The leading folk and blues guitarist Martin Simpson kept his audience entertained when he played at Lichfield’s Guildhall.

Martin Simpson
Martin Simpson

With a stripped-down sound, one guitar, stories from his time spent as a musician and events happening in the natural world, his setlist encompassed many topics.

His aural hinterland drew from diverse genres as the blues, folk, modern pop and rock, and courtly Elizabethan sounds were served up.

The setlist drew from such acts as Lyle Lovett, the much-missed John Prine, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, traditional blues and carols, as well as his own narrative songs which took in such topics as nature, the world and man’s place in it, as well as politics and the history that we take for granted.

Songs included Family Reserve, Angel From Montgomery, as well as a completely rearranged Heartbreak Hotel, which took the swagger we are familiar with and added a brooding, slide guitar drenched part to the vocals.

An affecting Cherry Tree Carol featured some unfamiliar choruses, while the old folk club favourite Blues Run the Game by C Jackson Frank allowed Martin to show why he has won so many awards for his art.

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