Kerosene - Serious Sam Barrett - Serious Sam Barrett
Label: YaDig? Records - YD003 • Format: Vinyl LP +CD • Country: UK • Genre: Folk, World, & Country • Style: Bluegrass, Country
I am always amazed at the number of artists that have been doggedly making records and writing songs for years yet never seem to make it beyond a small output with regards to sales and a not much larger audience.
This tells me a couple of things. One is that the sales may not be the most important thing. After all, you would think that after a couple of albums Family Tree - Extra Lungs - s/t no real progress in the recognition stakes you would be forgiven for giving up.
But perhaps it is not the sales but the creation that is important, the need to write and the need to perform. You have to do it. A suitable case in point for me is Serious Sam Barrett who is now onto his ninth album.
In most cases, these songs have that mix of Americana banjo-inflected rhythms and a more English-orientated tradition, something that says a lot about his exploration. This is even Kerosene - Serious Sam Barrett - Serious Sam Barrett apparent in how he uses his voice. In the Kerosene - Serious Sam Barrett - Serious Sam Barrett songs, there are clear indications of the American style, not so much with any twang but just in a way that sharply contrasts with these two a cappella numbers.
Irrespective of the vocal style, the songs paint a picture of Yorkshire life: the hardened drinkers in the pubs Kerosene - Serious Sam Barrett - Serious Sam Barrett the bars that have at times been the sole audience that struggling musicians have played to; the workers sacrificed in the building of a railway tunnel, commemorated in the Bramhope Tunnel Monument; and the growing band of Robin Hood followers reclaiming the man in green for South Yorkshire in Robin Hood and the 15 Foresters.
And then the three love songs. In this time of increased awareness of the issues and the unseen nature of mental health, Everybody Needs A Helping Hand says it simply and effectively. I will end where I began. Serious Sam Barrett is a name that I È Strano - Ah, ForsÈ Lui (La Traviata, Act I) - Kiri Te Kanawa - Verdi & Puccini not come across despite his nine albums.
Sam has spent the last eight years touring across the US but in this album he has returned to his native Yorkshire and mixes the two together in a way that is special, bringing out the similarities as well as the differences of traditional music from both sides of the Atlantic.
Having listened to Where The White Roses Grow, I have gone back to discover his past work and shall wait eagerly to see where his musical — and geographical — explorations take him next. Having done teaching and journalism, I now spend my time writing and taking pictures, mainly about the problems in the countryside and rural life. Took up learning to play the piano over a decade ago and still learning.
Listening to a whole world of music but keep coming back to my first love of folk in all its forms. Records — 1 February I am always amazed at the number of artists that have been doggedly making records and writing songs for years yet Hit Squad MCR - Wax On The Melt seem to make it beyond a small output with regards to sales and a not much larger audience.
Serious Sam Barrett. Folk Radio remains free and is made possible by advertising and patronage. Richard Hollingum Having done teaching and journalism, I now spend my time writing and taking pictures, mainly about the problems in the countryside and rural life.
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