Photo : Halven © Laurent Guizard
New Work
Halven • Goulven Hamel
Intimate and acoustic country folk
For all ages
Goulven Hamel has already featured at Les Tombées de la Nuit with Santa Cruz (in 2009 and 2011) and his acoustic duo, Rockoko (2014). He has also played with Philippe Pascal’s Blue Train Choir, Miossec, Bruno Green and Les Nus before joining The Celtic Social Club. He is therefore much better known as a talented six-string player than as a singer-songwriter. Nevertheless, he’s back with this solo project, Halven, and a début album that pays tribute to country music and North-American folk culture. Alone on stage, he’ll be playing acoustic versions of songs that sound like genre-defining classics.

In April 2021, while working on daily recordings during the second lockdown, he took a chance on a daring stylistic choice – writing and recording his own country songs. Working quickly, he came up with twelve original “home-made” songs on his 8-track, featuring multiple string instruments (guitars, mandolin, base, banjo), piano and voice, to which he added drums (Manu Masko, Gaël Desbois) and a few trumpets (Mickaël Plihon). To protect this fragile balance, nothing was changed from these original recordings, mixed by Éric Orthuon, who produced this strange make-shift stay-at-home record.

There are whispers of influential figures, such as Hank Williams and Gram Parsons, along with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Lennon and McCartney, because he just can’t get away from these influences. The album is therefore boundary-breaking and on the fringes, more folk-rock than strictly in line with country tradition. Despite this, he is proud to call himself Country Code because the spirit of country is well and truly present in his guitar licks, harmonic creations and dogged songwriting. This bright and sunny record is filled with songs that sound like they have been around for years, and a whispering voice in a sort of old-school classism and elegance that it is impossible to manufacture.



Hamel was born in Paris in 1970 and grew up in central Britanny with a guitar in his hands, surrounded by rock music. He played in many bands before settling in Rennes with the Twin Bees, Bruno Green and Santa Cruz, and then in Montreuil with the duos Rockoko and Holy Dust (with Gilles Riot). He played with Philippe Pascal for ten years in the Blue Train Choir and then toured with Miossec before joining Les Nus for two albums when they reformed, and then The Celtic Social Club in 2015. He then formed The Wooden Faces in Newcastle with Irishman Dan Donnelly in 2020 (album: Flying The Wrong Way). Goulven Hamel is also a performer and composer for artistic concerts and dance performances (with Rémy Courgeon and Tony Durand). He plays the six-string and twelve-string acoustic and electric guitar, the mandolin, the banjo and the Irish bouzouki. He lives in Nantes, where he also works as a journalist, a teen novel writer (Backstage series and Verlaine Brown) and speaks in schools and at conferences on the history of amplified music.


Goulven Hamel (guitare, looper, chant)

Friday 08 July 2022
18:00 > 19:00
Cloître de L’Église Saint-Mélaine, Rennes


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