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Wednesday, 12 June 2019
News From Topic Records June 2019
Celebrating the first 80 years of Topic Records
New album announcement
Martin Simpson - Rooted
out 30 August on 2CD, Vinyl and Digital
Singer, songwriter and guitar virtuoso Martin Simpson will release his brand new studio album Rooted on August 30. Produced by Andy Bell and recorded in Sheffield and Oxfordshire, Rooted will be available on CD, LP and digital with the deluxe 2CD and deluxe digital versions including a bonus disc of instrumentals, Seeded.
Summing up the themes of his new album, Martin says: “The music and songs embrace nature and travel, mental health, real life stories, loss, politics and history… and the threads that bind all this together can be followed back a long way, to 1965 when I got my first guitar and started to soak up material and ideas at a very rapid rate.”
Rooted features an array of stellar guest musicians, including Nancy Kerr (fiddle and viola), Andy Cutting (melodeon and diatonic accordion), Liz Hanks (cello), John Smith (electric guitar and vocals), Ben Nicholls (string bass and electric bass guitar), Julie Matthews (vocals), Alan Barnes (clarinet), Max Simpson (vocals), Amy Smith (vocals), Chris While (vocals) and Tom A Wright (drums and percussion). Richard Hawley and Dom Flemons contribute backing vocals and bones respectively to first single ‘Neo’ (out 21st June). As well as vocals, Martin himself plays banjola, 5-string banjo, 6-string fretless banjo, electric bass guitar and electric and resonator guitars!
Deluxe Topic Treasures CD issue of the award-winning Topic album + 3 bonus tracks + 28 page booklet with new sleeve notes by acclaimed journalist/Sandy Denny biographer Mick Houghton + new intro by John Tams
Originally released in 2005, John Tams’ third and final album, ‘The Reckoning’ received produced a triple whammy at the following year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, winning Best Album, Best Traditional Track (for Bitter Withy) and Folk Singer of the Year.
Re-released in July as part of the popular Topic Treasures series, ‘The Reckoning’ is a masterful collection of traditional and self-composed material including a spell-binding reading of ‘The Bitter Withy,’ a powerful reworking of ‘A Man Of Constant Sorrow’ and a magnificient set of sea songs including ‘Pretty Nancy’ and ‘A Sailor’s Life.’
Topic celebrated its 80th birthday with style and aplomb at the Barbican Centre in London last Friday, 7th June.
A veritable who’s who of the folk world took to the stage to toast the oldest independent record label in the world, weaving their way through a vast back catalogue whose first seed was planted back in 1939!
Performers included Eliza and Martin Carthy, Chris Wood, Marry Waterson, Lisa Knapp and Gerry Diver, Olivia Chaney, Alasdair Roberts, Emily Portman, Sam Lee and Bernard Butler, Boss Morris and many more.
The Topic Records: Folk in Focus exhibition is on now at Cecil Sharp House [Free entry]and runs until 5 January 2020.
The exhibition features iconic photographs from the Topic Records archive focusing on the seminal artists who’ve helped shape contemporary folk music as we know it.
Featuring photographs by Brian Shuel, John Harrison, Judith Burrows, Dave Peabody, Elly Lucas, Eammon O’Doherty and George Van Win, the exhibition includes era-defining shots of Anne Briggs, Shirley & Dolly Collins, The Watersons, Nic Jones, June Tabor, Martin Simpson, Eliza and Martin Carthy, Peggy Seeger, Ewan MacColl and many more.