Martin Simpson - Purpose + Grace CD with RT
9/6/2011 (updated 9/6/2011)

"I am a big fan of Martin’s playing. Perhaps the highest praise
I could give is to say that he never stops getting better!"
Richard Thompson

Martin Simpson: Purpose + Grace
CD review, The Telegraph
Great songs and star guests on a terrific folk album by Martin Simpson.

Martin Simpson's new album Purpose + Grace features guest appearances from Richard Thompson, June Tabor and Dick Guaghan.

It's simply a great album from start to finish - wonderful tunes, superb musicianship, star guests and a unity of purpose about delivering a fitting tribute to the music he loves that raises this album to such a high level.

There are interesting album notes detailing each song and why Simpson selected it for inclusion but there is not a slack choice among the 13 cuts, which vary from old folk ballads to a terrific cover of Bruce Springsteen's Vietnam song Brothers Under The Bridge that features Richard Thompson on electric guitar.

Simpson goes solo on two lovely tracks - Bold General Wolf and Barbry Allen - and brings back the golden voiced June Tabor for a marvellously emotional version of Thompson's haunting song Strange Affair, which Simpson and Tabor first recorded in 1980 on the beautiful Cut Above album.

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Martin adds another string to actor’s career in TV role
Sheffield Telegraph

SHEFFIELD based guitarist Martin Simpson has worked with some of the world’s best musicians - but he faced a different type of challenge for a TV series. He was given the job of mentoring actor Stephen Mangan, star of Episodes and Green Wing, as he returned to his first love of playing acoustic guitar.

Martin, whose latest album, Purpose + Grace, was released on 5 Sept, tutored the actor ready for an a performance alongside another internationally acclaimed performer, Richard Thompson, at the Cambridge Folk Festival. The process will be shown on the Sky Arts TV series ‘First Love’ in the autumn.

"He shone. It was absolutely brilliant, and it was very emotional.”
Martin Simpson

RT in the Studio with Martin Simpson