Heather Innes and Phil Hare

Phil & Heather crossed musical paths as solo performers in the UK folk scene in the early nineties and re connected, as so many of us have, on Facebook in the following century.

When Heather decided to record her  solo album Here Comes The Day at Red Barn Studios in rural Scotland, Phil rehearsed, arranged and recorded solo guitar backing for three of the tracks in between his own gigs in Scotland in September 2016. November 2016 saw their debut ‘live’ performance at Bedworth Folk Festival with Phil providing virtuoso guitar backing to Heather’s songs.

Phil’s powerful solo gigs and singing style are very different to Heather’s more gentle, celtic approach and their solo gigs reflect this. Together as a duo they create a unique and mesmerising set of Celtic style songs and tunes showcasing both vocals, Phil’s guitar and Heather’s sensitive bodhran style.

Excerpts from a review of Heather’s CD Here Comes The Day by John O’Regan (Garryowen, Limerick, Ireland)

“Heather Innes for the uninitiated is a Scottish folk singer whose life has absorbed periods living in Africa, Australia and Northern Ireland as well as a long period in Scotland. She has toured widely whether solo or in the groups Dulaman and more recently Caim, a trio in which she still works, but her solo recordings cast her as an individualistic singer with a wide and varied repertoire and a clear, distinctive voice.
“Her latest album Here Comes the Day is a long time in gestation and is the work of two decades of singing and compiling suitable material. While preferring the title of an unaccompanied singer she is able to work within a group context and that of a duo. Thus her versatility expands to handling songs as diverse as traditional ballads, contemporary songs from the pens of Ben Sands, Andy M.Stewart, Kieran Goss and others as well as her own material…
“…The most obvious thing is no matter how eclectic the songbag the uniting factor is Heather’s powerful yet gentle vocals that add fresh lustre to old texts and make new ones sound familiar and resound like old favourites.”

Phil – excerpts from gig reviews:

” Music speaks where mere words cannot, and guitar virtuosity doesn’t come much better than this ….there is literally no style – or guitar tuning, that Phil Hare is not master of…
.”…As well as being among the top acoustic guitarists in UK he is also the writer of some deeply moving songs. He is a tremendous creative force… You realise that you are in the presence of not only an astounding musical talent, but also formidable.”
Martin Gallimore, Owd Boots Folk Club

“Phil Hare is a caring, funny, passionate man and a gifted musician. As a guitarist, he comes from a special tier….He does stuff that at times borders on the magical. With one guitar only, and coaxing it in and out of different tunings as he goes. He weaves in harmonics as a standard part of his technique. He is the guitarists’ guitarist…
“…. Phil Hare also has a fine voice. Deep and resonant, note perfect and with fine pitch. All this adds a power and a presence to his performance. He works hard on his material and he works hard on his performance. Not a moment of his act is wasted,and he drips sweat by the end of it. A first class technician, a master of his craft…”
Geoff Veasey

Duo photos: John B Smith