Acoustic guitar ace Martin Simpson to play solo gig at National Centre for Early Music

Martin Simpson: Solo concert at NCEM tomorrow. Picture: Geoff Trinder

FINGERSTYLE guitarist Martin Simpson plays an intimate solo concert at the National Centre for Early Music, Walmgate, York, tomorrow night (25/10/2023).

Scunthorpe-born Simpson, 70, combines passion, sorrow, love, beauty, tragedy and majesty in his acoustic and slide guitar playing.

Equally at home performing English traditional folk, American folk and blues and his own compositions, he is listed in Gibson Guitars’ Top 30 acoustic guitarists of all time and is an ace banjo-picker to boot.

Down the years, Simpson has collaborated with Jackson Browne, Martin Taylor, June Tabor, Richard Hawley, Bonnie Raitt, Danny Thompson, David Hidalgo and Richard Thompson, among others.

He has been a linchpin of The Full English (The Elizabethan Session) and recorded Murmurs, a collaboration with Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr in 2015.

His 2020 album, Home Recordings, was recorded at his home by his regular producer – and now neighbour – Andy Bell and found Simpson playing and singing among his guitar and banjo collection and out on his Peak District-facing porch.

Simpson’s collaboration with Nashville guitarist Thomm Jutz, Nothing But Green Willow, The Songs of Mary Sands and Jane Gentry, was released on September 29.

In September 2022, he started his first proper tour since 2019, a run of 20 gigs in 21 days. This autumn, he is on tour once more, brought to York by The Crescent and Black Swan Folk Club for tomorrow’s 7.30pm seated concert at the NCEM. Box office: or on the door.

Did you know?

MARTIN Simpson has had the most nominations of any performer in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, 32 times in all, 13 as Musician of the Year, winning that accolade twice.