Whilst known for being an English folk singer, guitarist and songwriter Martin Simpson has been combining British and Afro-American music for many years; he also lived in the US for fifteen years and anyone who has seen him perform live will testify to his fondness of those experiences through the stories he tells. In 2005, Dom Flemons co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who won a GRAMMY for their 2010 album Genuine Negro Jig. After leaving the Carolina Chocolate Drops he released Prospect Hill, his third solo album, in 2014 and the EP What Got Over in 2015. He has traveled all over the world advocating for traditional American music.
In 2014 the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) commissioned (in association with WOMAD) a unique artistic collaboration between two of the United States’ and England’s foremost musical tradition bearers to explore the journey of our shared folk music, and the changes between their respective musical traditions. Martin Simpson (one of the finest acoustic finger-style and slide guitar players in the world) & Dom Flemons (THE American Songster) quickly established an extensive shared repertoire and an infectious enthusiasm for the possibilities of their partnership.
Dom ~ “We explored how folk songs travelled between England and North America. Martin and I have a shared interest in the early American Songsters. He told me that even though he doesn’t generally play their songs he is a fan of people like Henry Thomas and Peg Leg Howell. We also spoke of our mutual admiration of revivalists and folksingers like Mike Seeger and UK collectors like Peter Kennedy and Seamus Ennis.”
Martin ~ “It was so easy to find a repertoire in common with Dom, I immediately felt at ease and at home with all the music we discovered we shared. I was overjoyed when the quills and bones and banjo and Dom’s wonderful energy emerged on the first rehearsal, it reinvigorated songs and styles for me.”