Sam Lee
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Sam Lee

London, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR

London, England, United Kingdom | MAJOR
Band Folk World

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Music

Press


"Reviews of Debut Album 'Ground Of Its Own'"

MOJO 4****: It demands patient attention but it’s an album of unusual dignity and immense beauty
Q: A dream-like quality that’s as rare as it is compelling
Uncut: Lee’s album is tremendous, blessed with courtly, uncanny, subtly radical treatments. sounding at once ancient and, in a relatively original way, contemporary.
Songlines 5***** : Sam Lee’s extraordinary and wonderful debut album.
Guardian 4**** : an impressively brave and original set
ES 5***** : a shining and original talent
Independent 4**** : Lee’s voice captures the mythic charm of these songs, but it’s his arrangements, at once vivid yet shrouded, which set Ground of Its Own apart
Observer 4**** : its downbeat, trancelike mood is unwavering, the album has a gentle, insistent power
Independent on Sunday 4**** : It’s rather good - MOJO, Q, Uncut, Guardian, Observer, Evening Standard, Independent


"Press Quotes"

‘Ground of Its Own’ is wonderful. The singing is sublime and exquisite! It’s gentle and despairing, trance-like and tender. Strokes of genius there I think!
Shirley Collins MBE

"A wonderful singer and fascinating character. He’s working with musicians in a very interesting and unusual way, his arrangements are unlike anything anyone has ever really heard before "
Joe Boyd

“You will be dumbfounded by Sam Lee with duck-egg eyes, a horseshoe smile and an honest, confiding baritone”
The Guardian

“The Band whittle folk in wonderful shapes, giving a flavour of 70’s krautrock, while hints of disco and bluegrass added brilliant backing to Lee’s Baritone”
Jude Rogers, The Guardian

“Sam is the most accomplished and authentic interpreters of traditional English song to emerge in years” “He brought the house down [Queen Elizabeth Hall]”
fRoots

“The rising star of traditional English folksong”
The Daily Telegraph

“One of the most promising folk singers to emerge from the London scene this decade”
The Independent

“I think what put shivers down my back when I heard Sam sing was his attention to the detail of decoration and the style of all those old singers. It was like hearing the past and the future of traditional song all rolled into one voice”
Ali Burns

“If you ever need a quote…”
Jon Boden – Bellowhead


- British Press


Discography

Best of the Crow Club - 2008
Gainsborough Packet - film 2009 http://www.shootingpeople.org/watch/film.php?film_id=77027
Ballad of Britain - 2009
Oak, Ash and Thorn - 2010
Ground of It's Own - 2012 debut Solo

Photos

Bio

Mercury Nominated Album Ground of Its Own is the striking debut release by Sam Lee, a young folk musician who is busy forging a unique path, not just in his own artistic development but also by supporting and having influence on a whole new generation of musicians.?
Ground of Its Own is an 8-track release (produced by Gerry Diver and with mixes by John Wood, of Nick Drake fame) comprising traditional material, largely discovered through Sam’s years of dogged research and exploration of often long forgotten songs. Not content to learn only from books or records, Sam has sourced most of his material direct from English Gypsy and Irish and Scottish traveller communities. For example, Northlands is a mighty ballad of betrayal and survival learnt direct from the Cassidy family of Irish Travellers. Meanwhile, On Yonders Hill explores the ever popular theme of the invincibility of the hare in folklore and The Ballad of George Collins, originally collected by Bob Copper from a Sussex Shepherd, Enos White, is given new life with Sam Lee's highly distinctive delivery.
 
Live or on record, Sam Lee and his band (Francesca Ter-Berg : Cello, Jonah Brody : Japanese Koto (Harp) Jews Harp & Ukelele, Steve Chadwick : Trumpet & Cornet, Camilo Tirado : Tabla, Percussion & Cantele, Flora Curzon : Violin ; there is even the odd gas cylinder in there too...) present rich tapestries of ancient songs in an innovative and dynamic fashion.
Born and bred in North London, Sam Lee has a glorious baritone voice and seemingly boundless imagination and enthusiasm. A graduate of the Chelsea College of Art, Sam decided to abandon work as a visual artist, teacher of wilderness survival skills (he was trained by Ray Mears) and a part-time Burlesque dancer. Instead, he embarked on a journey of discovery into the songs of the British Isles. His main musical training developed from a unique four-year apprenticeship under the legendary, late Scottish Traveller, the balladeer, Stanley Robertson, to whom Ground of Its Own is dedicated. Whilst still in his mid 20s, Sam regularly visited Stanley in the North of Scotland where he inherited a vast repertoire of songs as well as an ancient, idiosyncratic singing craft. Sam became inspired to research and document traditional music, a craft which has since led him to become a regular visiting lecturer to Goldsmith's College and Newcastle University. Sam is also the first folk singer to teach at the Royal College of Music.

In between times, Sam has became the promoter, live events producer and driving force behind the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winning Magpie’s Nest (now The Nest Collective) organisation which has played a key role in helping to regenerate interest in the live folk music scene, especially amongst younger musicians and audiences, and is the group behind many innovative concerts and festival stages.

In 2011, Sam was presented with the prestigious Arts Foundation Award (by Grayson Perry). That year, he also featured in Vogue Magazine, was a contributor to an 8 part series called 'Traveller’s Got Talent' (Sky TV) and was a musical director of a Radio 4 series on the history of the postal service. More recently, Sam has started presenting an eclectic weekly show on Resonance FM Radio.?
With confirmed appearances in 2012 at Camden Crawl at The Roundhouse, Kings Place, Celebrating Sanctuary, Lattitude and Secret Garden festivals to look forward to, Sam will launch Ground of Its Own on 27th June on home ground at The Old Queen’s Head in Islington, London. This versatile, pioneering, charismatic, provocateur has created a memorable album of depth and vitality.

"Well it feels like its been a long time coming but here at last is somebody doing really creative things with traditional English Folk Song from the ground breaking new album " Verity Sharp 3rd April Late Junction

“You will be dumbfounded by Sam Lee with duck-egg eyes, a horseshoe smile and an honest, confiding baritone” The Guardian

"The Band whittle folk in wonderful shapes, giving a flavour of 70s krautrock, while hints of disco and bluegrass added brilliant backing to Lee's Baritone"
Jude Rogers, The Guardian

“Sam Lee: The heart of folk” Erica Wagner, The Times

“A wonderful singer and fascinating character. He’s working with musicians in a very interesting and unusual way, his arrangements are unlike anything anyone has ever really heard before” Joe Boyd

“The rising star of traditional English folksong” The Daily Telegraph

“One of the most promising folk singers to emerge from the London scene this decade”
The Independent

“An extremely natural and charismatic performer. His modern, often trancelike arrangements of traditionals never fail to still a room.” Timeout

“Ground of Its Own is wonderful. The singing is sublime and exquisite! It's gentle and despairing, trancelike and tender. Strokes of genius there I think!” Shirley Collins

“Sam Lee is one of very few to achieve a real emotional punch wit