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Serious Sam Barrett - A Drop of the Morning Dew

  by Julie Cruickshank

published: 8 / 3 / 2024

Serious Sam Barrett - A Drop of the Morning Dew
Label: Ya Dig? Records
Format: CD


Wonderful live performance from Yorkshire’s acclaimed folk maestro Serious Sam Barrett

Serious Sam Barrett has been a fixture of the Yorkshire folk club scene for 20 years, his mixture of traditional and original songs either sung a capella or accompanied by Sam’s masterful fingerpicking of guitar and banjo. His latest album, ‘A Drop of the Morning Dew: Live at Bacca Pipes Folk Club’ is a greatest hits of sorts, a live performance showcasing the best of his songwriting and also a selection of traditional songs, some of which Sam has enhanced with his own arrangements. The album opens with the a capella ‘Every Night Has an Ending’, a reworking of ‘Derry Gaol’ which, says Sam, has “ a universal quality like a hymn”. ‘Alf’s Song’ is Sam’s tribute to his late Trade Unionist grandfather, its impressive rapid guitar work creating a lively and enjoyable track. The pace slows with the lilting ‘Drive Your Way Home’ then resumes fast fingerpicking through ‘Sailor’s Song’. ‘Back on the Jack’ owes its mid-pace honky-tonk feel to the influence of country stars such as George Jones, almost an interlude before a medley of traditional songs. ‘Last of the Yorkshire Outlaws’ pays tribute to the Duck and Drake pub in Leeds, frequented by rockers and other ‘outsiders’ as Sam puts it: “The smiles and the frowns/Of the sorrows being drowned”. ‘The Waggoner’ and ‘Was on an April Morning’, two traditional songs, are followed by the soft and sweet title track ‘A Drop of the Morning Dew’. ‘Long Gone’ is a beautiful waltz redolent of the old-time American West. ‘Where the White Roses Grow’ showcases Sam’s skills on the banjo, which sparkles and fizzes throughout this tale of roaming a Yorkshire Dales village. The album closes with ‘Lullaby of Leeds’, a ballad to gently wind down this lovely album. ‘A Drop of the Morning Dew’ is a record of a gig in which Serious Sam Barrett holds his audience spellbound, as befitting his reputation as one of the finest folk artists currently playing and recording in the UK. Recorded by James Atkinson and the first release on Sam’s own label Crow Lane Records, this album beguiles the listener, transporting us in time to a gig on a magical night somewhere in Yorkshire.

Track Listing:-
1 Every Night Has An Ending
2 Alf's Song
3 Drive Your Way Home
4 Sailor's Song
5 Back On The Jack
6 The Female Drummer
7 Holmfirth Anthem
8 The Recruited Collier
9 Bushes And Briars
10 Liverpool Packet
11 Last Of The Yorkshire Outlaws
12 The Wagonner
13 Was On An April Morning
14 A Drop Of The Morning Dew
15 Long Gone
16 Where The White Roses Grow
17 Darling Where You Are
18 Lullaby Of Leeds

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