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8 Reviews
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Undoubtedly the best guitarist in the world, 25 Feb 2004
This review is from: Righteousness & Humidity (Audio CD)
For anyone who's heard Martin Simpson before, all I need to say is that this is up to (and even beyond) his usual standard. The playing is technically spectacular and incredibly expressive. "Love Never Dies" in particular is wonderful.
I'm not much of a fan of American folk music in general (in terms of the songs themselves I prefered his last album - The Bramble Briar) but that still didn't detract from my enjoyment of Simpson's performace.
For anyone who hasn't heard Martin Simpson before then I really think you should find out what you've been missing. If you like American music start with this album, if you prefer English folk I'd recommend The Bramble Briar.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunningly talented multi-instrumentalist, 28 Aug 2005
By 
Mr. Dominic L. Brown (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Righteousness & Humidity (Audio CD)
I first heard Martin Simpson play during the annual Radio 2 Folk Awards on the radio, where he was accepting the award for Musician of the Year (for the second time). I was caught immediately, and I ordered this CD online the same evening.
That was more than a year ago, and I listen to this album as regularly now as when I first bought it. Martin Simpson is an incredible performer, and his intuitive treatment of the material he so obviously loves is a true pleasure to hear. As a technician, he is awe-inspiring, with total mastery of his instruments - equally at home on acoustic or electric guitar, lap steel or slide guitar, banjo or ukelele. This allows him to create the most amazing effects with seeming ease, and his virtuosity will be a joy to musicians and non-musicians alike.
This album is a superb collection of traditional blues, old time ballads and instrumentals from the American South, interpreted in his unique way. There is a great variety of material here, from haunting solo acoustic guitar or banjo arrangements ("Some Dark Holler", "Ghost in the Pines", "The World is a Trouble and a Trial") to a lively arrangement of "The Coo Coo Bird" driven along by a full band. Among my personal highlights are two of Simpson's own songs: "Easy Money" - The tragic story of a young New Orleans Jazz musician told in a bluesy drawl over beautiful rolling guitar licks, and "Love Never Dies" - a wonderful example of his songwriting prowess.
If there is a complaint, it is that this essentially simple music feels a little too studio crafted on a couple of tracks, the arrangements a little forced, but this is a very occasional sense, and certainly not something to worry about.
Martin Simpson is a prodigious talent, and deserves to be far better known by far more music lovers. Check out a previous album "The Bramble Briar", which shows that Simpson is as great an authority in English Folk music as in the American material played here. Please become do yourself a service and buy this exceptional folk album today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning virtuosity, earthy sentiments, 12 Aug 2003
By A Customer
Martin Simpson's last CD explored the English folk tradition. This time it's his take on the US. Songs of faith and feeling with guitar playing some of us can only dream about. Simpson marries great energy with reflective restraint that sends shivers down your spine and has you reaching for a shot of bourbon.
This is a musician at the peak of his craft.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Horn Island - the best guitar ever?, 7 Aug 2013
By 
Mark Shackelford "mark shackelford" (Worthing, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Righteousness & Humidity (Audio CD)
I have been playing "Horn Island" endlessly since purchasing this album a few months ago.

Delicate, wistful acoustic guitar with a most glorious tune, then building in some subtle bass.
And then - soaring, swooping, stratospheric lead guitar.

Hmmm. Messr's Clapton and Page - look to your laurels... Mr. Simpson is brilliant

And the rest of the album is just gorgeous.
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4.0 out of 5 stars MS at his meloncholy best, 22 April 2013
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This review is from: Righteousness & Humidity (Audio CD)
Very listenable, as usual the lyrics are superb and well worth the sitting with eyes closed and really listening. Good job Martin!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I can't keep from crying, 3 April 2011
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Didn't know anything by this artist about a month ago. Always loved my folk music by Ewan, MacColl, Fairports, Carthy etc. Always been a little wary of what I've regarded as newer folk and been ignorant but wow...what a discovery Mr Simpson is. I've bought 10 records of his in a month and they're all just wonderful. I can't keep from crying.....jesus what a great version of the great song.
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5.0 out of 5 stars That rare thing - a perfect album, 21 Jan 2011
By 
Martyn K. Postle "Martyn" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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Yes, I am a Martin Simpson fan, have seen him live and have several of his other albums, but this one is very special. For me a perfect album is one where EVERY track is a gem and this is a perfect album. I also like the fact that he doesn't just rely on his guitar and his voice, but plays banjo (English style) on some. In fact this very English folk artist's approach to some very American blues numbers make them come alive for me. The easiest 5 stars I've ever awarded
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 21 July 2010
This review is from: Righteousness & Humidity (Audio CD)
What an amazing album! Martin Simpson must surely be one of, or possibly the, greatest guitarist(s) around. This is his most bluesy album, from his time in America, but American blues, or English folk he really is fantastic, and always worth a listen.
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Righteousness & Humidity
Righteousness & Humidity by Martin Simpson (Audio CD - 2010)
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