The Hidden Hand Review: Genius Babble

Pete Kent – The Hidden Hand – Album Review

Genius Babble: Sunday, April 24, 2016

Written By Tom Coombs

There is nothing more beautiful to behold than a perfectly played guitar.  I am not talking rock chords here, I am talking classical or the way the guitar should be played.  With this in mind I would like to introduce you to Pete Kent and his second album ‘The Hidden Hand’.

Pete Kent from Wolverhampton is a finger-style instrumentalist who is at the top of his game and is the ultimate in one man musical genius and skill.  It seems that I am gushing but just wait until you hear the music, doing all percussion himself along with the guitar in what are amazing compositions.

Following on from début album ‘The Sands of Time’ Pete Kent is bringing you more of the same energy that you wouldn't expect from an instrument only eleven track album.  Most of the songs are his own but he also has three covers, consisting of ‘everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac, ‘The Way It Is’ by Bruce Hornsby & The Range and Level 42’s ‘Hot Water’ which really shows the mix of music within Pete Kent’s repertoire.

There is something relaxing but energetic with the sounds of an acoustic guitar only, and the riffs from top to bottom just keep you glued.

From the upbeat songs like ‘Icon’ to the soulful slow songs like ‘When The Lights Go Down’ the sound is mesmerising and beautiful to hear.

5 Stars – Once you hear the skill and energy in the music you will have to own it

Review Sourced From:

Interview With Pete Kent: ClunkMag

Music | Interview | Pete Kent

ClunkMag: March 20th 2016

Written By Kieran Webber

I want to start by saying thanks for taking the time to do this Q&A! How are things and what have you been up to? 

It’s a pleasure thanks for asking me. Things are great, I’m very busy with the album release and I’ve been filming some new videos this week, between teaching and gigs. It’s all great fun.

For those who haven’t heard of you how would you explain your music to them? 

I play a style of guitar called fingerstyle. It’s basically multi tasking on one instrument. I play bass lines and percussion with my thumb whilst picking the rhythm and vocal melody with my fingers. I write my own songs and also play covers from many genres.

When was it you started to play music? 

I began playing the guitar when I was about 9 or 10.

Was the guitar the first instrument you learnt? 

My mother played piano when I was a child so that was the first instrument I played. I stopped playing piano after a few months though as I discovered the guitar!!!

What is being a musician to you ?

I feel very lucky to be a musician. The feeling of writing a good piece of music and seeing people enjoy what I play live is a buzz like no other.

Your latest release ‘The Hidden Hand’ what can listeners expect from it? 

I’m very excited about the new record. I’ve tried to mix the dynamics more on this album,there are uptempo in your face fast technical pieces, some old classic covers and also some emotional ballads. The title track has dance music, metal and classical influences.

Is there any particular influence behind ‘The Hidden Hand’ ? 

I have many influences but I don’t have one particular style that I regularly listen too. I like well written melodic pop songs but I listen to anything from Hip hop to Heavy metal so I guess there’s probably a bit of everything in my writing.

What artists or people influenced you start making music ? 

I grew up listening to heavy rock bands mainly, at this point I started copying guitarists like Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Jimmy Page etc. Later on I discovered acoustic players like Andy McKee, Tommy Emmanuel and Chet Atkins, it was these players that inspired me to improve and write my own music as a solo performer.

When writing new material how do you go about it do you let the music flow through you or is it something that is rigorous ? 

When I write I usually don’t intend to do so. Ideas usually come when I’m practising and if I come across something that touches me then I go with it. My best songs and ideas usually come all at once so I record myself playing and pick the best bits when I listen back. When I choose cover versions I usually pick songs that I like and will work in the fingerstyle method. I’ve had a lot of interest in my last video, a cover of “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby. It was shared by Acoustic Guitar Magazine in USA and has opened a lot of doors for me. I now get requests from all over the world for new arrangements of covers. It’s a lovely feeling that I’m getting a lot of recognition as I’ve only been a professional player for 18 months.

Lastly, what can we expect from you in 2016?

I’m hoping to gig as much as possible and am hoping to get over to play some dates in USA later in the year.

Interview Sourced From:

The Hidden Hand Review: Watdonline


Watdonline: June 2016

Written by Bobby Scaife

The last few years have seen a boom in fingerpicking style guitarists wowing audiences all over the country, however in the instrumental market it’s easy to grow desensitised by the amount of unbelievable talent available. Nevertheless, the one man band community has just received a serious shot in the arm with the arrival of Pete Kent’s second album, ‘The Hidden Hand’.

The Wolverhampton hero wows from the off with gorgeous introduction ‘Icon’, which follows a lovely fast paced motif that leaves the listener uncontrollably following every movement until little off the cuff guitar runs eliciting – well this writer at least, massive grins all round.

The album as a whole darts between apace and slow moving, leaving the listener guessing. Tracks one through to four for example, sees Kent change from unbelievably quick guitar work, to a slower, more grooving offering; then to the quick Gaelic-influenced title track, and then back to a more gentle feel.

The audience is then treated to a great cover of the famous Level 42 song ‘Hot Water’. Level 42’s Mark King is an advocate of Kent and it’s easy to see why. The iconic track is given a great reimagining, featuring fantastic movement between playing styles, and terrific use of harmonics.

Any criticism of the album is perhaps unfair to Kent himself. It’s easy to say that some of these songs sound like something is missing due to the nature of the instrumental genre. ‘When the Lights Go Down’ sees Kent employ delicate arpeggios reminiscent of the late Jeff Buckley, and its all too easy to picture an equally delicate voice singing over the top to possibly give tracks such as this all that they deserve.

However Pete Kent is obviously content being the show stopping one man band - rather than play the Marr to someone else’s Morrissey he has crafted his own dynamic place within the one-man-band field, and that’s perfectly okay with us at Wolf at the Door; I mean, you only have to listen to the opening few seconds of the epic closer, ‘One Trick Pony’ to see why. Whereas the one man band used to be seen as amongst the loneliest of musical directions, Pete Kent shows just how fun it can be.


Review sourced from:

The Sands Of Time Review: ELO Beatles Forever

REVIEW: SANDS OF TIME [Pete Kent]pete kent sands of time FRIDAY, 18 JULY 2014


Hello ... Hello ... my old friends ... It's great to see you once again! Regular visitors to ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] will know that it is a great pleasure of mine to also occasionally introduce and recommend talented local artistes to you too. One of the plus points of last week's Brewood Music Festival was to witness an astounding exhibition of fingerstyle guitar craft by Wolverhampton's very own Pete Kent in support of The Trevor Burton Band. His performance was so good that I got hold of a copy of Pete's debut album "Sands Of Time" [Revolver Music #REVXD2016] for a listen.
If you are also a fan of Mike Oldfield, Gordon Giltrap and/or Lindsey Buckingham, then this eleven track release may well appeal to you. With two unique covers of Level 42's "Something About You" and The Police's "Roxanne" nestled in amongst nine of Pete's own compositions, this is an excellent showcase with the title track, "Postman's Knock", "Soul Mates", "Slipstream" and "The Spiral"particularly impressing. "Believe Me Now" ... It's a great record to listen to with the headphones on and it's a great record to have as a companion in your car too! [8/10]

The Hidden Hand Review: Minor 7th

Pete Kent, "The Hidden Hand," 2016

Minor 7th: May/June 2016.

Written By Kirk Albrecht

pete kent hidden handIt's ironic that the last cut on Pete Kent's second solo acoustic guitar CD is titled "One Trick Pony," because as a guitarist, he's not that! Kent shows off about every trick in the modern fingerstyle arsenal – tapping, slapping, harmonics, percussive effects, slides, bends, and straight finger picking – all to good effect on the 11 tunes on "The Hidden Hand." He is deft when needed, simple in the best sort of way by not trying to do more with a phrase than the music requires. But Kent can play, as evidenced by the opening cut, "Icon," as he slaps and picks, mixing in a few ripping arpeggios to make sure you're not lulled by the grooving rhythm.

The CD has eight originals and three covers: a terrific version of Bruce Hornsby's hit "The Way It Is" that captures the drive of the original; "Everywhere" by Fleetwood Mac, where we can almost hear the melody sung by Christine McVie; and Level 42's "Hot Water" played with sass and funk. "Every Time I See Your Face" is a delicate flower. The title cut "The Hidden Hand" begins with a Spanish-style repetition with reverb, then shifts into another gear of single note runs while retaining an Andalusian feel. "Summer Daze" has a sing-song quality as the bass and melody tick-tock back and forth like a rocker on the front porch in the cool evening air. Maybe it's the title, but "The Devil's Chair" has a certain drive and power all its own in a haunting kind of way as bass plays off harmonics through much of the song. There's not a weak song on the CD. British audiences are being treated to some fine playing when Kent takes the stage, and we can only hope for more offerings as creative and well played as "The Hidden Hand."

© Kirk Albrecht

Review Sourced From:

The Hidden Hand Review: Fatea

The Hidden Hand Date unknown

Written By: John KnightonPete kent colour pop close up

A road trip to Glasgow with my two twenty-something lads was a good chance to see if they shared my taste in acoustic music. And Pete Kent's album of instrumentals might have been a step too far but I needn't have worried. Eleven tracks featuring eight originals and three intriguing covers makes for an interesting collection of tunes. From the first bars of the opening track Icon, they were full of appreciation.

His debut album, Sands Of Time, was released in 2013 and The Hidden Hand follows a similar path. There are three covers - Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac, The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby and Hot Water by Level 42.

The entire album showcases this Wolverhampton-based guitarist's immense talent. There is a whole rage of different techniques to appreciate. The sublime finger-picking is there for all to hear, sometimes accompanied with some rhythmic percussion. And while an entire album of guitar instrumentals may not be everyone's cup of tea, there is enough light and shade to keep most people happy. The hi-tempo opener is followed by a slower, slap-happy Every Time I See Your Face, a throbbing bass line holding it all together very nicely.

The title track is another up-tempo whirlwind of a tune - with mesmerising single string runs. I can see why Level 42's Hot Water is a favourite of Pete's - with it's superb bass lines - this is a superb version, full of fretboard gymnastics. Excellent. After the fireworks of Hot Water we are brought down to earth with the lilting When The Light Go Down, a reflective piece that soothes the soul.

Fleetwood Mac's Everywhere is superbly carried off - sometimes it hard to imagine there's just one player here. Lovely. The Devil's Chair heralds more string-sapping runs, Skyline is more thoughtful but nevertheless intricate. The Way It Is is another excellent example of Pete's skills, slapping away while the guitar gently weeps. Superb stuff.The final track, One Trick Pony, is the shortest on the album but it is a cracker to finish with. Fireworks indeed.

If you appreciate consummate musicianship then this one album you should listen to.


Review sourced from:


54-40 Smilin' Buddha Cabaret

Smilin’ Buddha Cabaret Review: Eye Music Magazine – Revolver Records


Eye Music Magazine April 28 1994

Written By Jason Anderson

Blame Your Parents is probably the finest dumb rock song not by the Amboy Dukes to include the phrases "existential vacuum" and "super-ego suckling genocide." Quite an achievement, really, especially as the first song on a band's sixth album. By album No. 6 the options are usually limited to a double-live album or something involving CD-interactive technology and pornography. 54-40 have never been that predictable.

Maybe the only surviving outfit from Vancouver's post-punk days (most bands were hunted down for food by enraged West Vancouverites), at their best they matched punk energy with intelligence, loud guitars and just enough "whoa-whoa" lyrics to fill hockey arenas. Travelling the usually troubled route through the Canadian music industry, by 1990 they were in major-label limbo, having produced a few great albums (Set The Fire, 54-40, Show Me) and one not-so-great (Fight For Love). 1992's Dear Dear, a solid, high-quality Canadian Rawk Album, put them back in the game with "Nice To Luv You," "She La" and a vaguely prog-rock, Old Skool AOR vibe. But it's successor is something else- Smilin' Buddha Cabaret is pure looney toons.

Not to say that they've lacked a sense of humour until now (although on their recorded works, you could). But the weight of the world has slipped off Neil Osborne's shoulders, the occasionally beleaguered metaphors put in storage and he and his boys are ready to kick some ass, Sherlock.

From the right-side-of-sloppy "Blame Your Parents," to the pissed-off-at-something "Assoholic," to the crunchy extravaganze of "Lucy," "Beyond The Outsider" and "Don't Listen To That" (making Smilin' Buddha Cabaret the first rock album I've heard this year that doesn't die in the middle), the blessed sound of crashing guitars dominates, the band tight as a duck's butt (bear with me). Smart and stupid, they've never sounded this much fun, this eager to "help you breeze through the blank generation and the moral whores." All the while, crazed production, fucked-up vocals, even mock-techno keep up the pivotal entertainment value.

But by the time of the funny-sweet-sad "Friends End," nothing will have prepared you for Smilin' Buddha's deranged "What Buddy Was" and it's cunning use of the kind of groove made famous by white British guys in rock bands circa 1983- OK, so maybe they're not Ween, but as experiments go, it works, with Osborne's voice going all weird and the guitars squealing like stuck pigs. It encapsulates the album's spontaneity- from a band that has occasionally vacationed in the Land of Plod, this is the stuff of divine intervention. Next to this, the closer, "Save Yourself," seems suitably heroic.

54-40 were a band I thought I'd figured out, but Smilin' Buddha Cabaret opens a whole new bag of tricks. Enjoy.

Find out more about the album.

Bruce Cockburn If A Tree Falls

If A Tree Falls/If I Had A Rocket Launcher

If A Tree Falls/If I Had A Rocket Launcher

Bruce Cockburn If A Tree Falls



This double A single from the Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn from the album Big Circumstance, not only is a scathing piece of commentary on Vietnam, but also a comment on climate change. Each track has it’s own individual feel, reflecting the lyrical content of the track. This shows Cockburn at his lyrical best, giving credo to his reputation as one of Canada’s best politically charged singer songwriters.

For fans of: Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg, Frank Turner

Track Listing:FM Revolver Logo

  1. If A Tree Falls
  2. If I Had A Rocket Launcher


Bruce Cockburn Dancing In The Dragon's Jaws

Dancing In The Dragon’s Jaws (1979)

Dancing In The Dragon's Jaws

Bruce Cockburn Dancing In The Dragon's JawsREV127


A somewhat folksier affair than some of Cockburn’s other efforts, Dancing In The Dragon’s Jaws shows Cockburn’s softer side. Expect acoustic guitars to outplay their electric counterparts on this effort, with the overall feel warmer and less combative than his other work. That’s not to say that Cockburn isn’t still as politically charged as ever. With this effort he continues to rally against the wrongs of the world, just this time, he’s staging a more peaceful protest. A perfect album for a relaxing summer’s evening.

For fans of: Bob Dylan, Billy Bragg, Frank Turner

Track Listing:Revolver (classic logo) - TEXT ONLY (large)

  1. Creation Dream
  2. Hills Of Morning
  3. Badlands Flashback
  4. Northern Lights
  5. After The Rain
  6. Wondering Where The Lions Are
  7. Incandescent Blue
  8. No Footprints