Martin Simpson And Thomm Jutz Announce New Collaborative Album “Nothing But Green Willow: The Songs of Mary Sands and Jane Gentry” Out September 29th via Topic Records
“These are mysterious songs, that’s what sets them apart from popular music,” says Grammy-nominated and IBMA Award-winning songwriter and guitarist Thomm Jutz. He’s speaking about his long-running obsession with Cecil Sharp’s 1916 and 1918 collection, “English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians;” particularly those tunes from singers Mary Sands and Jane Gentry. “A lot goes unexplained. Why certain characters find themselves in certain situations is not as important as how they deal with them,” says Jutz.
“The stories and messages in these songs are as important today as they were hundreds of years ago. The reason for this is that they deal with archetypes. And archetypes and the problems related to them transcend time and place.” Jutz’s journey through the English folk song collector's work led him to these two women who might’ve unknowingly changed the course of folk music history—and to his trans-Atlantic collaborator, award-winning English artist, songwriter, and guitarist, Martin Simpson.
“Martin Simpson is one of the greatest guitar players on the planet and it was a dream to work with him on this album,” says Jutz. “Together we selected the songs and paired singers and songs (Sierra Hull, Angeline Morrison, Odessa Settles, Tim O’Brien, Tammy Rogers, Seth Lakeman, and more). It was easy. We had talked on the phone but never met in person. I picked him up at the Nashville airport and five days later we had the first six songs. Then we flew to England together and after a week had the rest.”