Shire Folk – Album of 2017




Martin Simpson – Trails & Tribulations


Forget the BBC Folk Awards, this is the one they rosin their fiddle bows for … the Shire Folk album of the year! Well the entrails have been consulted, the great and good have been roundly ignored, the votes counted and verified, and the Shire Folk Album of the Year result is in.

Not only were our reviewers and advertisers consulted, but once again we have ventured into the murky waters of social media, asked Mr Putin to stop voting for the Red Army Choir, and canvassed our Twitter followers. This is what democracy looks like: the people have spoken and the winner of the 2017 award is … drum roll please … Martin Simpson with Trails & Tribulations! Congratulations to Martin. It was an incredibly tight vote and anyone in the top 5 or 6 might have won it right up until the last day of voting.

Here’s the Top 10

  1. Martin Simpson – Trails & Tribulations
  2. Megan Henwood – River
  3. Melrose Quartet – Dominion
  4. Cara Dillon – Wanderer
  5. Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys – Pretty Peggy
  6. Leveret – Inventions
  7. Paul Brady – Unfinished Business
  8. Emily Askew Band – Alchemy
  9. Jim Causley – I Am The Song
  10. Calan- Solomon

Over 50 albums were nominated (more than any other year), so these 10 really are the top of the toppermost. It’s become traditional to reveal the Shire Folk editors’ Top 5 albums – mainly to see how out of touch we are or whether we have the finger on the folky pulse. So here you go…

Graham Hobbs

  1. Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys – Pretty Peggy
  2. Tilly Moses – Alight and Adrift
  3. Cara Dillon – Wanderer
  4. Kim Lowings & The Greenwood – Wild & Wicked Youth
  5. Geoff Lakeman – After All These Years

Jonathan Roscoe

  1. Courtney Marie Andrews – Honest Life
  2. This Is The Kit – Moonlight Freeze
  3. Faeland – All My Swim
  4. Emily Barker – Sweet Kind Of Blue
  5. Megan Henwood – River

After a long and distinguished career, I’m sure Martin Simpson would agree that this award is probably the apex and the culmination of everything he has been working towards! Trails & Tribulations proved that not only is he the master of the guitar and a superb songwriter, but that he is a brilliant interpreter of other people’s songs. His version of Emily Portman’s ‘Bones and Feathers’ is particular fine.

So that’s it for another year. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried and occasionally, as Big Chris in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels put it, it’s been emotional. Will we back to do it all again next year? Damn right we will. See you on the other side.

Jonathan Roscoe


Granny's Attic