You can't talk about Hamlin for long before you have to say something about her harmonica playing. One of the T-shirts she sells at her concerts has a simple question printed on it, "Got harp?" Onstage Hamlin answers that unequivocally. The lady's got harp. She can play country blues style in a rack, adding another soulful voice to her own while accompanying both on her guitar, and she can squeeze a hand-held harp right up against a microphone and get that just-distorted-enough raw Chicago blues sound.
Another of Hamlin's T-shirts features a picture of a nightstand and the words "one night stand." Though she'll be at the Ark for only one night this month Friday, May 2 it's unlikely this will be a one-night stand between her and her first-time or longtime fans. More likely, it will be another rendezvous in an ongoing love affair.
[Review published May 2008]