I came late to the party as far as folk music is concerned. Didn't show much of an interest until my mid 30s. But since then, I've enjoyed folk probably more than any other type of music. Yes, I was forced to listen to more acoustic based music and cut down on the rock ( ear consultant's orders) but I discovered as much passion in folk as rock and much less bullshit too. Musicians/artists who would actually like to talk to you as a member of the audience after a gig, than just push off and get into their air conditioned limos & luxury hotels as soon as possible.
Since I discovered him with his album Kitty Jay back in 2005, I have consistently enjoyed each of Seth Lakeman's releases. Hailing from Devon, Seth, together with his brothers Sean & Sam, played with the likes of Kate Rusby & Kathryn Williams through the 1990s and Seth released his first solo album The Punch Bowl in 2002. Seth has always balanced traditional songs and his own songs to great effect and this first album showed much promise. This was somewhat fulfilled in 2004 with Kitty Jay being nominated for the Mercury Music prize.
However, for me it was his next release Freedom Fields, released in 2006, that really showed what a great songwriter and performer Seth really was.
Every track on the album is worthy of a mention and his playing of Fiddle & Tenor Guitar (got to get me one of those) is sublime. Still in his 20s, which is young for an accomplished folk artist, Seth also showed what special songwriting skills he has. He has a knack of making newly minted songs sound like traditional songs that have been around for hundreds of years.
And he also has to carry the burden of being the Poster Boy for the folk movement.
With his brother Sean on guitars and a supporting cast including folk luninaries such as Steve Knightley, Kathryn Williams and Cara Dillon, the album just shines like a jewel encrusted tiara. Just when you think it can't get any better, it does!
Two singles were released from the album, the live favourite Lady Of The Sea and the gorgeous White Hare.
I have been lucky to catch Seth several times live and the songs from Freedom Fields always get a special cheer.
So do yourself a favour and seek out Freedom Fields, put away your prejudices and listen to some glorious music.
Twitter - @SethLakemanNews