Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles


TSCD584Guitar virtuoso MARTIN SIMPSON returns with a fabulous new album. “Purpose + Grace, is in many ways the epiphany of his career. Martin has never chosen the shortest root to stardom but the choices he has made along the way have made him the exceptional talent that he is today.” ★★★★★ Folk Radio UK

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.”

The album marks a bold and confident step for Simpson. Building upon the strengths of Prodigal Son and True Stories, like a movie producer, he 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.

“It’s simply a great album from start to finish – wonderful tune, superb musicianship, star guests and a unity of purpose about delivering a fitting tribute to the music he loves that raises the album to such a high level.” ★★★★1/2 The Telegraph

“Martin Simpson has been a guitar hero, accompanist, folk singer and songwriter – and there are reminders of all these in what is surely his most commercial recording to date. It’s notable not just for his guitar and banjo playing and thoughtful vocals, but for the special guests who are often invited to sing lead vocals.★★★★ The Guardian

“Nothing rushed, nothing overdone, yet the playing remains astonishing.” ★★★★ Guitarist

“One of our finest traditional musicians, Simpson’s latest album offers a roving overview of his talents.” ★★★★ UNCUT

“The breadth of this album makes it a joy to listen to, I’d be very hard pushed to choose a favourite but there is no doubt in my mind that it is a five star classic album!” Folk Radio UK

“It may well be the best album Simpson has made in his entire career.” Newcastle Chronicle

“An album of great love and joy, Purpose + Grace confirms that Simpson remains at the top of his game.” Colin Irwin / BBC Music online

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Twenty one years ago June Tabor and Oysterband collaborated on the classic Freedom And Rain album – frequently regarded as one of the Top 5 Folk albums of all time.

Over the intervening years they have occasionally performed together at gigs and in 2010 were invited to reunite for fRoots’ 30th birthday party at the Roundhouse. They all came off-stage determined to make a belated follow-up. The magnificent Ragged Kingdom arguably surpasses the earlier recording.

“There’s enough emotional power here to fuel a circuit of the sun. The reunion of Oysterband and Tabor has created a masterpiece.” ★★★★★ Songlines

“Striking gold by fusing the contemporary and traditional is at the heart of the folk process. Ragged Kingdom raises the alchemy of that process to the highest level.” The Independent

“This was worth waiting for.” ★★★★★ The Guardian

“Glorious.” ★★★★★ MOJO

“Oysterband provide tough textures and lyrical twists, while June Tabor could sing the washing instructions on a duvet and make it sound as profound as the Gettysburg Address.” The Word

“…one reunion that works so magnificently, it even overshadows the magical memories of their previous collaboration…” fRoots

Bonny Bunch Of Roses : JUNE TABOR & OYSTERBAND by Topic Records

track list:
1     Bonny Bunch Of Roses
2     That Was My Veil
3     Son David
4     Love Will Tear Us Apart
5     (When I Was No But) Sweet Sixteen
6     Judas (Was A Red-Headed Man)
7     If My Love Loves Me
8     The Hills Of Shiloh
9     Fountains Flowing
10    The Leaves Of Life
11    Seven Curses
12    The Dark End Of The Street

June Tabor voice
John Jones voice, melodeon
Ray Cooper cello, mandolin, bass guitar, harmonium, voice
Dil Davies drums
Alan Prosser guitars, kantele, fiddle, voice
Ian Telfer fiddle
Al Scott bass guitar, mandola

Further information can be found at:

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