There is no doubt that after 35 years as a professional musician Martin Simpson is, right now, better than ever. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, his interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling. His solo shows are intense, eclectic, spellbinding and deeply moving. There is no-one who has more successfully combined the diverse elements of British, Afro-American and old-timey music than Simpson. His 15 years living in the US were well spent. In addition his own songwriting has produced some real gems, from the truck-stop epic, “Love Never Dies” to the profoundly moving “Never Any Good” and “One Day”. His career includes collaborations on stage and record with June Tabor, Kelly Joe Phelps, Jackson Browne, Danny Thompson, Danú, Martin Carthy, Cara Dillon, David Lindley, Roy Bailey, Martin Taylor, David Hidalgo, Steve Miller, Dick Gaughan and many more. Martin has been nominated an astounding 31 times in the fifteen years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – more than any other performer – with 12 nominations for Musician of The Year, which he has won twice. 2008 saw an incredible 5 nominations for “Prodigal Son’ and 2 wins, whilst in 2010 he had an unprecedented 6 nominations for his CD, “True Stories” and a win for Best Traditional Track, “Sir Patrick Spens”. Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety.
In 2013, Martin celebrated his 60th year with some major festival appearances and
the launch of his latest album ‘Vagrant Stanzas’, which was released by Topic Records. Martin will continue to tour this album extensively in 2015.
“One of the virtuoso instrumentalists of the English music scene” ‘Sounds better than ever’ **** 4 Stars The Guardian “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 ‘One of our finest traditional musicians, Simpson’s latest album offers a roving overview of his talents’ **** 4 Stars Uncut ‘An excellent collection of material drawn from both sides of the Atlantic handled with loving care by Simpson and aided by some of the biggest names in folk’ **** 4 Stars Maverick
Nominated for Musician of the Year and for Best Album with ‘Vagrant Stanzas’
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014