Ed Hamell has been hiding in plain sight. “I haven’t released an album in six years. But I’ve been on YouTube. I decided that I would write a song every day for a year and put it online.”
His motive was practical rather than artistic. “I was trying to stay sober,” say the songwriter, who performs punk and “anti-folk” as Hamell on Trial. “I needed a way not to be idle. This was the best method.”
Hamell, a sardonic writer compared to everyone from The Moldy Peaches to iconic stand-up Lenny Bruce, has been through a period of crisis and still bears the scars. In 2011 his wife of 23 years left him. He was devastated — too shocked to tour or record.
Read the full article @Irish Examineer.
Punk poet Ed Hamell is not your average guy with an acoustic guitar. Armed with an arsenal of wit and enough character for two people, he rattles off lyrics like a linguistic genius, altering between spoken word and singing while barely taking a breath. A self-described rock’n’roll lover, Hamell’s first album in 6 years mixes social issues with comedy, and the music goes from calm strumming to fuller melodic folk-rock, blues and funk and Ani DiFranco and Kimya Dawson even make appearances. Definitely an unusual yet instantly lovable album, this reminded me of Arlo Guthrie reinvented as Chuck Ragan. Odd yet incredible. (Tom Haugen)
Read the full article @New Noise Magazine.
Hamell on Trial – Rising From the Ashes…
Hamel on Trial is the moniker Ed Hamell took on when he ventured on to a solo career over 30 years ago. After a few stints in rock bands, the brash New Yorker found a battered 1937 Gibson acoustic guitar in a pawn shop and it spoke to him, he might tell you, literally. He bought that guitar and started writing songs.
“However, Hamel on Trial morphed into something no other songwriter has ever done before. With New York influences on his sleeve and a heavy dose of the Ramones, Hamell wrote songs which were unconventional, to say the least. He has been called just about everything under the book from “Bill Hicks, Hunter S. Thompson and Joe Strummer all rolled into one” by Philadelphia Weekly and a “one-man Tarantino flick: loud, vicious, luridly hilarious, gleefully and deeply offensive” by the Village Voice.
“Before I went solo, I was in a band and I was writing the songs and fronting the band, but it wasn’t anything like I am doing now,” Ed Hamell explained from his car while driving on tour somewhere in Pennsylvania. “That band was kind of like the Ramones meets the J. Geils Band. Or a better description would be a faster version of Gram Parker and the Rumor. Anyway, this was like 1984-1990 and we were an original band in Syracuse, NY and we were bold compared to what people were doing around there because it was all cover bands playing southern rock and prog rock covers. But what’s bold, anyway? Are the Ramones bold? Maybe. But fuck, we were danceable.
Read the full article @Innocent Words.
And so it begins! Hamell’s new album, “The Happiest Man in the World” on New West is officially released tomorrow Feb 25th. He hops in the car and tours to SXSW in Austin TX to promote. May begins two weeks in Ireland. In June he’ll hit the UK. Tour dates below!! See you at the shows! And, as always, thanks for the support!