Album: Seth Lakeman, Poor Man's Heaven (Relentless)
Friday 27 June 2008
There can't be many UK folk singers who can shift 100,000 copies of an album, as Seth Lakeman did with 2006's Freedom Fields – and judging by the tenor of Poor Man's Heaven, Lakeman may be only as temporarily beholden to the notoriously purist folk scene as Bob Dylan was in 1965.
For all the Celtic tang to his fiddle-playing on a track like "Blood Red Sky", the backbeat is pure rock'n'roll, with an edge of funk for good measure; and his delivery of "The Hurlers" finds Lakeman bellowing it out with the brawny conviction of a Springsteen or Bon Jovi.
But in the most important respect, he remains true to folk principles, celebrating the maritime culture of his native Cornwall through a series of electric shanties such as "Feather in the Storm" and the whaling tale "Race to be King", on which his fiddling offers a bridge between folk and bluegrass modes.
Especially impressive is "Solomon Browne", Lakeman's account of the 1981 Penlee lifeboat disaster, here commemorated in the finest traditions of the troubadour bush-telegraph.
Pick of the album:'Solomon Browne', 'Race to be King', 'The Hurlers', 'Blood Red Sky'
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
- 2 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 4 Germanwings crash: 'Andreas Lubitz planned to marry pregnant girlfriend', claims German report
- 5 Germanwings plane crash: Transcript reveals passengers 'screamed for over five minutes' before plane crashed into mountain
Cassetteboy joins forces with Russell Brand for Emperor's New Clothes film
Poldark, review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Jay Z launches streaming service Tidal with help from Kanye West, Rihanna and Coldplay
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Menstruation-themed photo series artist 'censored by Instagram' says images are to demystify taboos around periods
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans