English musician Martin Simpson, one of the finest acoustic finger-style and slide guitar players in the world, and American guitar and banjo player Dom Flemons (from the Grammy award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops) will work together to create brand new collaborative material rooted in English and American folk traditions.
They will research and explore how folk songs travelled from England to North America and vice versa, changing shape as they journeyed.
Using archive collections in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House – including Cecil Sharp’s landmark folk music fieldwork notebooks and diaries from his collecting trips in the Appalachian Mountains – they will go on to perform just four shows, including a performance at renowned music festival WOMAD.
This is an English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) commission, in association with WOMAD.
Martin spent many years living and playing in America. He has been nominated an astounding 26 times in the twelve years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – more than any other performer – with nine consecutive years as nominee for Musician of The Year, which he has won twice. 2008 saw an incredible five nominations for Prodigal Son and two wins, whilst in 2010 he had an unprecedented six nominations for his CD True Stories and a win for Best Traditional Track. 2012’s nominations for Martin included Best Album, Best Traditional Track and Best Musician. Martin has recently been involved in The Full English, a musical collaboration celebrating the archive of the same name, and The Elizabethan Session in March 2014, a new music project paying homage to that era.
A performance at Cecil Sharp House and a brief visit to the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, sparked Dom’s interest in how the songs from his home state of North Carolina may have sounded in the hands of English counterparts. He is a multi-instrumentalist, playing banjo, guitar, harmonica, fife, bones, bass drum, snare drum and quills, in addition to singing. Dom’s banjo repertoire includes not only clawhammer but also tenor and three-finger styles of playing. As a founding member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American string band, Dom was able to explore his interest in bringing traditional music to new audiences. The band won a GRAMMY for its 2011 album Genuine Negro Jig and was nominated for its most recent album, Leaving Eden, in 2012.
23 July: Cecil Sharp House, London, 7.30pm
24 July: Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich, 8pm
Tickets £15, £12.50 concessions
25 July: Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham by Sea 8pm
http://ropetacklecentre.co.uk/events/martin-simpson-dom-flemons/, via booking office on 01273 464440 or in person
26 July: WOMAD, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9DG
Weekend (24-27 July 2014) ticket information and prices available at http://womad.co.uk/tickets/. (Day tickets to be released at a later date)