Release date:
April 12, 2024
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"Martin Simpson is not a man to sit still for very long. Undoubtedly one of the hardest-touring musicians on the UK folk/roots circuit, he also averages a brand new studio album almost every two years. 'Skydancers,' his 15th full length record for Topic since 1992, comes hot on the heels of last year's guest-packed collaboration with the American producer/guitarist, Thomm Jutz, 'Nothing But Green Willow : The Songs of Mary Sands and Jane Gentry.' Recorded by Tim Wright and Andy Bell in Simpson's hometown of Sheffield, 'Skydancers' collects new, Simpson-penned originals alongside 18th century broadside ballads and reverent reworkings from the songbooks of, amongst others, Woody Guthrie, Nancy Kerr, June Tabor and Craig Johnson. 'Skydancers'' title track, commissioned by TV presenter and naturalist, Chris Packham, highlights the plight of the endangered Hen Harrier – ornithology, a keen interest of Simpson's. Elsewhere he narrates the life and times of Billy Waters, a black, peg-legged man who became famous busking in London in the nineteenth century. 'Roger's Cascade' is a very personal, jaunty, 5-string banjo homage to master instrument craftsman, Roger Bucknall. Simpson is joined on 'Skydancers' by American pedal steel maestro, Greg Leisz, Andy Cutting on diatonic accordion, Louis Campbell on guitars, Liz Hanks on cello, Ben Nicholls on string bass and a wealth of backing singers.

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