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Monday, 25 October 2010

resolute love: review

someone has had kind words to say about the new cd;

'Only the finest artisans are dubbed ‘Master’ by their peers. Those that comprehend the expertise, knowledge and understanding needed to ply their chosen trade. Those that take their art to the highest level. The designation also recognises the dedication, time and effort required to learn the craft; that and the subconscious ‘feel’ that knows how to use the skill to apply the knowledge gained. That is why Simon Hopper richly deserves the epithet ‘Master English songwriter’ – and his latest album with Andee Price is a prime example of the master at work.'

read the rest of the review;

it's available to buy direct;

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

songwriting technique: racism and violence. what do you think?

dear person who is interested in what i'm doing,

here's the thing; i want to write a song about an experience i had. i was in a bar and a couple of acquaintances began swapping racist jokes.

i believe that the atmosphere in which racist acts can occur is created, at least in part, by such casual racist exchanges - whether it be an incidence of street-violence or something on a greater scale all the way up to the holocaust - and the use of language to mark a group as 'other/inferior' is despicable because of this. the fact that there are those who don't understand this doesn't make it less so.

i want to link my experience to this thought and express it in terms of a song.

here lies the problem that i'd like your view on. and one that you might, in any case, like to muse on. if an artist presents their audience with something too awful to behold, the audience will turn away and the artist's intention is thwarted. if the artist wants to make the audience think on a difficult matter, they must present it in such a way that the audience can bear it in order that they can then think on it. if, on another hand, the statement is too obvious, the audience is not caused to see more than they knew in the first place and the song is pointless anyway.

in the first draft of my song 'joke' i wrote the following (for the rest of the text, see elsewhere in this blog);

fly a plane into a tower
rape as a tool of war
exterminate by gassing
locked in behind an air-tight door

the question; is this too full-on? is this too harsh on the listener's imagination? is it, indeed, too much of a statement of the obvious, too ham-fisted in its stating of its message?

you see, i got into a discussion with a friend of mine - a songwriter himself whose abilities i respect, who thought it was too stark, too obvious and too much strayed from the personal.

what do you think?

leave a comment here or email me on


Wednesday, 13 October 2010

join me at the festival of two cities - nov/rochester

i'll be playing at the good intent pub in rochester as part of a day-long folk event in the good intent pub - well-known for its commitment to music. i'll be on at 3.00. it's free. trio or duo tbc. come along.

Saturday 20th – FESTIVAL OF TWO CITIES – 3.00 p.m.
(All day event 11.00 - 11.00)
Duo or Trio tbc
The Good Intent, John Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1YL
Entry: Free
The Good Intent

Saturday, 9 October 2010

House Concert

Fancy a private concert in your home?

House concerts are one way I get in front of audiences. They're quite special. I've done them in England, Sweden and Germany - and they always seem to work. The atmosphere is special and intimate and the after-party is usually fun, too! Here's a monatge of one we did in 2011.

I'm happy to play for a collection, but some hosts/esses have preferred to make a charge. I'm easy either way.

Food and Drink
I wouldn’t ask hosts to provide refreshments (though they often do). A b.y.o. approach on the part of audience seems to work

The bulk of the audience usually comes from the friends of the host/ess, but we sometimes have followers of the music turn up.

Concert Atmosphere
For the gig to work, the audience has to see the event as a dedicated musical occasion - a concert - not a party with music. But the after-party can be great, too.

We ususally have a win-win situation. I get to play in a friendly environment to a friendly audience. The host/ess gets to have some real music played by real musicians in their own home. It's usually a great evening.

Friday, 8 October 2010


sitting in a bar with two friends

when the first one turns to me

the second laughs as he tells a joke

which paints a black man as a thief

lying in bed in the half-light

world service by my side

quietly tells of steve biko

and the tale of how that black man died

a word becomes a notion

and a notion is a seed

which may grow to an attitude

and give rise to a deed;

fly a plane into a tower

rape as a tool of war

exterminate by gassing

locked in behind an air-tight door

sitting in a bar with two friends

when the first one turns to me

the second laughs as he tells a joke

which paints a black man as a thief

Thursday, 7 October 2010

a private folk music concert in your home?

new cd is out and available, musos thoughts turn elsewhere... must book gigs...
why not arrange a quality folk music event in your own home? check out the website with the house concert blurb;

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

new cd 'resolute love' available online

dear all,

the new cd is ready for order. eight songs recorded 'as live' by the simon/andee duo - two instruments, two voices, one song (at a time). 'up' and (mostly) optimistic. as close to party music as i get. eight tracks inc p&p for £8.50. see below for track listing. go to to order a copy online.

here's what it says on the website (so it must be true); 

Before I went on the duo tour of the north England and Scotland in the summer of 2010 with Andee, it was her idea that we should get in the studio after the tour to record 'as live' the unrecorded* songs that we played on the tour; no overdubs, no studio trickery - and just the duo, two voices and two instruments. Resolute Love was the result. Named after the piece that has become our no.1 encore song, it is a collection of mainly upbeat (at least musically) songs - an antidote to The Beautiful and Cruel, you might say. Great credit should be awarded to Andee for being a force behind the recording and for her playing and input into arrangements. No musical contribution here from Trowbridge, but, as ever, his canny design work is displayed on the sleeve. This is the first album I've recorded without guitar; mandolin and mandola only. (All these songs can be heard on my myspace site - see navigation bar above.)

(*Two in the Margins was an exception to the 'previously unrecorded' criteria. This version, featuring Andee's double-bass bowing, was so distinct from the Malmo-recorded version [sans Andee] that I felt we should commit it to disc.)

TRACKS: Resolute Love : Solid Ground : What You Do : Oh Sally Ann : Everything : The Cherry Blossom Song : Black Birds : Two in the Margins
cd cover and lyrics are available elsewhere on this blog. all the songs can be heard on

buy one and tell me what you think. (you're not allowed to do the latter if you haven't done the former...)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

borrow one, borrow all

Miguel moved up from Mexico, Paco from Peru
Tex lived on a trailer park, his granddaddy did, too
Like all good Americans, they longed for their own home
But when you earn ten bucks an hour you can’t afford the loan
But where there's profit to be made, the money men come round
Don’t bother with the small print, though; it’s written to confound
So borrow one and borrow all, lie to them if you must
But when the shit comes tumbling down you won’t see them for dust

Some of them took ninja loans and some got one percent
Which lasted for the day it took to get the money lent
Some of them colluded, but some were just naïve
And predatory lenders are so easy to believe
Serial defaulters and the unemployed queued up

Regulators watched them drinking from the poisoned cup

So borrow one and borrow all, Greenspan doesn’t care
So long as US trade survives the 9/11 scare

Now the steel jaws of the interest rates are closing with a snap
And the hapless victims who were lured into this honey trap
Watch as their homes are auctioned at a fraction of the price
They paid on the day they took the money men’s advice

So what does a money man do with a book of toxic loans? 
Secured against the value of a million worthless homes
He’s true unto his ethics, as everyone can see
He packages and sells them on ‘til they and with you and me

And a black hole is created as the house of cards implodes

Sucking in liquidity from all around the globe
Borrow one and borrow all, they set the demon loose
A thousand poisoned pigeons are all coming home to roost