Tales from the Barrel House – Seth Lakeman folking album review

Seth Lakeman’s hotly anticipated new album – Tales from the Barrel House has now arrived on the streets and it’s HOT!

All 10 tracks are Seth’s self penned and performed which include layers of his own vocals sandwiched together with various Seth style instrumental arrangements, including a hammer on an anvil and whatever else he could lay his hands on. Seth produced and mixed it too.

The setting of the studio was the cooperage Barrel House workshop in the beautiful surrounds of Morwellham Quay in West Devon which is quite near Seth’s home. He was born and brought up on the surrounds of Dartmoor which has inspired a lot of Lakeman repertoire like the hugely celebrated Kitty Jay from the album of the same name…

The Barrel House tracks are inspired from hard core copper miners most of which started mining from the age of Seven –  toiling for hours on end in the dusty hole for a pittance. More than Money is the first track of the album depicting this and it was recorded down the mine to give it an additional dramatic effect!

Blacksmith’s Prayer is a favourite of mine, axe on anvil for percussion –  ‘an epitaph to a blacksmith’s life and a disappearing craft.’

The Watchmakers Rhyme is a dedication to watchmaker George Routledge and in it Seth weaves the tale in with the mechanics of the song. Hard Road tells of factories/mines having to close and the subsequent hard  road of survival. Sender is about the letters between two lovers which bought a watery eye to this fair maiden!

On to the sea now and Salt from our Veins tells of life and livelihood. Brothers of Penryn has a steady beat we all know and expect from Seth and is about a prodigal son and greed of his family. Apple of His Eye is another tearjerker! Another of Seth’s foot stompers follows – Higher Walls, fast becoming another favourite of mine which is about workers in a chain gang and their sense of entrapment.

The album slips away quietly with the Artisan which is about a woodworker and his trade, reliving his life as he works. Reminds me of my late father and it shook me to the core as wasn’t prepared for the soulful and meaningful words pulling at the heart strings of my memories.

So in summary, an excellent album from Seth, interestingly released too late for this years Radio 2 Folk Awards so I’ll hazard a guess that it will clean up at the following 2013 event. A true work of art… with plenty of fiddle still in there too!

Jean Camp

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Artist web link: http://www.sethlakeman.co.uk/

Seth Lakeman Announces New Album ‘Tales from the Barrel House’

Celebrated folk singer-songwriter and virtuoso fiddler Seth Lakeman has just released details of his forthcoming sixth album ‘Tales From The Barrel House’.

Nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2005 for his ‘Kitty Jay’ album, ‘Tales from the Barrel House’ see’s seth returning to his Devon roots.  Recorded at Morwellham Quay mining port on the north bank of the River Tamar, tracks were recorded in workshops located in the quay.  One track even saw Seth descend into a disused West Country copper mine. Recorded with just one sound field microphone, Seth not only wrote all the songs, but played every musical contribution himself, as well as producing and mixing the album.

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist web link: sethlakeman.co.uk

Graham Robins – THE SHIPPING NEWS

THE SHIPPING NEWS is the brand new album release on The Global Sessions Label by singer songwriter Graham Robins emphasising his love of soul, blues, country and Gospel music along with the occasional dip into Celtic and Folk; all delivered in his signature rich deep voice. The album takes the listener on a journey into the heart and soul of a singer songwriter who has composed a well crafted collection of songs that underpins an experience and love of roots music in all its many forms.

Stand out cuts include the stunning title track The Shipping News, where Graham’s vocal delivery teases every emotion, guaranteed to move the listener, the pedal steel led Now All Of The Heartache’s Gone, the soulful Snow Blindand emotionally charged Roll Back The Years, but special mention must be made of the stunning Drown In Your Eyes which really shows a songwriter at the top of his game. This is an album of twelve killer songs, no fillers here.

Graham Robins truly is an outstanding singer songwriter and live performer, with two previous albums under his belt, SPIRIT WITHIN and ROLL BACK THE YEARS but with THE SHIPPING NEWS he has taken his recorded output to another level. Graham’s soulful voice and unique guitar style knit together perfectly wrapped around lyrics gathered from a lifetime of experience. Whether performed live or on record, his delivery becomes a passionate embrace of his heartfelt songs, revealing great depth and sincerity.

The album was recorded at the Echo Studios in Buckingham and was produced by Graham himself. Graham, who plays electric and acoustic guitars, harmonica and supplies lead vocals, is joined by guest musicians Stuart Buckle on Dobro and guitar, Dave Baldwin on keyboards (Van Morrison, Chris Farlowe, James Hunter, Larry Garner, The Norman Beaker Band), John Devine who supplies Uillean pipes (Wild Willy Barratt, Sleeping Dogs), Olly Dowlen on upright bass (Don Mescal, writer for Ronan Keating), Mark Burr on drums, Rol Walker on percussion, Cliff Weston gives us pedal steel, Cliff Ward on violin and not forgetting Jade Rhiannon Ward on backing vocals.

Graham Robins has been performing live and recording music since the mid 1960’s and has played at The Edinburgh Festival, The North Devon Music Festival, The Castlebar International Blues Festival and The Westport Arts Festival. He has shared the stage with numerous artists including The Waterboys, Seth Lakeman, Glen Tilbrook, Georgie Fame and Chris Farlowe. He was a 2008 Indie Award Nominee and tours the U.K. and Ireland regularly either solo or with his band and also with virtuoso guitarist and former Van Morrison sideman Ronnie Johnson. At London’s Borderline as part of Shana Morrison’s 2007 UK tour they performed together on Van Morrison’s Sometimes We Cry to great acclaim.

With influences that are vast and eclectic that go way back to the days of tuning into Radio Luxembourg and Radio Caroline, listening to Stax, Motown and Atlantic Records and with a love of artists with cross border musical links, it comes as no surprise that THE SHIPPING NEWS is an album covering many musical genres.

Graham Robins is constantly playing live shows up and down the UK and to support the release of THE SHIPPING NEWS will be touring the UK over the winter of 2011/2012.

Release date – November 7th 2011 on the Global Sessions label…

“Magical rootsy stuff, gloriously uplifting and with atmosphere by the spadefull!”

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

DAN DONNELLY – COUNTRY AND NORTHERN

The long-awaited album from Belfast born singer/songwriter Dan Donnelly is upon us, after a fabulous taster of an EP released a while before his full album to keep his legion of fans happy! Dan has toured extensive with the Levellers, The Oysterband, supported Seth Lakeman on his tours on more than one occasion and has been delighting the British public after moving back here from the States almost 2 years ago.  He has appeared at various Festivals including Beautiful Days, the Big Session and a regular at Glastonbury.

Dan writes his songs from the heart and from experience.  This album is no exception and has a raw quality that extends itself to whoever hears it.  Kicking off the album I was expecting doom and gloom, but as he is now ‘in lurve’ the lovely lady is question as the first song ‘Your Loving Arms’ happy (yes happy) song!  The second track leads into his bit of bad experience and a kind of biography of the last couple of years. Track 4 is a tribute and dedicated ‘In Loving Memory’ to his late friend Paddy McNicholl who sadly died last year.  He believed in Dan tirelessly. Running – Track 5 was selected as a single and is a favourite of most people I know who are Dan fans. Eleven tracks finishing off with Plastic Jesus which has everyone bopping and singing along when at a Festival or venue.

His live performance is a work of art, with his loop foot pedals, skill and talent; he deserves to be up there with the rest.  A really nice guy who loves to talk to people about music, Dan has taught at Exeter’s Academy of Music and knows his craft inside out.  There isn’t much about the music business Dan doesn’t know. With tracks that have been recorded by Sean Lakeman and Phil Johnstone (ex Robert Plant band) and with a who’s who in folk on the album such as Leveller Mark Chadwick and Ben Paley on fiddle, this album is a work of art. Buy this album, and catch him live –  and you won’t be disappointed.  You can purchase the album below or from Dan personally if you are at one of his gigs.

Jean Camp

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.>

DAVID GARRETT – ROCK SYMPHONIES (Decca Records 4782686)

In my youth I was switched-on to Bach by the producer Waldo De Los Rios and his album Symphonies Of The Seventies. Here in the 00’s it’s the flamboyant posturing of poster-boy violinist David Garrett that will hopefully enthuse a younger, more street-cred audience. Strutting his stuff recently on the Alan Titchmarsh Show (I kid you not!) I was taken by the theatrics of it all and wondered how someone like this would be accepted by the ‘folk’ scene…then I thought has anyone seen Seth Lakeman recently? You see it’s not only just the music that counts to the general public but that sense of showmanship and, dare I mention the words ‘marketing-hype’. Well, bring it on, I’m sure the ‘folk’ world is man enough to take it with the inclusion of the ‘folk’ influenced sounds of Beethoven’s “5th”, Bach’s “Tocatta” and Edvard Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” all getting a shout. The ostentatious flourishes of say Andre Rieu (the Classical world’s answer to James Last) are knocked for six here with genuine ‘rock’ attitude from Garrett’s gifted fingers and the inclusion of well established, popular standards continuing that theme of ‘folk’ influences it is on the opening track (Nirvanas “Smells Like Teen Spirit” no less) that proves an all together different beast turning the melody into an unorthodox wild Gypsy style dervish. I’ve long given up the thought process of trying to ‘pigeon-hole’ my tastes in music but have learned to embrace the wilder excesses of ‘folk and acoustic music’ as I see it. Perhaps some of you reading this review might be encouraged to broaden your attitudes to include something ‘a little different’. If so, then I’ve succeeded in my job and I can die a happy man.

PETE FYFE

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

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http://www.david-garrett.com/

Mark Chadwick (lead singer of the Levellers) speaks to Paul Johnson about his new solo album

Folking.com’s Paul Johnson in conversation with Mark Chadwick (lead singer of the Levellers) at Beautiful Days Festival in August 2010. Mark talks about the festival and his new solo album project “All the Pieces”.  For those not in the know, Mark is one of the UK’s most successful song-writers and has co-written 20 chart singles and 6 top 40 albums (including a number 1). “All the Pieces” is not a Levellers (the band he has fronted for the last 20 years) album but in my opinion each of the 12 autobiographical acoustic folk-pop songs have an early Levellers “wood smoke” spirit to them and hark back to an earlier late sixties/ early Seventies age. The album was produced by the award-winning Sean Lakeman and Mark is joined by a surprise all-star folk cast (which I won’t give away now as you hear about it in the interview below).

Folkmaster – September 2010

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist Web link: http://www.markchadwick.org/