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Marcia "marcia" (england)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   

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True Dare Or Promise by Martin Simpson (2006-01-01)
True Dare Or Promise by Martin Simpson (2006-01-01)
Offered by FHL Store
Price: £154.44

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Dare or Promise by Martin and Jessica Simpson, 21 July 2016
In 1987 Martin Simpson, along with his then wife Jessica, recorded this marvellous album True, Dare or Promise.
It is a remarkable album. Martin displays his imaginative and exciting guitar playing here very well. The album covers Traditional and contemporary material as usual. Martin provides vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, dobro and jew’s harp. Jessica provides vocals. Also present on the recording are Rob Mason on harmonica, Mary Mc Laughin, synthesiser and vocals, Laurie Harper on fiddle, mandolin, jew’s harp, percussion, and vocals and John Spencer provides vocals. Percussion, and electric guitar.

The great arrangements range from folk traditional to folk rock. Track one is Doney girl a Traditional piece. Track two Past caring contains words by Henry Lawson and music by Steve Ashley. Track three Not the Whiskey Talking is by Nick Malicka. Track four is Young man by Jessica Ruby Simpson. Track five Bedlam Boys is traditional (Nic Jones) and track six is Wholly in my Keeping by Jessica Ruby Simpson. Track seven is Rising of the Woman by Chris Coe. Track eight is Man Smart, Woman Smarter, Track nine is Essequibo River Traditional and track ten is The Keel Row also traditional. Track eleven is Bluebird arranged by John B Spencer and track twelve is Black is the colour, another Traditional piece. All except eleven are arranged by Martin and Jessica/

Definitely an album to collect for the Martin Simpson fan. It is a masterpiece of folk recording and although expensive it is worth getting.


True Dare Or Promise
True Dare Or Promise

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The great arrangements range from folk traditional to folk rock, 21 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: True Dare Or Promise (Audio CD)
In 1987 Martin Simpson, along with his then wife Jessica, recorded this marvellous album True, Dare or Promise.
It is a remarkable album. Martin displays his imaginative and exciting guitar playing here very well. The album covers Traditional and contemporary material as usual. Martin provides vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, dobro and jew’s harp. Jessica provides vocals. Also present on the recording are Rob Mason on harmonica, Mary Mc Laughin, synthesiser and vocals, Laurie Harper on fiddle, mandolin, jew’s harp, percussion, and vocals and John Spencer provides vocals. Percussion, and electric guitar.

The great arrangements range from folk traditional to folk rock. Track one is Doney girl a Traditional piece. Track two Past caring contains words by Henry Lawson and music by Steve Ashley. Track three Not the Whiskey Talking is by Nick Malicka. Track four is Young man by Jessica Ruby Simpson. Track five Bedlam Boys is traditional (Nic Jones) and track six is Wholly in my Keeping by Jessica Ruby Simpson. Track seven is Rising of the Woman by Chris Coe. Track eight is Man Smart, Woman Smarter, Track nine is Essequibo River Traditional and track ten is The Keel Row also traditional. Track eleven is Bluebird arranged by John B Spencer and track twelve is Black is the colour, another Traditional piece. All except eleven are arranged by Martin and Jessica/

Definitely an album to collect for the Martin Simpson fan. It is a masterpiece of folk recording and although expensive it is worth getting.


Nobody's Fault But Mine By Martin Simpson (1994-09-05)
Nobody's Fault But Mine By Martin Simpson (1994-09-05)
Offered by Brightwell77
Price: £51.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1986 album Nobody's fault but mine by Martin Simpson, 21 July 2016
Nobody’s fault but mine is a really interesting and enjoyable able from Martin Simpson recorded in 1986.
By this time he was well established in the folk world and although born in England, had moved to Bloomington, Indiana, USA in 1985. He had married American Singer Jessica Radcliffe and they had moved to Ithaca New York.
Martin maintains the Anglo American theme on this album with Traditional pieces and contemporary pieces from Britain and America.
This album though is different to its predecessors in that it is entirely instrumental, What a fabulous album it is though.

All of the tracks except two are actually Traditional and arranged by Martin Simpson. Track eight Hard time Killing floor is by Nehemiah Skip Jones. And track twelve Charlie’s boogie is by Martin Simpson.
Martin plays guitar throughout. The album was produced by Richard Digance.

The track listing is…
1 The Granemore Hare Trad
2 Nobody’s fault but mine Trad
3 Lulu’s back in town Trad
4 Garryown Trad
5 Muskat Bonaparte’s retreat Trad
6 Mountain Roads Trad
7 Yo you blues Trad
8 Hard time killing Floor Nehemiah Skip Jones
9 Champagne Charlie Trad
10 Honey Babe Trad
11 Dingle Regatta Trad
12 Charlie’s Boogie Martin Simpson
13 Foxhunter’s Jig Trad
14 Sean O Duibbir a ‘Ghleanna Trad

The album is wonderful and a great folk album. For a folk guitar album you cannot go wrong with this one. The performance and arrangements are excellent.


Nobody's Fault But Mine
Nobody's Fault But Mine
Offered by music_by_mail_uk
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1986 album Nobody's fault but mine by Martin Simpson, 21 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Nobody's Fault But Mine (Audio CD)
Nobody’s fault but mine is a really interesting and enjoyable able from Martin Simpson recorded in 1986.
By this time he was well established in the folk world and although born in England, had moved to Bloomington, Indiana, USA in 1985. He had married American Singer Jessica Radcliffe and they had moved to Ithaca New York.
Martin maintains the Anglo American theme on this album with Traditional pieces and contemporary pieces from Britain and America.
This album though is different to its predecessors in that it is entirely instrumental, What a fabulous album it is though.

All of the tracks except two are actually Traditional and arranged by Martin Simpson. Track eight Hard time Killing floor is by Nehemiah Skip Jones. And track twelve Charlie’s boogie is by Martin Simpson.
Martin plays guitar throughout. The album was produced by Richard Digance.

The track listing is…
1 The Granemore Hare Trad
2 Nobody’s fault but mine Trad
3 Lulu’s back in town Trad
4 Garryown Trad
5 Muskat Bonaparte’s retreat Trad
6 Mountain Roads Trad
7 Yo you blues Trad
8 Hard time killing Floor Nehemiah Skip Jones
9 Champagne Charlie Trad
10 Honey Babe Trad
11 Dingle Regatta Trad
12 Charlie’s Boogie Martin Simpson
13 Foxhunter’s Jig Trad
14 Sean O Duibbir a ‘Ghleanna Trad

The album is wonderful and a great folk album. For a folk guitar album you cannot go wrong with this one. The performance and arrangements are excellent.


Sad or High Kicking!
Sad or High Kicking!
Price: £15.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1985 solo album by Martin Simpson is a folk gem, 20 July 2016
This review is from: Sad or High Kicking! (Audio CD)
Martin Simpson’s fabulous album Sad or high Kicking was originally recorded in 1985 and this re issue on CD is a re mastered version.
Prior to this album there had been three solo albums credited to Martin Simpson. Golden Vanity 1976, Special Agent 1981 and Grinning in your face 1983. He had also been session musician on two Hot Vultures albums and two Andy Cronshaw albums. As well as that he had appeared on the Albion Band album Lark rise to Candleford. He also recorded a duo album with June Tabor and helped out on a June Tabor album in 1983.

Martin Simpson was born in England. He came from Scunthorpe. By the time of this new album he had moved to the U.S.A.
In fact that is a major influence here in making this album unique at the time. Most of the material on Sad but high kicking is from the USA.
Once again though, we get a balance between Traditional and contemporary songs.
The album begins with a track called Jazzman by Hostein. Track two is called Shawnee Town (by Dillon Bustin) Here the guitar playing is magic with sharp and strong finger picking. Track Three is Moth by Anne Lister. This is a most powerful arrangement of the piece here. Track four brings us a Randy Newman song called Living without you. Track five For Jessica, Sad or high kicking is an original song by Simpson and coupled in medley with My dearest love, a Traditional piece arranged by Simpson. Clearly dedicated to Jessica Radcliffe. Track Six brings us another song by Anne Lister called Icarus. Track seven is No Depression in Heaven, a Traditional piece arranged by Simpson. Then track eight is Let it be me by Gilbert Becaud, Mann Curtis and Pierre Delanoe. Track nine is Stillness in Company, a song by Jessica Radcliffe. Finally track ten is a rollicking Cajun arrangement for The Lakes of Ponchartrain. This is another Traditional piece arranged by Simpson.

Martin plays acoustic and electric guitars, lap steel, dobro and vocals. Also present are Micky Barker on Drums and percussion, Johnathan Davie on electric bass guitars, Laurie Harper on fiddle and mandoline, Rob Mason on harmonica, Dave Clewlow on trumpets and flugelhorn, Ian Blake on Clarinets and Andrew Cronshaw on zither and stellpans.

Sad or high kicking is a really interesting folk album from Martin Simpson. It is one of the essential albums to get out of the many by Smpson.


Grinning In Your Face
Grinning In Your Face
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £9.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1983 album by Martin Simpson is excellent balance of Traditional and contemporary material., 19 July 2016
This review is from: Grinning In Your Face (Audio CD)
After his debut album Golden Vanity in 1976, and appearing as session musician on two albums by Andrew Cronshaw, two albums by The Hot Vultures, the Albion Band album Lark Rise to Candleford, a duo album with June Tabor and a solo album, Special Agent, as a solo artist, Martin Simpson recorded this great folk album in 1983.
I don’t think the album cut much new ground at the time but on reflection, and when you compare it to the later albums, this one stands out as very unique for Martin Simpson.
Martin has become known for covering mainly Traditional and his own pieces. This album though tends to be heavy on cover versions of contemporary songs that could be considered verging to pop or folk pop in origin.
The album has a wonderful folk acoustic feel to it though and the arrangements of these songs is magical. They are among my favourite versions of these songs.
Martin has justifiably become regarded as a fine finger style guitarist and this album really does capture this talent well.

Track one is It doesn’t matter anymore by Paul Anka. A song made famous by Buddy Holly. This is such a wonderful arrangement here/ The next track is Little Birdie. a Traditional song with a great arrangement by Simpson. Track three is the Cat Stevens song The first cut is the deepest. A song often recorded by many artists including Rod Stewart. Here we get a wonderful instrumental version/ This version sounds marvellous as a folk arrangement. Track four is the Roving Gambler, another Traditional piece that sounds great. Track five is also Traditional and called The War may last for years. Track six is Masters of War by Bob Dylan, And track seven brings us another Traditional song Reuben’s Train. Track eight is Your Cheatin Heart by Hank Williams. This again is a really nice arrangement and it sounds great. Track nine is Handsome Molly, a Traditional song in good hands here. Track ten is Townships which is a piece by Peter Gabriel arranged by Simpson. Track eleven is Moonshine by Martin Simpson. Finally track twelve is Green Linnet a Traditional piece again.

Helping out on the recording is Bob Smith on drums and Annette Costello on backing vocals. Martin plays acoustic guitar, lap steel, dobro, banjo and vocals.

There are only two original pieces by Martin Simpson but the playing and arrangements by Martin on the other tracks displays the magic of this performer. Martin’s vocal sound may be an acquired taste for some people but the guitar playing and performance is warm and inviting. The balance between Traditional and contemporary material works well and always sounding mostly Trad Folk.

The album should be a favourite for anyone interested in Martin Simpson and actually it’s a good place to start to get to know this artist.
The album was used as a basis for an original ballet by Christopher Bruce for the Ballet Rambert.
A most excellent offering from the great Martin Simpson.


Special Agent
Special Agent

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars special agent is a special album from Martin Simpson, 18 July 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Special Agent (Audio CD)
Martin Simpson created this fabulous album in 1981. It’s the third album to feature Martin after his debut album Golden Vanity in 1976 and his duo album with June Tabor in 1980.
Special Agent is a great folk album. It has been released on CD but it is hard and expensive to get. There really should be a re issue. Originally in 1981 the album was released on vinyl and had 12 tracks. The CD version released a few years later has four bonus tracks added. Anyway, it is worth getting if you like the later and much more available albums that came later.

On the previous album with June Tabor, A Cut Above, Martin had help from Ric Sanders (Fairport Convention) and here on this new album he brings Ric in to help with production and violin.
Also helping out are Dave Bristow on piano (he had helped out on the previous album too)
Andy Cronshaw on Hammer Dulcimer, Jonathan Davie on electric bass guitars, Michael Gregory on drums and percussion, Louisa Livingstone-vocals, Rob Mason on Harmonica and of course Martin appears on vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, dobro, and banjo.

The album embraces both contemporary and Traditional pieces. Here is a track listing with either the song writer or Traditional origin indicated.
1. "Special Agent" by Sleepy John Estes (a jazz/blues/dixie arrangement)
2. "Desperadoes Waiting for a Train" by Guy Clark (great song, folk rock arrangement)
3. Guitar Medley: "The Frost is All Over / The Redheaded Boil" (Traditional; arranged Simpson, guitar arrangement)
4. "Roustabout" (Traditional; arranged Simpson) (banjo intro folk rock arrangement)
5. "Jamaica Farewell" (Traditional; arranged Simpson) lovely Caribbean feel to this)
6. Banjo Medley: "Barlow Knife / Shoot The Turkey Buzzard / Denis Murphy's Polka" (Traditional; arranged Simpson) (Banjo medley arrangement)
7. "Joshua Gone Barbados" by Eric Von Schmidt (great acoustic arrangement)
8. "McCrimmon's Lament" (Traditional; arranged Simpson) Instrumental
9. "Broke Down Engine" (words Traditional; arranged Simpson /music Bob Dylan/ Simpson)
10. "The Demon Lover" (Traditional; arranged Simpson) Wonderful folk version of this favourite
11. "You Win Again" by Hank Williams (piano helps to give a country folk version of this song)
12. "I Think it’s going to Rain Today" by Randy Newman (really excellent version of this song)
13. Man Smart (Woman Smarter) Traditional
14. You Better Move On by Arthur Alexander
15. Jazzman by Holstein, Carol King and Dee Palmer.
16. Broke Down Engine by Bob Dylan/Simpson(Traditional) alternative version

The variety of arrangements on this album gives us a really interesting and enjoyable project indeed. Definitely one to get for the Martin Simpson fan.


A Cut Above
A Cut Above
Price: £11.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Second album by Martin Simpson, 14 July 2016
This review is from: A Cut Above (Audio CD)
Back in 1980 June Tabor recorded this album with Martin Simpson. You could categorise this album as a June Tabor album with Martin Simpson or equally you could call this a Martin Simpson album with June Tabor. Most people would look at it as a June Tabor album. As for Martin Simpson, this was his second recording after his debut album Golden Vanity 1976 to be credited to him as a individual artist, After his debut album Golden Vanity in 1976, Martin had helped out on the Andrew Cronshaw album Earthed in Cloud Valley 1977. The Hot Vultures album The East Street Shakers 1977, the next album by Andrew Cronshaw Wade in the Flood 1978, and the next album by The Hot Vultures album Up the Line 1979. He appeared as session musician. So this album A Cut above is the second album to feature his name as a lead artist.

A Cut Above is a wonderful album. There is a very special combination here of two great performers. June Tabor’s unique vocals sound great along with Martin Simpson on guitar.
Also on the album helping out are Ric Saunders (Fairport Convention) on violin, Dave Bristow on keyboards and Jon Davie on bass.
The magic of these two performers is magnificent. On this album we get a good mixture of modern and Traditional folk songs that cover a wide range.

Track one Admiral Benbow and track two Davy Lowston are both by Simpson and Tabor and have a rich folk flavour. Admiral Benbow has a sea song feel to it.
Track three Flash Company is a Traditional piece arranged by Tabor and Simpson.
Track four is another creation by Tabor and Simpson. Here on the track Number Two top seam, a song about a coal mine explosion shows June Tabor at her best with her a cappella performance that is magic, chilling and beautiful.
Track five is a song by Richard and Linda Thompson. Strange Affair sounds great here. It is sad and wonderful. The track also has Martin on slide guitar solo.
Then track six Heather down on the moor is another Traditional piece with great originality in arrangement here. Track seven is Joe Peel, a song by Peter Bond that has a lovely cover version here by Tabor and Simpson.
Track eight is by Tabor and Simpson and Track nine Riding down to Portsmouth is a fine Traditional piece. The final track ten is by Bill Caddck called Unicorns.

The album was released in 1980. June Tabor was reasonably well known in the folk world by this time and had just had two albums with Maddy Prior as Silly Sisters but this new project with Martin Simpson takes on a more serious feel that was and would come to be more typical of her later work.

Martin Simpson and June Tabor worked together on three albums, A cut above, Abyssinians and Aquaba. This album though is a gem and worth investigating if you like Folk music.


Golden Vanity
Golden Vanity

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Debut album by Martin Simpson is first class and should be on CD but its not, 5 July 2016
This review is from: Golden Vanity (Vinyl)
Golden Vanity is the debut solo album by Martin Simpson. It is a lovely folk album and it was recorded and produced at Leader Sound by Bill Leader and issued in 1976 when Martin was 23 years old. Martin has had a long career in folk music since and is well established. Sadly this first album has never been released on CD and the only way to get it is by getting your hands on a rare vinyl copy that will be expensive, very expensive because it is so rare.
I can tell you that the album which is the only one by Martin to never appear on CD is one of the finest and if you love the other Martin Simpson albums it is worth investing in an original vinyl copy if you can find one and you can afford it.
Golden Vanity is the first album by Simpson. It contains British and American Traditional songs and tunes and a small amount of contemporary songs. The title track for example is the traditional ballad Golden Vanity.
Martin plays Banjo and guitar as well as providing vocals and the sound and style of the album has a very strong Anglo American Traditional feel to it. At times it feels more American Traditional with the banjo sound.
Martin was born in 1953 England and toured folk clubs and supported other folk artists in Concert before moving to America and marrying American folk star Jessica Radcliffe. He has produced many albums over the years and shows a folk music mix of various influences such as British, Irish, American and beyond. Some albums have been purely instrumental and others not. He usually explores both Traditional and contemporary material and even writes his own songs too.
Here the track listing on this album goes like this
All tracks Traditional; arranged by Martin Simpson; except where indicated
1."Beaulampkin"
2."Snowdrop" (Kirk McGhee)
3."Bitter Withy"
4."Cindy"
5."Golden Vanity"
6."Soldier's Joy"
7."Pretty Polly"
8."Love Minus Zero/No Limit" (Bob Dylan)
9."George Campbell"
10."Gotta Little Home To Go To"
11."Louisiana 1927" (Randy Newman)

I love this album and it is one of my favourites of all the Simpson albums. I was lucky enough to borrow a vinyl copy from the library back in the late 1980s and made a home tape copy that thankfully I kept and have enjoyed many times over the years since. It is a wonderful album and a shame its not on CD.


Songs an' Rummy Conjurin' Tricks (recorded live at the Cockermouth Social Club 1991)
Songs an' Rummy Conjurin' Tricks (recorded live at the Cockermouth Social Club 1991)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Final album from Peter Bellamy., 23 Jun. 2016
the final album that Bellamy recorded before his death. This is the album Songs An Rummy Conjurin tricks from 1992.
The album is the 18th solo album by Peter Bellamy. The 15th album called Second Wind 1985 has not been available on CD yet. The 16th solo album Rudyard Kipling made exceedingly good songs 1989 also has not been available on CD yet. The 17th album Soldiers Three 1990 has mostly been available on CD. (Soldiers three album were re recorded tracks of tracks available on the 1975 album Barrack room ballads of Rudyard Kipling. There were new songs on Soldiers Three as well and the new songs and the odd re recording have appeared as bonus tracks on the CD version of Barrack room ballads of Rudyard Kipling.
So to this final album Songs and Rummy Conjurin Tricks 1991. It is available on CD as part of a double album package called Mr Kipling and the Tradition that contains the album Keep on Kipling and this album Songs of Rummy Congurin tricks.
The recording is a bit off the cuff since it is all recorded live.
The album is also a rather fitting self tribute. Bellamy died shortly after this album was recorded and it contains songs that he had been associated with before in his career. It has at least eleven Traditional pieces, three poems by Kipling set to traditional tunes, a song by Steve Tilston, a song by James Grafton Rodgers, a song with words from Bob Copper and music by Bellamy and a song by Bob Dylan called Death is not the end.


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