published: 22 /
Ya Dig? Records
Fresh and authentic latest album from Serious Sam Barrett which is firmly rooted in the folk tradition and celebrates the part love songs play in that genre.
Serious Sam Barrett is part of the thriving Yorkshire folk tradition. Brought up in the Dales village of Addingham, he started playing the Leeds folk scene in 2004. He ventured further afield to the USA, playing SXSW in 2010 and touring with friends and musicians who have influenced his playing and approach to music.
This latest album was inspired by a gift from his wife, a copy of the anthology of folk songs published by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in 1967, 'The Seeds of Love'.
It has been a source of inspiration for many folk singers over the decades.
Sam Barrett recognised some of the songs but others were new to him. He took the opportunity to read the lyrics of the unfamiliar ones and reimagine a melody that would fit the words.
Sam Barrett’s own songs on this album spring directly from the tradition in mood and feeling. Ophelia’s song in Hamlet is the inspiration for 'Valentine’s Day' and 'Every Night Has an Ending' is influenced by the Irish song, 'Derry Gaol'.
The traditional songs share the complexities of love, whether it be misguided, tragic, unrequited or true. There’s a lovely little booklet with the CD that gives us the stories behind the songs and Sam’s personal responses to them.
Sam puts his own tunes to the familiar 'Bushes and Briars' and to 'Drowsy Sleeper' and 'Blow Away the Morning Dew'.
Some of the lyrics take us to some dark and mysterious places. 'Bonny May' isn’t as carefree as you might assume and 'The Three Ravens' is based on a well known folk tale found across Northern Europe.
The banjo accompaniment to the songs reminds us that many of these tunes have passed back and forth across the Atlantic, continuing to influence folk music in the British Isles and America.
Recorded on two inch tape with James Atkinson at The Stationhouse studio in Leeds, Sam took advantage of the restrictions of COVID to spend time thinking about this latest album, free from the pressures of gigs and touring. There is a directness and authenticity in his performance and arrangements of the songs he has chosen.
‘I was lucky enough to be brought up in the magical world that is the Yorkshire folk club scene. I hope in some way this record brings to life the wonder I have felt listening to people sing traditional songs in a raw, warts and all style.
Sam Barrett continues to to build on his well deserved reputation as a folk musician who calls Yorkshire his home.
Every Night Has An Ending
Bushes And Briars
The Recruited Collier
Blow Away The Morning Dew
Was On An April Morning
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