Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
The new wave of folk
J. Moore | Grenada, MS United States | 08/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I too grew up on Dartmoor and am familiar with many of the legends and stories upon which this song cycle is based. Be that as it may - this is a first rate album of well played, well written modern folk music. Seth's voice has an arresting if somewhat tremulous quality and his fiddle playing is exemplary. At the moment the CD is only available on import here but someone needs to pick up on this gem and give this talented young man the props he deserves. He, together with his brother Sean and the Show of Hands duo are keeping the folk tradition alive for the next generation. The first four tracks are the standouts but of particular interest is the mournful "Cape Clear" which features the sound of the St Andrews Buckland Monachorum church organ, where it was recorded. That just happens to be the church where I grew up and sang in the choir....ahh memories!"
Craobh Rua | N. Ireland | 04/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before the release of "Kitty Jay", Seth Lakeman may have been best known as an ex-member of "folk supergroup" Equation. The band, which also featured his brothers Sean and Sam, launched the solo careers of the band's three vocalists Cara Dillon, Kate Rusby and Kathryn Roberts. However, the split doesn't seem to have caused any bad feeling, while the ladies' high profile solo careers haven't caused any apparent jealousy. Cara and Sam left the band together and, not only are they still working together, they have even married each other. (Talk about mixing work and pleasure). In addition to her solo albums, Kathryn has recorded with Kate and Sean, while Seth appeared on Cara's first two albums. "Kitty Jay", meanwhile, is produced by Sean and features a guest appearance by Kathryn. Unfortunately, for Seth's former bandmates, it's also an album they're going to have a very tough time competing with.
All eleven songs were inspired by and written about the legends and stories of Dartmoor, where the Lakeman brothers grew up and where Seth still lives. It's very difficult to pick out any highlights, as the album is consistently excellent - but I'm going to mention the three trad tunes anyway. One of them, "Cape Clear", is a gentle, nearly mournful, number and is the album's only instrumental. The other two, "Henry Clark", and "John Lomas" - the album's opening track - are also excellent, if somewhat different in mood. (The album's closing track, "The Streamers", is based on another trad tune called "The Streams if Lovely Nancy"). Of all the songs on the album, it's possibly one of Seth's own - "Farewell My Love" - that comes closest to what the `popular' view of a trad song may be. The album's title track, meanwhile, features some great violin playing - it almost sounds like Seth may have spent a little too much time alone with a pot of coffee.
Although Kitty Jay sits firmly in the folk / trad category, it still caught me a little off-guard. (Anyone, for the record, expecting bearded old men wearing woolly jumpers drinking from tankards in smoky dark inns will also be a little confused). Given his `role' in Equation, I'd only ever seen Seth as a fiddler and had expected an album full of instrumentals, rather than just the one instrumental track. Although Kathryn guests on "The Ballad of Josie", it's Seth who provides the lead vocals throughout and - at the risk of stating the obvious - he does a great job. The violin, though, does prove to be the album's `lead' instrument. "Kitty Jay" is a superb album, and fully deserved its Mercury Award nomination - the bar is set at a very high level from the first track and the quality is maintained throughout."