Martin Simpson, born as Martin Stewart Simpson is an English folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He was born in Scunthorpe, England. He got interested in music from an early age and learned to play guitar and banjo. He even began performing at local folk clubs. He was a student of John Leggott College. In 1970, he dropped out of college and started working to become a full-time musician.
Later in 1976, he recorded the first solo album and named it Vanity. After that, n their UK tour, he opened for the band Steeleye Span. He then collaborated with various artists and bands including Albion Band, where he was one of the musicians to play during their residency at the National Theatre, London and folk singer June Tabor. He went on to record three albums with her.
In 2003, he collaborated with June Tabor again. He moved to Bloomington, Indiana in 1985 and afterward relocated to Ithaca,
New York after marrying American singer Jessica Radcliffe. They got divorced later, and he married Kit Bailey, daughter of the singer Roy Bailey. They have a daughter named Molly, and they live in Sheffield currently. In 1995, he recorded an album called Music for the Motherless Child along with pipa player, Wu Man. The album had a fusion of Chinese and American approaches.
An incredible fact about this album is that it has been produced in a single sitting from 7:00 P.M. to 2:30 A.M. He also collaborated with David Hidalgo from Los Logos and Vij Krishna, a violinist. On his visit to the UK, in 1994, he recorded Martin Simpson Live in Oxford. In 1999, he predominantly recorded songs directed and composed by himself for Bootleg, USA. Later in the same year, he co-founded a record label with his former wife, Jessica Radcliffe. They named it ‘High Bohemia.’
He performed as a session musician for an album by Julie Murphy. He then recorded various albums and won awards and honors for those records. Some of his solo albums include Golden Vanity (1976), Special Agent (1981), Grinning in your Face (1983), Sad or High Kicking (1985), Nobody’s Fault But Mine (1985), Leaves of Life- Instrumentals (1989), When I was on Horseback (1991), A Closer Walk with Thee (1994), Smoke and Mirrors (1995), Bootleg USA (1999), Kind Letters (2005), Prodigal Sons (2007), and True Stories (2009).
He collaborated with Jessica Ruby Simpson on three albums True Dare or Promise (1987), Red Roses (1995), and Band of Angels (1996), and with Andy Cutting and Nancy Kerr for Murmurs (2015). He has been nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in the 11 years history for 23 times. He won artist of the year twice out of the nine consecutive nominations. His album Prodigal Son won Album of the Year in 2008, and a song called ‘Never Any good’ won the Best Original Song. Martin Simpson also has to his credit various guitar instructions books and DVDs of guitar tutorials.