Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

MARTIN SIMPSON ~ KIND LETTERS TSCD553

Martin Simpson says of this release, echoing the words of the writer Kazuo Ishiguo, “Traditional music is a treasure chest waiting to be opened”, and he was never more aware of the beauty and the value of the contents of that hoard than in the process of making this recording. Kind Letters is a kind of follow-up to the his award-winning 2001 release The Bramble Briar (TSCD513) in that he has chosen songs largely from the English repertoire – some of which have been with him for as long as he can remember.
Martin’s unequalled talents on guitar, banjo and vocals are joined by a host of outstanding musical accompanists including Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Chris Parkinson and members of the celebrated Irish group, Danu.

• Top 10 Folk/World Album of the Year 2005 Record Collector
“Simpson is one of the UK’s finest folk musicians, and his unique gift is to bring to bear the kind of fluid forward motion usually associated with American acoustic music on the more strident shapes of British traditional song. Kind Letters is full of spectacular moments.★★★★ Sunday Times
“Although it’s his guitar virtuosity that’s frequently lauded, it’s as an interpreter of song that Martin Simpson really scores. Simpson delivers narratives with colour and conviction. Fittingly be-gonged several times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Martin Simpson is taking his place, not just as a hero for guitar-besotted acolytes but as one of the national treasures of English traditional music.” BBC Radio 2 Folk & Acoustic Reviews
“He (Martin) has surely scarcely been in such a rich vein of form as he is now. The last couple of albums were both special…but with Danu – as well as Chris Parkinson, James Fagan and Nancy Kerr – co-opted as a backing band, this takes it somewhere else again. It’s a tender, emotional, profoundly moving album that portrays the immense reach of traditional balladry.” fROOTS

1  The Cruel Brother
2  Love Henry
3  Bareback to Bullhassocks
4  Here’s Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy
5  Adieu, Adieu
6  Creeping Jane
7  The Flying Cloud
8  House Carpenter
9  A Blacksmith Courted Me
10  When First I Came To Caledonia
11  Peggy & The Soldier
12  Clerk Sanders

Martin Simpson acoustic & electric guitars, 5 string banjo & vocals
with
Dónal Clancy guitars
Éamon Doorley bouzouki
Tom Doorley flute
James Fagan bouzouki
Donnchadh Gough uillean pipes & bodhrán
Nancy Kerr violin & viola
Oísin McAuley violin
Brendan McCarthy accordion
Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh whistle & vocals
Chris Parkinson piano accordion & harmonica

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