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Current page: A Brief History

Current page: A Brief History

A Brief History

Magna Carta was founded in April, 1969, and is one of the longest running bands in the world today.

The band has seen a number of personnel changes, but the common factor has always been Chris Simpson. Song writer, poet, accoustic guitar player and vocalist, he has been largely responsible for the band's unique sound, and has had uncanny success in gathering high quality musicians around him. He founded the band with Lyell Tranter, guitarist, and Glen Stuart, vocalist extraordinaire, and their first professional gig was at the Cambridge Folk Festival. A year later the band cut the first of their 30 odd albums, six of which have gone Gold, and three Silver.

The essence of Magna Carta between 1984-2009 has been Chris Simpson and Linda Simpson. Chris has been singing with Linda since 1983. They have been joined in the new millennium by Matt Barnhoorn, an outstanding Dutch fiddle player. In concert and on record they play with a variety of fine musicians, some of whom have been associated with Magna Carta for a long time. In 2009 that line-up quit after an unforgettable 40th Anniversary concert at the Royal Theatre Carré in Amsterdam. But soon after Chris went back on the road and the current line-up consists of Chris, Wendy Ross, Ken Nicol, Will Stock and John Shepard.

They continue to play concerts, but stopped touring extensively.

Full details of the band's remarkable story can be read in Chris Simpson's own words.


A look back at 50 years of Magna Carta can be read here