The English veteran’s album tally reaches 20 with this release, and appropriately it’s one of his finest, an exquisitely played distillation of standards from both sides of the Atlantic, with a brace of originals for ballast. Well-worn favourites like Rufford Park Poachers and Blues Run the Game are presented in polished form, with Simpson’s virtuoso guitar and banjo tailored and layered by producer Andy Bell, plus classy guest accompaniments. Highlights include a cavernous version of Emily Portman’s Bones and Feathers, while Maps is a glance back at a 1950s childhood and Ridgeway evokes England’s ancient past. A master musician on top of his game.
Neil Spencer is a writer and an astrologer for The Observer