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15/10/2014 - Legendary English Folk Singer and Guitarist Mark Simpson in RCC on Friday night


Martin Simpson


Nominated for Musician of the Year and for Best Album with ‘Vagrant Stanzas’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014, there is no doubt that after 35 years as a professional musician Martin Simpson is, right now, better than ever. A 4 Star review of the album in The Guardian described him as “One of the virtuoso instrumentalists of the English music scene” ‘Sounds 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. According to RCC Director Shaun Hannigan the Martin Simpson concert at the Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny this Friday October 17th is guaranteed to be one of best RCC gigs of the year. The concert start at 8pm, tickets priced at a very reasonable €12 and €10 concession (students, unemployed. 65+) can be booked at An Grianán Theatre on 074 91 20777 or online at


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 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 31 times in the fifteen years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards - more than any other performer - with 12 nominations 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".

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.


In 2013, Martin celebrated his 60th year with some major festival appearances and the launch of his latest album 'Vagrant Stanzas', which was released by Topic Records. According to Acoustic Magazine ‘Simpson’s latest is a potent blend of the highest calibre…Simpson has never sung or played better’. Martin has embarked on some major touring throughout 2014 including this short Irish Tour that brings him back to the RCC in Letterkenny for the second time following a brilliant gig in 2011.




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