We love Martin Simpson. This talented Brit is out with his---what is this?----14th album? On Compass, it is entitled, True Stories. There are 13 cuts in all. Wonderful songs---several penned by himself, and there is also a lovely variety of instrumental treats. Simpson is one of the best guitar players in the business, as well as playing a terrific banjo. We love love love his songs and interpretations. We know of no one who more perfectly blends his voice with his guitar. Masters like Sean Tyrrell, Laura Smith and Cathie Ryan sing around the guitar, vocally dance with it. Blend it. Use it perfectly. Simpson, on the other hand, is one of those rare artists who well and truly becomes one with his instrument. We always thought Leo Kottke—who in a weird, trad universal Spock mind-melding sort of way Simpson reminds us of---anyway, we always thought Kottke’s voice actually sounds like the 12-strng guitar he has so obviously mastered. Simpson, too—only here, he and the six-string melt into each other totally and creatively. Jeez, can this guy sing and play. Also does a nice dobro lick. Mmmmm. Tasty, indeed. He also has some wonderful side cats joining in. Co-produced by the wonderful Andy Seward---you DO know who Andy Seward is, do you not? We always feel that Martin Simpson is better known in the British Isles than in America. We have NO idea why we think that. I mean, there are no “Martin Simpson Awareness” surveys out there, as far as we know. Not the point. He is not well known enough, if YOU have not heard of him. Go get this album and redress that oversight. It is on Compass, and will therefore be available everywhere. Of course, this is all about subjectivity. Duh. But, guys like this just keep turning out wondrous albums like this, one after another after another, and working along in the music. Other, far, far less talented musicians and singers are rich. Idea. Let’s make Simpson rich. Go buy this album. You’ll love it. He’ll love it. Compass will love it. He gets rich. Compass gets rich—and you get rich in the best place in the world. Your heart. Win win win. Rating: Four Harps
Vist the Martin Simpson website
*TTFN! Lots more next month. Christmas gift recommendations and a review of a great new album from Chicago’s own Kat Eggleston!