Saturday 29th September 2012. Martin made his much anticipated debut to a sell out crowd at the Hinckley ACT in Leicestershire.
There is no doubt that after 35 years as a professional musician Martin is, right now, better than ever. Widely acknowledged as one of the finest acoustic and slide guitar players in the world, his interpretations of traditional songs are masterpieces of storytelling.
His solo shows are intense, eclectic, spellbinding and deeply moving.
There is no-one who has more successfully combined the diverse elements of British, Afro-American and old-timey music than Simpson. His 15 years living in the US were well spent. In addition his own songwriting has produced some real gems, from the truck-stop epic, “Love Never Dies” to the profoundly moving “Never Any Good” and “One Day”.
His career includes collaborations on stage and record with Richard Thompson, June Tabor, Kelly Joe Phelps, Jackson Browne, Danny Thompson, Danú, Martin Carthy, Cara Dillon, David Lindley, Roy Bailey, Martin Taylor, David Hidalgo, Steve Miller, Dick Gaughan and many more.
Martin has been nominated an astounding 26 times in the twelve years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – more than any other performer – with 9 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”. 2012’s nominations for Martin include, Best Album for ‘Purpose & Grace”, Best Traditional Track for “The Lakes Of Ponchartrain” and Best Musician.
Whether playing American old-time music, blues, a Dylan song or his own material, Martin Simpson is unpredictable, individual and a guitarist of immense subtlety.
The entrance fee for the evening was £14 for members and £15 for non-members. The event started at 8.00 pm, with doors opening at 7.30 p.m.
Based in the Sketchley Meadows Business Park, Hinckley ACT is a high quality music venue that offers an informal and intimate atmosphere for concerts and for the monthly club nights, where musicians can come along and ‘take the stage.’ Established by company chairman, Keith London, on the premises of his firm Advanced Carbide Tooling (A.C.T.), the venue provides full stage and seating facilities, plus top quality sound and lighting equipment.
There is a licensed bar and ample free car parking.