Martin Simpson

Thu 25 Apr 2013 | 7:45pm | £15.50

Nominated for Best Album (Purpose and Grace), Musician of the Year and Best Traditional Track (Lakes of Ponchartrain) at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012.

Martin has been nominated an astounding 29 times in the eleven years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – more than any other performer – with 11 consecutive years as nominee for Musician of The Year, which he has won twice.

His 2007 release, Prodigal Son was nominated for 5 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and won Album of the Year, and Best Original song for the deeply moving Never Any Good. At the end of 2008, Simpson returned to the States for the first time in 5 years for a triumphant series of gigs. Having lived and worked in the US for 14 years he is regarded there as a guitar legend, and an enormously influential musician.

2009 saw the release of a new CD, True Stories. The music ranges from solo guitar instrumentals and songs to full band arrangements featuring some of the finest musicians anywhere. The influences are eclectic, Northumbrian dance tunes, Anglo Scots ballads, old timey and blues songs, New Orleans jazz and Rand B and more.

The sounds are highly distinctive, led by Simpson’s guitars, banjola and banjo, it moves from solo slide to flat out grooves via nursery rhymes and tragic dark ballads. Simpson’s own songs are beautifully written and at times most unusual in form, telling true stories and dealing with themes of love, loss, home and much more.

Martin released his new album Purpose and Grace in early September 2011 on Topic Records to much critical acclaim.

‘One of the virtuoso instrumentalists of the English music scene… Sounds better than ever’ * * * *

‘Simpson has become a fine interpreter of traditional and other songs, as well as a notable writer of his own.’ THE TIMES

‘Simpson’s latest is a potent blend of the highest calibre…Simpson has never sung or played better.’ ACOUSTIC MAGAZINE



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