat and Richard Thompson – plus their own self-penned songs, entertainingly inspired by a seemingly inexhaustible supply of misbehaving ex-politicians and ex-wives. A special mention goes to their rendition of ‘How can a poor man stand such times and live?‘ in which the overall sound and the poignancy of the lyrics came together perfectly.
The audience had a great time, and we look forward to hearing more from them soon.
Special thanks to Will at the Brecon Tap for hosting the event – and for keeping everyone well supplied with fine ales.
Photos by Barry Hill
Review by Jim Kerslake