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21 Reviews
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another superb album from Martin Simpson, 20 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Purpose + Grace (Audio CD)
I guess Mr Simpson may one day make a moderate album and disappoint us all - but this aint it. Although Martin earned his spurs on the UK folk scene many years ago, the time he spent in the US seems to have given him a wider appreciation of/ insight into the tradition - as well as improving further his guitar/banjo virtuosity. This release clearly demonstrates a mature artist/professional who enjoys his work. There's a wealth of guest talent here too (Richard Thompson, June Tabor, Andy Cutting, Dick Guaghan, BJ Cole, Jon Boden, Fay Hield, Andy Seward etc). The album has a nice balance of American / UK songs and of traditional/ newer material- with a couple of Martin's own compositions thrown in. Apart from the expected traditional fare, there's a wonderful version of Brother Can You Spare A Dime (featuring Dick Gaughan), a very good interpretation of Springsteen's Brothers Under The Bridge and a revisit of Strange Affair (with June Tabor on vocals). A further plus is that the cd leaflet contains notes re the background of the songs/choice of songs and also details the guitar/banjo tunings that MS used. The album will definitely be highly appreciated by folkies and hopefully a wider audience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Savouring Simpson, 9 Sep 2011
By 
Glenn "Omaha" (Devon England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Purpose + Grace (Audio CD)
Presumably Martin Simpson wouldn't apply this album's title to himself, but it does. The song selection and their narratives, traditional or contemporary, are purposeful in the best of folk storytelling, and the guitar and banjo playing of Simpson is pure grace, ably supported, for example, by the likes of Richard Thompson on Springsteen's 'Brothers Under The Bridge', as well as others throughout this excellent spread of 13 songs.

There's a beautiful version of 'Brother Can You Spare a Dime' and even more potent rendition of Ewan MacColl's 'Jamie Foyers' with the great Dick Gaughan's empathetic vocals on both, reprieving his from 30 years ago, apparently, for the second track.

Another graceful offering is of Richard Thompson's 'Strange Affair' with vocal by June Tabor, another reprieve of a duet Simpson and Tubor had previously recorded in 1980 - one I don't know and will search out. 'Barbry Allen' is a haunting traditional melody where guitar and vocal coalesce to perfection. This is followed by an upbeat and ale-inviting spurt of an instrumental 'Don't Leave Your Banjo In The Shed Mr Waterson'. The album closes cooly on Irish ballad 'Lakes Of Ponchartrain', delivered with Cajun flavours to aurally savour - and wait for the echo of Mardi Gras 'Little Liza Jane' to fully close out the song and album
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Martin, 6 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Purpose + Grace (Audio CD)
Martin Simpson can do no wrong in my opinion. He is the best guitarist in the world, I like his singing and his albums are always produced to an extremely high standard. This album is no exception.Purpose + Grace
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Purpose and Grace, 19 Dec 2011
This review is from: Purpose + Grace (Audio CD)
I bought this for my boyfriend's birthday and he hasn't stopped playing it. He says it is very well crafted, a brilliant album of very diverse songs. Martin Simpson is a highly accomplished musician. My personal favourite is Lakes of Ponchartrain, foot stomping, verging on zydeco.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Simpson at his best., 30 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Purpose + Grace (Audio CD)
One of the best discs ever.Particularly liked the collaboration with Dick Gaughan on Jamie Foyers.Both parties seem to get even better with age.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Simpson, 15 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Purpose + Grace (Audio CD)
I purchased this cd for a friend who is a big fan of Martin Simpson and folk music. He plays it a lot and tells me he enjoys listening to the tracks in the car. He is difficult to please so I guess it must be good!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 31 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Purpose + Grace (Audio CD)
Bought as a present My partner really likes the album and is a fan of Martin Simpson lovely soulful songs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars New to this Artist, 6 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Purpose + Grace (Audio CD)
Very pleasant and good to listen, I had never heard his work prior to buying this CD, would consider buying more of his work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Topic Records All-Stars, 27 Sep 2011
By 
Azoic (Portland, Oregon United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Purpose + Grace (Audio CD)
Dick Gaughan,Fay Hield,June Tabor et al join Martin Simpson on "Purpose and Grace".This is a really good idea from a marketing standpoint and a really good idea from a music/artistry perspective.My fave trax are "Brothers Under The Bridge" penned by Springsteen,the old standard "Brother,Can You Spare A Dime",and the venerated June Tabor re-recording the Richard Thompson piece "Strange Affair".Five stars.A perfect album from a fine,fine,guitarist and a really nice man.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great player, 27 Sep 2014
By 
Golfer T (Northern England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Purpose + Grace (Audio CD)
Class player of beautiful instruments. I have heard it said he overplays a bit. A matter of taste I think.
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Purpose + Grace
Purpose + Grace by Martin Simpson (Audio CD - 2011)
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