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Album review: Martin Simpson, Vagrant Stanzas (Topic)


Martin Simpson applies his dazzling fingerstyle technique to a broad range of material, from Thirties folk-blues lament “Diamond Joe” to Leonard Cohen's bedsit anthem “Stranger Song”, alongside his own originals such as “Delta Dreams” and the instrumental “Molly As She Swings”. As ever, there's special attention paid to social broadsides, from a gritty version of Dylan's iron-range ballad “North Country Blues” to Leon Rosselson's “Palaces of Gold”, whose gauging of the imbalance between privilege and poverty remains as pertinent now as ever.

Download: Palaces of Gold; North Country Blues; Stranger Song; Delta Dreams