Martin Simpson – The Banks of the Bann

Martin Simson - Leaves of Life

Martin Simson – Leaves of Life

Enough of Bamako, Lucky Thirteen takes us from the River Niger to The Banks of the Bann.

Today’s track, called The Banks of the Bann, is taken from Martin Simpson‘s 1989 CD Leaves of Life. In the sleeve notes, Martin tells us that “Leaves of Life is a collection of acoustic guitar pieces based on the melodies of traditional ballads and songs from England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia”. He says that all of the songs were learnt from singers and goes on to thank Dave Burland, Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, Bobby Eaglesham, Dick Gaughan, Andy Irvine, Jessica Simpson, June Tabor and the Watersons “for their various inspirations”.

I’m not sure where Martin learnt this song, but it was certainly in the repertoire of Dick Gaughan so he may have been the inspiration. The album Leaves of Life is still readily available as a CD and also as an mp3 download. It is certainly recommended to all but especially to acoustic guitar fans. It is delightfully understated but, after only a couple of listens, the tunes get lodged in the mind. Earworms, quiet but compelling.

And for UK readers, Martin Simpson has a full schedule of concerts lined up for 2012, so drag yourselves away from the tv (you can always record the Transatlantic Sessions, The Only Way Is Essex etc.) and get out to see a gig.

Martin Simpson – The Banks of the Bann