This UK group formed in 1970, when Fiona Simpson (b. 8 May 1952, Farnborough, Hampshire, England; guitar, vocals), joined the existing duo of Dave Shannon (b. 7 February 1947, Belfast, Northern Ireland; keyboards, guitar, vocals), and Sam Bracken (guitar, vocals). While the former duo had specialized in blues and ragtime, the addition of Simpson changed their repertoire to include songs by such writers as James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell. When Bracken left in 1971, Simpson and Shannon continued as a duo until 1983, touring Europe, playing venues as disparate as a folk club one night, and the Royal Albert Hall the next. One of the most requested songs at bookings was Joni Mitchell’s ‘Carey’, which displayed Simpson’s voice to startling effect. Almanac, released on CBS Records, featured all Dave Shannon originals. The album based a song around each sign of the Zodiac. The group undertook much television work during this period, and incorporated comedy into their act, opening shows for such acts as Max Boyce, Jasper Carrott, and the Barron Knights. Bringing The House Down included such diverse songs as ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song’, and the traditional ‘Lord Franklin’. Indeed, many of the songs featured in Therapy’s live set came from outside the folk spectrum, much to the displeasure of some folk purists. 1977 saw the release of a single on DJM Records, ‘The Most Important Part Of Me Is You’, produced by Brian Bennett of the Shadows, followed by a remake of Almanac. Subsequent albums were released on their own label, Therapy Records. By financing and producing their own albums, largely for selling at gigs, they have encouraged other acts to pursue the same line in bypassing record companies, a practice that has now become commonplace on the folk scene. Shannon left to become a music producer for the BBC, while Simpson has continued to perform in a solo capacity, essentially in folk clubs and at festivals, both at home and abroad. She has also recorded in her own right and is a sought-after session singer on records and for BBC Radio.
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