Martin Simpson

News

11 Jul 2011

Second Play Of Martin's NEW CD On Mike Harding Show, BBC Radio 2.

This week on his Wednesday night BBC Radio 2 show, Mike Harding will be playing another track from Martin's new CD, "Purpose & Grace", which is to be released on Monday 5th September. "Purpose & Grace" takes its very apposite title from the great American songwriter Yip Harburg (composer of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’, ‘Brother Can You Spare A Dime’ and ‘Only A Paper Moon’) “I am one of the last of a small tribe of troubadours who still believe that life is a beautiful and exciting journey with a purpose and grace well worth singing about.” Fittingly, the track that Mike will play will be "Brother Can You Spare A Dime?", a track featuring Martin and Dick Gaughan.

Building upon the strengths of ‘Prodigal Son and ‘True Stories’, like a movie producer, Martin conceived the whole project over a number of months and then invited some of his favourite musicians to bring their stellar talents to the recording sessions. Jon Boden, B J Cole, Dick Gaughan, Fay Hield, Will Pound, June Tabor and Richard Thompson join Martin’s regular band – Andy Cutting, Andy Seward and Keith Angel – on an exemplary series of performances. The material shifts from Anglo-American ballads, Scots and English traditional songs to new compositions from Bruce Springsteen, Richard Thompson, the aforementioned Yip Harburg and Martin Simpson.

Sadly, the great Mike Waterson, one of the finest singers of the folk revival died on June 22nd. Martin had composed a tune in honour of Mike and his banjo – "Sometime in the early 1970s I visited Hull to see the Watersons at their home, and I was greatly taken by an old fretless banjo they had – I coveted it a great deal actually! Almost 35 years later I did a gig with Mike, Martin Carthy and Chris Parkinson at Skipton Cattle Market. I asked Mike about the banjo, which he informed me was languishing in his shed. He told me I could have it if I got it fixed up. My friend Barry Murphy has painstakingly restored it to playing condition, straightening the warped neck, making new friction pegs and replacing the old split head. The first time I played it I started to write the tune for Mike - Don’t Leave Your Banjo In The Shed Mr Waterson."

You can find a full track listing at www.topicrecords.co.uk/?cat=80 and Topic Records will be adding further details of the album, including exclusive video material to their site over the next few weeks also.

“I am a big fan of Martin’s playing. Perhaps the highest praise I could give is to say that he never stops getting better!” Richard Thompson

Out now

Murmurs Deluxe Edition (Simpson Cutting Kerr)
Murmurs Deluxe Edition (Simpson Cutting Kerr)
CD, 2015

More info
Vagrant Stanzas
Vagrant Stanzas
CD, 2013

More info
Purpose & Grace
Purpose & Grace
CD, 2011

More info

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