Listen below to John Hardy, from the forthcoming new album ‘Ever Popular Favourites’ featuring English folk singer, guitarist and songwriter Martin Simpson and Dom Flemons who co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops. The album features songs recorded live during the duos 2015 sold-out tour and will be released on 7th October via Fledg’Ling Records. John Hardy tells the story of a black emplyee of the Shawnee Coal Company of West Virginia who on January 9th 1894 was hanged for the murder of Thomas Drews. He took seventeen-and-a-half minutes to die in front of a crowd of 3000…as it says in the liner notes…so much for “bad men”.
Martin sings and plays guitar with Dom on harmonica and bones.
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.”
17th July – Larmer Tree Festival, SALISBURY
18th July – Forest Folk, WICKHAM
23rd July – The Village Pump Folk Festival, WESTBURY
24th July – Folk by the Oak @ Hatfield House,HATFIELD
31st July – Sidmouth FolkWeek, SIDMOUTH
Dom will also have some solo gigs at:
15th July – St George’s Hall, Concert Hall, Bristol
16th July – Burnett’s Hill Chapel NARBETH
20th and 21st July – Cecil Sharp House, LONDON
25th July Whelan’s, DUBLIN
26th July – Coughlan’s Live, CORK
27th July – Campbell’s Tavern, HEADFORD
28th July – Dom Flemons @ Cleere’s in Kilkenny, Ireland
29th July – Dom Flemons @ Leap Castle in Roscrea, Ireland
Ever Popular Favourites is released 7th October 2016 via Fledg’ling Records