S&H (stands for Samm and Hiroshi) is the duo of Samm Bennett and Hiroshi Habu. Not only are they musical soul mates, but it so happens that they are neighbors, living just a stone's throw from each other, in the Negishi area of downtown Shitamachi, Tokyo.
S&H is a relatively new band: they've only been working together for a few months.Their musical communication is so fluid and effortless, however, that it feels like these are musicians who've worked with each other for years! Their sense of groove and dynamics and their basic musical personalities are very complimentary. S&H's musical energy and synergy are palpable: their joy in creating music together is something their audiences feel from the outset.
Their material consists of Samm's original songs (and the occasional cover), which lean toward a bluesy or folky character. Samm's stark and simple strumstick accompaniment is a bit reminiscent of old time southern Appalachian music and early blues. The strumstick (a three-stringed instrument adapted from the Appalachian "mountain dulcimer" and sounding like a cross between banjo and guitar) and Hiroshi's simple percussion (a floor-tom that he's outfitted with calfskin heads and some extra percussive items) balance each other perfectly, providing a transparent, compelling musical fabric on which Samm's songs soar and glide.
Samm's lyrics run the gamut of humorous ditties, serious and introspective explorations, story songs featuring all sorts of characters, countrified surrealist wordplay and more.
S&H's musical appeal is broad: lovers of country music, blues, folk and related styles will latch onto their sound and delivery, for sure, and others who go for singer/songwriters like Tom Waits, Randy Newman, Richard Thompson and such like will find enjoyment in Samm's lyrics. The extra punch provided by Hiroshi's solid drum work will be appreciated by lovers of African music and related styles. A little something for almost everyone, then, in the simple but powerful music these two musicians have to offer.
S&H's simple, stripped-down sound and relaxed feel make for a very tactile and intimate musical experience that is refreshing in its sonic transparency and immediacy.
Studio recording of It Would Be Love,