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Nominated for Best Album (Purpose and Grace), Musician of the Year and Best Traditional Track ('Lakes of Ponchartrain') - BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012
Martin has been nominated an astounding 29 times in the eleven years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - more than any other performer - with 11 consecutive years as nominee for Musician of the Year, which he has won twice. 2008 saw an incredible 5 nominations for Prodigal Son and 2 wins, whilst in 2010 he had an unprecedented 6 nominations for his CD True Stories and a win for Best Traditional Track, 'Sir Patrick Spens'.
His 2007 release, Prodigal Son, was nominated for 5 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and won Album of the Year and Best Original song for the deeply moving 'Never Any Good'. At the end of 2008, Simpson returned to the States for the first time in 5 years for a triumphant series of gigs. Having lived and worked in the US for 14 years he is regarded there as a guitar legend, and an enormously influential musician.
2009 saw the release of a new CD, True Stories, to wide critical acclaim. The music ranges from solo guitar instrumentals and songs to full band arrangements featuring some of the finest musicians anywhere. They are: bass icon Danny Thompson, pedal steel player BJ Cole, Radiohead drummer Phil Selway, Bellowhead frontman Jon Boden on fiddle, accordion ace Andy Cutting, ex Page and Plant hurdy gurdy man Nigel Eaton, singers Muireann Nic Amloaibh and Kellie While, and co-producer Andy Seward on bass. The influences are eclectic, Northumbrian dance tunes, Anglo Scots ballads, old timey and blues songs, New Orleans jazz and R&B and more.
The sounds are highly distinctive, led by Simpson's guitars, banjola and banjo, it moves from solo slide to flat out grooves via nursery rhymes and tragic dark ballads. Simpson's own songs are beautifully written and at times most unusual in form, telling true stories and dealing with themes of love, loss, home and much more.
Martin released his new album Purpose and Grace in early September 2011 on Topic Records to critical much acclaim.
'Simpson’s latest is a potent blend of the highest calibre...Simpson has never sung or played better' - Acoustic Magazine
'A cracking follow up to 2009's True Stories' - The Sun
'One of our finest traditional musicians, Simpson’s latest album offers a roving overview of his talents' - Uncut ****
'Sounds better than ever' - The Guardian ****
'An excellent collection of material drawn from both sides of the Atlantic handled with loving care by Simpson and aided by some of the biggest names in folk' - Maverick ****