With Prodigal Son Martin Simpson has made what is undoubtedly his finest recording to date. The album reflects the full breadth of his creativity, drawing on both British and American traditions as well as including several of his own outstanding compositions.
Many of Martin s good friends and favorite artists appear with him on the album, including Jackson Browne who adds a perfect harmony vocal to Martin's beautiful version of Randy Newman's "Louisiana 1927". Kate Rusby and Kellie While sing sublime harmonies on two of the tracks "Never Any Good" [Martin's song for his father] and "Batchelor's Hall". The album is further enhanced by Danny Thompson on bass, Andy Cutting on accordion, Alistair Anderson on concertina and Northumbrian pipes and Barry Philips on cello.
Martin's playing deploys a control of pace and dynamics that touches the heart, like the best music, irrespective of whether the listener has a bit of Lincolnshire, Mississippi or Ganges beneath their manicured or careworn nails. In his playing he focuses upon economy and how to make each note pay. Listen to him playing now and you will hear how he measures not only the impact and length of each note, but, tellingly how he delivers the space that frames each note.