Language always works with categorisations; good music, on the other hand, resonates freely beyond all concepts. This is what also makes it so difficult to talk about Michel Haumont's guitar-playing artistry. This Frenchman's foundation is formed by completely laid-back finger-picking in the American tradition of Chet Atkins, for example. When his one-man orchestra on six strings gets going, a relaxed and yet crystal-clear tone immediately transforms even the smallest run into a summer breeze. Magical melodies, from the "Louisiana Rag" and "Country Waltz" to "Rendez-vous à Paris", simply appear to flow out of this man's fingers; stunning facility is always seasoned with just a trace of melancholy.
One doesn't have to be a guitar specialist to enjoy the easy-going polyphony of a samba like "Singapore Sling". Nor does one have to be a folk fan to fall for Haumont's consistent limitation to a single acoustic guitar. No, for the same thing applies to him as to the Beatles: if one is oneself just a little bit alive, it will be possible to sense the wonderful vitality of these sounds. And if the listener sometimes imagines himself/herself on a veranda in rural Tennessee or strolling through the historic section of a European town, then only one category applies to Haumont's music: irresistible.
No, Michel Haumont is not an innovator of the acoustic guitar. But he cultivates and maintains the heritage of Chet Atkins, Marcel Dadi and other great American and French soloists on six strings with incomparable charm and style. Ragtime and swing, folk, the waltz and a touch of European melancholy flow out of the hands of this uniquely melodious musician so easily that his new album automatically makes one think of the Beatles. For the same is true of his music as for theirs: whoever is a little bit alive will feel that it is profoundly vital.