Following on from 2019’s acclaimed Where The White Roses Grow Serious Sam Barrett, one of Yorkshire’s finest rising folk artists is back with a new 10-track studio album, The Seeds Of Love.
The album takes its title from the book The Seeds Of Love, an anthology of folk songs from the British Isles, compiled by the lawyer Stephen Sedley and published by the English Folk Dance & Song Society in 1967, that was given to Sam by his wife.
“I was immediately taken with how beautiful the book was and a large part of this record is comprised of songs from the book”, explains Sam. “In a lot of cases, I was new to the songs and I simply read the verses from the page and waited for a melody to come to me that I thought fitted the words. For some, I already knew the song and decided to play it straight with the traditional melody. For some time I’ve wanted to make a record with a very traditional feel, a ‘proper folk record’, and this book really helped that along. One way or another all the songs on this record are songs of love, be it tragic, misguided, unrequited or true.”
Of the album’s original songs, ‘Valentine’s Day’ take its rhythm and feel from the song of the same name in the book, while ‘Every night Has An Ending’ is influenced by the song ‘Derry Gaol’, a variant on the ‘Gallows Pole’ family of songs.
Once again Sam recorded the album at The Stationhouse in Leeds with producer/engineer James Atkinson in between periods of Covid lockdown. “It’s been a really tough time in a lot of ways but I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my music and work hard on my songs”, he says. “In a way I’ve been lucky to have some space to really make the record I wanted to make without it feeling rushed or having to fit it round gigs and touring.”
Raised in the Dales village of Addingham, Sam began performing in and around Leeds in 2004, with word spreading further afield with the release of his 2009 debut album Close To Home. Performing at SXSW in Austin, Texas in 2010, he has toured the US widely, usually in the company of friends and fellow skaters The Pine Hill Haints. Along the way, Sam has shared stages with the likes of The Felice Brothers, Lucero, The Legendary Shack Shakers, Frank Fairfield, Deer Tick and Karine Polwart, and received airplay and praise plaudits from the BBC’s Bob Harris, Gideon Coe, Marc Riley and the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe.
“I’ve had some of the most incredible experiences listening to people sing in folk clubs and I was lucky enough to have been brought up in the magical world that is the Yorkshire folk club scene”, says Sam. “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.”
Tour Dates (with The Burner Band)
Sunday 29 Aug – Vinyl Tap, Preston
Friday 3 Sept – Calder Vale Hotel, Horbury
Friday 17 Sept – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (album launch gig)
Saturday 18 Sept – The Swan, Addingham
Friday 24 Sept – Paradise Tap N Taco, Harrogate
Sunday 26 Sept – The Swinging Arm, Birkenhead
Friday 1 Oct – Dorothy Pax, Sheffield
Saturday 2 Oct – What’s Cookin’, London
Sunday 3 Oct – Beak Brewery HQ, Lewes
Friday 8 Oct – Village Hall, Terrington (LIAMS Club)
Saturday 9 Oct – Constitutional Club, Farsley
Friday 15 Oct – Labour Rooms, Otley
‘The Waggoner’ -live at home: