Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

MARTIN SIMPSON : PURPOSE + GRACE TSCD584

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

track list:

1     The Sheffield Apprentice
2     Bold General Wolfe
3     Brothers Under The Bridge
4     Little Liza Jane
5     Brother Can You Spare A Dime
6     Jamie Foyers
7     In The Pines
8     Strange Affair
9     Banjo Bill
10    Barbry Allen
11    Don’t Put Your Banjo In The Shed Mr Waterson
12    Bad Girl’s Lament
13    Lakes Of Ponchartrain

Martin Simpson vocals, 5 string banjo, acoustic, electric, resonator & slide guitars
with
Keith Angel drums & percussion
Jon Boden fiddle
B J Cole pedal steel guitar
Andy Cutting accordion
Dick Gaughan vocals
Fay Hield vocals
Barry Philips ‘cello
Will Pound harmonica
Andy Seward acoustic bass & electric bass guitar
June Tabor vocals
Richard Thompson electric guitar

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