On The Up

Aussie blues-rock man hur­ries up and waits

Total Guitar - - CONTENTS -

i’ve never been in­ter­ested in be­ing a tech­ni­cally good gui­tarist – or in speed...

There’s a trend among young blues­men, much like the peren­nial boy racer, to play gui­tar with go-faster stripes, soup­ing up knack­ered licks with frip­pery and cold pace. LA-based, Aus­tralian-born song­writer Hamish An­der­son is a very dif­fer­ent propo­si­tion. He favours the slow burn.

“[It’s] sim­plic­ity,” Hamish tells TG. “I’ve never been in­ter­ested in be­ing a tech­ni­cally good gui­tarist – or in speed for that mat­ter. For me, I’m more at­tracted to feel and sim­plic­ity, so that’s the type of gui­tar player that I strive to be.” This ap­proach per­vades ev­ery as­pect of Hamish’s process. Part Tom Petty, part JJ Cale, his deftly-con­structed 2017 de­but al­bum Trou­ble led to him tour­ing the US along­side Vin­tage Trou­ble and Kenny Wayne Shep­herd last year. But it’s his grav­elly gui­tar work – un­dress-y, louche and no­tice­ably slower play­ing than his peers – that truly sets him apart. Lyri­cal and soul­ful in a way that few man­age, it would be tempt­ing to dub Hamish ‘wise be­yond his years’, but that – along with be­ing hor­ri­bly pa­tro­n­is­ing – sug­gests an ear that’s gifted rather than honed. Trust us: sound­ing this re­laxed in the dig­i­tal age takes a lot of work.

“I write on a type­writer when I can,” ex­pands Hamish. “Be­cause you re­ally have to com­mit to what you write and you can elim­i­nate dis­trac­tions. I use my phone to get ideas down quickly as they come and record voice memos; when it comes to lyric writ­ing I find too of­ten that I’ll get dis­tracted by a mes­sage or I’ll open up so­cial me­dia and get lost. When writ­ing on a type­writer you can be to­tally in your zone.”

He’ll need that fo­cus: 2018 is al­ready shap­ing up to be a big year, with sec­ond-al­bum ses­sions and a trip to Europe on the cards. “The goal is to per­form in the UK in 2018,” re­veals Hamish. Let’s just hope that this is one thing he does quickly.

FOR FANS OF Jonathan Wil­son Gear ’52 Tele­caster Reis­sue, Twin Re­verb

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