Glen Hansard - When in Paris
It has become a bit of tradition that when Glen Hansard makes his way to Paris, the excellent French webzine, Le Cargo reaches out for an exclusive taste of his genius. Not one for overt pre-show promotion, Hansard tends to save his voice and energy for the evenings performance, but after several such visits over the years from the gracious folks at Le Cargo, Hansard knows the requested pre-show performance will involve only one mic, one take, in an all-acoustic format he and his band just so happen to excel in.
The first such Le Cargo performance takes place in 2015 before his show at La Cigale. The song My Little Ruin is from Hansard’s “Didn’t He Ramble” album (arguably one of Hansard’s greatest). The guitar he’s playing, a 2011 Takamine EAN70 (cousin to current P3MC) was gifted to Glen by Takamine before his 2012 show in Atlanta, and judging from the hole he managed to wear in the top in only 3 years, the cedar-top satin-finish OM is clearly one of Glen’s favorites. The guitar’s beautiful top-to-bottom balance and crystal mid-range bell-tones captured in this performance are typical of Takamine’s Pro Series 3 and clearly demonstrate why they are a favorite of players worldwide.
The second acoustic performance as per Le Cargo took place this past January before his engagement at the beautiful Casino de Paris and features Glen’s powerful Grace Beneath the Pines also from “Didn’t He Ramble”. Written and performed pre-pandemic, Hansard manages to speak to the day all the same. And while the Takamine OM Glen plays in “Grace Beneath the Pines” might appear different than the one featured in his “My Little Ruin” performance 5 years later, it is in fact the same guitar, customized with an after-market pickguard (by Glen) in an attempt to arrest the kind of alternate sound hole erosion Hansard has been known to bestow upon his favorite acoustics (see Horse).
“Horse” was of course the now famous, well-worn Takamine NP15 (now P3D) that Glen acquired at a Dublin music shop 30 years ago and played exclusively until granting it a well-deserved retirement 2 years ago.
So enjoy these acoustic Paris performances, treat yourself to Glen’s latest This Wild Willing and keep an eye out for any opportunity to indulge in the great Glen Hansard.