Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, Folk, Pop
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A tour de force of finger-style guitar and passionate vocals
John Gilman | New York | 07/04/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It remains a mystery to me how a performer of such powerful and emotional vocal mastery and guitar wizadry can remain in relative obscurity. For those of us who cut our teeth with Neil Young and Bob Dylan, Simpson's synthesis of heart-felt singing and superb guiter work will take us back to a musical age before MTV, when music had to pay its way with depth and emotion. Stylistically, Simpson's guitar and vocal work is most similar to Jorma Kaukonen's, though his vocal range is superior. Simpson throughout his career has penned his share of powerful ballads (on this session represented by the haunting "Dreamtime" and the paeon to peace, "Lilith"), he is at much or more at home as an interpreter of other's work. He has an uncanny ability to ferret out songs of stunning lyrical depth, and to infuse them with passionate vocal interpretation and truly magical, melodic guitar work. This 1994 session finds Martin at his best, with a fine blend of traditional folk songs, powerful intsrumentals (at times it seems hard to believe that all this sound is only one guitar) and originals leaping from the speakers. While there is not a weak moment in the 71 minutes plus of inspired performance, unquestionably the high water mark of the CD is Simpson's rendition of Bob Franke's "Hard Love". This powerful song (unknown to me prior to hearing this recording) shows Simpson at his most passionate best: infusing Franke's deep and powerful lyrics with heart-wrenching emotion, while those lightning fingers lay down a lilting, hauntingly beautiful melodic background. I have re-played this cut over and over since buying the CD. It is infused with the emotion of Bob Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate" or John Lennon's "Imagine", and the lyrical depth is in the same league. It deserves to be as well-known. Martin Simpson's "Live" is a great introduction to this fine artist. I have to thank a gentleman from Leeds who took the time to introduce me to Simpson's work through his mid-80s album "Sad or High Kickin'" fifteen years ago, and opened up for me yet another musical universe of passionate excellence. As a song writer, I cannot think of another artist I would rather have performing my songs. I cannot recommend Martin Simpson's work highly enough."
Martin Simpson is an amazing guitar player!!
woody | Washington DC | 11/29/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the days since receiving this CD I've played it again and again. From the opening track to the finish 70 minutes later I find myself asking "how is he making those sounds?" when it is only Simpson and his acoustic guitar - live with no overdubs. His use of alternative tunings and slide guitar make every song interesting. His vocals on songs ranging from the blues to Scottish ayres (sp?) is excellent. In a music world always clammoring for a new "guitar hero" he is truly a master. I highly recommend this disc."
Excellent CD with a minor reservation
GB Guitars | Colfax, Ca United States | 06/26/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Martin Simpson is an amazing guitar player and a fine singer. This CD shows off his talents by capturing a particularly good live show. His passion for his music really comes through.The only reservation I would have is that the recording seems to have quite a bit of hiss in the background. I didn't notice it the first several times I heard it, but when listening through headphones it's particularly noticable."