Martin Simpson The Bramble Briar
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- Released: July 10, 2001
- Label: Topic Records
Q - 8/01, p.1403 stars out of 5 - "...His extraordinary guitar technique remains at folk factor nine..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/02, p.69Included in Mojo's "Best Folk of 2001".
Mojo (Publisher) - 7/01, p.108"...Simpson's natural Lincolnshire tones feel exquisitely at once with the all-English repertoire and also with the mesmerizing ebbs and flows of the arrangements..."
- 1.Polly on the Shore
- 2.The Lover's Ghost
- 3.Fair Annie
- 4.Dives and Lazarus
- 5.The Four Angels
- 6.Betsy the Serving Maid
- 7.The Bramble Briar
- 8.Banks of Sweet Primroses
- 9.Rounding the Horn
- 10.The Princess Royal
- 11.Sammy's Bar
- 12.Leaves of Life
- 13.Air for Maurice Ogg
Personnel: Martin Simpson (vocals, guitar); Martin Carthy (guitar); Barry Phillips (cello); Chris Parkinson (harmonica, accordion); Jessica Radcliffe (background vocals).
Recorded at Bear Creek Studios, Santa Cruz, California and Panda Sound, N. Yorks, England. Includes liner notes by Martin Simpson.
Personnel: Martin Simpson (vocals, guitar); Martin Carthy (guitar); Barry Phillips (cello); Chris Parkinson (harmonica, accordion).
Audio Mixers: Martin Simpson; Barry Phillips ; Oliver Knight.
Liner Note Author: Martin Simpson.
Recording information: Bear Creek Studios, Santa Cruz, CA; Panda Sound, Robin Hood's Bay, NY.
Photographer: Tom Howard.
Arranger: Martin Simpson.
After 12 years of traversing across the U.S. (Simpson moved with his wife, Jessica Radcliff, from upstate New York to Santa Cruz to New Orleans before returning to the United Kingdom in 2001), Martin Simpson has turned in a set of entirely English material. Recorded at both Bear Creek Studios of Santa Cruz and the apropos-to-the-material Panda Sound in Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorks, Simpson is of pure Lincolnshire-quality voice and his playing is exquisitely refined. Longtime Simpson affiliate Martin Carthy accompanies on guitar on three tracks, as does wife Radcliff on backing vocals on two, but it's Simpson's focus on old-English style within the material that lends the album a feel that is both grounded and otherworldly. Ten of the 13 songs included are in fact traditional songs; two are recent compositions and one, "The Four Angels," is a Rudyard Kipling poem Simpson has set to lilting melody. Simpson credits his decade-long distance from his homeland with the sharp perspective he has gained for the music's lyrical and historical expressiveness. ~ Travis Drageset
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