Serious Sam Barrett… English man, modern troubadour, skater and from what I’ve heard a pain in th… nah, I’m joking… I’ve only seen him play once and that was at this years Pirate Farm Fest pre party. I was so tired that I just sat down outside by myself and enjoyed the music going on inside the venue. I did not even talk to him, I just wanted my bed, but had to be there… While listening to this new album I curse myself for not taking up a conversation with him. I’m sure we would have had an interesting one… 😉
Sam has a shittonne of releases on his name and this new one is a very traditional one. English/Irish folk music with his own little twist. If you listen to this album you can not imagine that “this” guy wrote and recorded these songs. Don’t judge a book… Would be in place here… But then again, Sam is known for his take on the old traditionals. Make sure to check out his bandcamp page in the links. Vinyl freaks… You can maybe score some limited editions there.
On to his new album. A mix of traditionals and original songs perfect for a night at your local Irish pub. (I know… he’s not Irish, but what do we, mainlanders know about that shit(e)…) This is mostly a banjo album, and I know for some folks this is turn-off, but the quality of the songs is so high that even you banjo haters should take a good listen. Start out with “Last of the Yorkshire Outlaws”, a great tribute to barflies worldwide. Maybe even to the backbone of our society, the workingmen! Or was it for the drunks?
“I don’t need to wait for heaven” is such a simple song, but if known by the local crew, Sam would have no need to sing it himself. This is one of those songs, that your audience will sing for you. It is beautiful!
“Holmfirth Anthem” is an acapella song in the purest tradition of the great folk singers. It takes me back to the glorious days of our own hometown Irish pub The Celt. We had no idea what we where singing about, but for Sam these songs hold meaning and that makes this one so much more grand.
A song about Robin Hood? YES PLEASE!!! “Robin Hood and Fifteen Foresters”… As a kid, Robin Hood was my favorite animated film. I’ve seen it a thousand times!!! I remember the time my dad was send out to work in England for a year, working in Nottingham and his residence was in Sherwood. By that time I was in my early 20ies and my dad being a hiker, he was exploring the Sherwood forests, I was so jealous. This song brings back so many good childhood memories and memories of evenings with my dad at the bar talking about his hikes in those woods when he came home for the weekend every 3 weeks. Thank you Sam!
“Bramhope Tunnel Monument”… You should really LISTEN to this song. Coming from a blue collar family , seeing my father, uncles and cousins working their ass off, knowing that the woman in my family did the same thing in factories and at home, knowing my family history… I wonder why, here in Belgium we don’t have these songs. Are we really that humble, why don’t we have these workingmen songs? This song brings tears to my eyes. A simple banjo riddle, but so pure…
I have no idea when this album is coming out, I hope soon. Knowing Sam, it will be available on vinyl soon enough. Keep an eye on his bandcamp page. If you like English/Irish folk music with a modern twist to it, you should buy this. I loved it, and the memories that came with it where a big plus!