Album review: MARTIN SIMPSON – Home Recordings

MARTIN SIMPSON – Home Recordings

Topic Records [Release date 13.11.20]

Martin Simpson’s next album was going to be a live one but the first lockdown put paid to all that. Unable to play to audiences (he can average over 100 gigs a year) or go into a recording studio, the only solution was to record a new album at home.

Martin commented – “As the pandemic progressed we began to lose friends and peers. John Prine left us in April and I played for him at home. I was focused on material some of which I’ve known for 50 plus years, some I’ve recorded before and revisited out of love. I played songs over and over to finesse the arrangements, but in the absence of a live audience there was an additional intimacy. I wanted to capture this feeling and so Andy Bell and Tom Wright set up in the living room and I played and sang in the music room.”

The playing of Martin Simpson is a delight to listen to, be it the short, but sweet ‘Lonesome Valley Geese’ (with a guest appearance by local geese!) or his banjo picking on ‘3 Day Millionaire/Don’t Put Your Banjo In The Shed Mr Waterson’.

The reworking of the traditional song ‘Admiral Benbow’ is a treat. One of those songs that has a historical narrative and will be one to hear him perform live once the gigs resume again.

His take on Lyle Lovett’s ‘Family Reserve’ is stunning – just the vocals and guitar, whilst John Prine’s ‘Angel From Montgomery’ is another highlight. Robin Williamson’s ‘October Song’ (from Incredible String Band’s eponymous debut album) and of course, Bob Dylan’s ‘These Times, They Are A-Changin’ resonates now as much as when the song originally came out.

Aided by guitar, banjo and ukulele Martin Simpson has adapted to the times and gone back to basics, recording at home, to produce an album that demands, and indeed rightly deserves, your attention. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie





Josh Taerk’s latest Sunday Session was streamed on Sunday 22 May.

Next session: Sunday 17 July.

Check out previous videos here: https://www.facebook.com/getreadytorockradio


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 GMT, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 19 June 2022.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 GMT as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 21 June 2022.

How to Listen Live?

Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)

Listen via Windows Media Player. Click or tap here and “open file”
Listen via other media player (eg. VLC) Click or tap here and “open file”

Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.

More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com


Power Plays w/c 27 June 2022 (Mon-Fri)
REVIVAL BLACK Broken Home (TMR Records)
FLOYA Epiphany (indie)
TWISTER Own Worst Enemy (indie)
MODERN MIMES Down And Dead (Curtain Call Records)
TUNGSTEN Northern Lights (Arising Empire)
THE GREAT LESLIE Feel Alive (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 27 June (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 GRACE Hope (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 CLASSLESS ACT Welcome To the Show (Better Noise Music)
14:00-16:00 TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT Day By Day (indie)



Popular (last 30 days)


This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply