The Elizabethan Session
An 8 artist co-commission in 2014 between Folk by the Oak and EFDSS, inspired by Hatfield House, Elizabeth I's childhood home, and also the location for the Folk by the Oak festival.
The brief was for the artists to use the Elizabethan Age as inspiration for new material, creating songs and tunes that have relevance to the characters, stories, songs, controvosies or rumours from the time.
The artists spent a week in a residential in March 2013 in Monnington in Herefordshire, where at the start of the week they were joined by historian Dr Ian Mortimer who provided a memorable evening of Elizabethan colour and stories to set the artists on their way.
The residential was immediately followed by shows at Cecil Sharp House and in the Great Hall at Hatfield House, with time to squeeze in a visit to the Southbank to perform 4 songs live on BBC Radio 3.
Following the shows, the artists stayed over in Hatfield to record the Elizabethan Session album in the Great Hall, with the 14 track album being released on 8th September 2014, and a vinyl release later in the year.
The artists performed two further shows, at Folk by the Oak in July 2014, and a sold out performance in the Mitchell Library at Celtic Connections in January 2015.
5 * concert review The Times, Monday 24th March 2014
4 * Guardian concert review link
Feature in The Telegraph link
Album review on Bright Young Folk link
"....a stunning and unforgettable evening." The Times
"...Simpson provided two of the finest songs of the evening, dealing with the deaths of Christopher Marlowe and Mary Queen of Scots..." The Guardian