Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Guitar Great

Live: Martin Simpson
Taylor John's House, Coventry, UK

It's a long while since I visited my home town of Coventry, famous for Lady Godiva, The Special AKA and The Willie Carr Donkey Kick. But my return last night was made memorable thanks to a fabulous performance by Martin Simpson, one of the world’s leading folk guitarists.

Taylor John's House is a small, friendly venue and we were lucky to see Martin in such an intimate space. Some hilarity and confusion ensued as my friend - Jon Taylor - asked the door woman for our tickets.

Although he is a guitar wizard, effortlessly unleashing torrents of notes from his fretboard, Simpson's technical accomplishment never distracts from the soulfulness of his renditions of blues, traditional folk, and his own highly individualistic compositions. A particular highlight was a fabulous version of Dylan's Buckets of Rain.

It's not for nothing that readers of Acoustic Guitar magazine voted Martin Simpson number 12 in the world in 2005, nor that his superb Prodigal Son was consistently voted one of the best albums of 2007.

Martin is a charming and entertaining raconteur, delighting the crowd with amusing anecdotes between songs. I can also testify - following a brief chat with the great man - that he's an incredibly likable and approachable chap.

I normally avoid meeting my musical heroes for fear of disappointment, but in this case I was mighty glad to make the acquaintance of one of Britain's guitar greats.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SimPson, Love Martin