Tales From The Barrel House

Seth Lakeman

of discs
Stock Status (?)
In Stock
Delivery Estimate
2-5 days
Honour Oak Records
November 18, 2011

Format: Compact Disc



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The original version of the album from 2011 was a strictly Limited Edition Deluxe Digipak with each copy individually numbered! Selling off the last few copies at this very special low price (Only whilst stocks last).

GRITTY folk singer-songwriter and virtuoso fiddler Seth Lakeman could not have dug deeper into his roots for his 6th album, "Tales from the Barrel House."

He went down a disused West Country copper mine to record one track. The rest of the songs on this "experimental" CD were laid down in the cooperage (The Barrel House of the title), old smithy and other workshops at the ghostly Morwellham mining port on the Devon bank of the River Tamar. In his boldest musical statement yet, Seth, has not only written the songs, but played everything produced and mixed the album.

His bow-shredding violin riffs are there, together with his driving tenor guitar rhythms. But it's the primitive new sounds he's conjured up that give this album it's atmospheric vibe - loads of what Seth calls "dirty viola," banjo, bouzouki, a booming bass heartbeat from an old Salvation Army drum he rescued from a junkshop, and a jangling array of percussion made up from bits of old iron or discarded tools found down the mine and around the Morwellham workshops.

The album opens with blissful birdsong from the idyllic Tamar Valley. Then a rasping viola sound that makes the hair stand on end, and a dynamic song ("More than Money") that is fiercely evocative of the hardships of the men working underground. This album is like the granite bedrock of Seth's West Country stamping ground - solid, hard and uncompromising.

Seth says he has enjoyed this solo project like no other.

"I've been aching to do something musically experimental like this for some time, to get right back to the basics of Kitty Jay - and beyond" (The £300 kitchen-table album that shot him to fame). "To be blunt, this is a concept album I could never have done with a major label" (He has now left Relentless/EMI/Virgin after three records). "I'm grateful for having worked in some of the best-equipped studios and with top producers, but with this record I feel free. I've not had A&R men looking over my shoulder or record bosses influencing me in any way."

"It was an extraordinary freedom to explore my music in this magical valley, which is close to my Devon home. And I determined from the outset to do it as simply as possible, with just one recording engineer and as little multi-tracking and overdubs as possible. We used just one sound field microphone." He joked "There wasn't room for much more gear down the mine anyway. But I think we managed to get the most authentic, truly' live' sound."

"I want listeners to feel they are down that mine, or in the barrel house, immersed in this living history while hearing the stories of the people who inhabit the songs. I'd like fans to literally feel the atmosphere in which the album was recorded. The theme I was seeking was to pay homage to hard-working miners, sailors, skilled craftsmen and artisans, who worked for little reward but took a pride in what they did."

"I couldn't wait to get back to Morwellham everyday, it was such a unique experience. I know the CD will be judged as experimental and perhaps harsh and raw, but that's the whole point of "Tales from the Barrel House"

Experimental it may be, but Seth's trademark soaring vocals are at the forefront of this album. They demonstrate his knack for writing, foot-stomping, sing-along hooks but there are more tender, thoughtful moments too. The haunting songs give voice to people from the past. Charismatic and full of passionate energy, "Tales from the Barrel House" will entrance and enthral a growing army of present-day fans and, hopefully, be discovered by discerning music lovers of the future.


More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number SL995
Barcode 9999999999994
Number of items 1
Packaging type Digipak
Imported No
Weight 72g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 142mm x 10mm x 125mm