Will my posts ever stray outside the dusty confines of the folk genre? Not yet, it seems, for I bring you news of the forthcoming album from Dartmoor fiddle-botherer Seth Lakeman. The record is titled Tales from the Barrel House and is a concept album of sorts inspired by the arduous, yet romantic, professions undetaken by labourers of old. At one point in the video below a song about miners necessitates the descending of our eternally baggy-jeaned hero into a mine shaft to lay down a banjo track. While I am always intrigued by the idea of artists seeking out ever whackier sonic environments in which to record music, and look forward to hearing the results of Lakeman's subterranean endeavour, I must admit that the fact that he has parted company with his regular backing band and played every instrument on Tales from the Barrel House himself somewhat mutes my excitement. Lakeman's music has always relied on the sort of rawness and energy which emerges out of the chemistry between band members; the absence of brother Sean Lakeman on guitar is likely to have a big impact as he has played a huge part in the crafting of Lakeman's sound, most notably on the Mercury-nominated Kitty Jay.
But then, perhaps Lakeman felt the need to change things up a bit. Perhaps he'll regain some of the darkness and edge which has arguably been absent from his recent recordings. Tales from the Barrel House is available for pre-order now, and is released on Lakeman's own Honour Oak label.