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Never miss another 'Sam Lee' show
See all dates for Brighton Festival
Brighton Festival: Sam Lee + Thomas McCarthy
Sam Lee is taking Folk back to its roots, and is redefining contemporary folksong in the process.
Both a singer and a collector of songs, he has spent years searching the country for the Roma, Gypsy and Traveller communities, who have passed their songs down the generations for centuries – and gathered the songs that they have sung for him. This collection formed the basis for his Mercury Music Prize- nominated debut album Ground of Its Own last year.
Follow him on a journey through the ancient songs of the British Isles and prepare to challenge your preconceptions of what ‘traditional folk’ should sound like.
Sam Lee is a folk singer, promoter and animateur. A naturally gifted voice, Sam is fast becoming accepted as a new pioneer, defining the sound, sight and texture of contemporary folksong. With his live band, Sam Lee and Friends, he carves a new acoustic with homemade and mongrelised instrumentation using unconventional and contemporary arrangements that challenging preconceptions of what 'traditional folk' should sound like. He is a former Mercury Prize nominatee, song collector, promoter (of BBC award winning Nest Collective) radio host, TV personality, teacher and animateur.
Sam Lee tour dates
Thomas McCarthy's 'discovery' a couple of years ago made something of a splash in English traditional song circles. As with most other newcomers to the scene, he was heard mostly in 'floor spots' at clubs and festivals, and so singing only a few songs.
Recent tour with star of the new Folk scene and Mercury nominated Sam Lee brought Thomas to a wider audience.
Tommy's cd 'Round Top Wagon' was produced by Irish music legend Ron Kavana.
Not too many English readers will have heard much Irish Traveller singing, Nor are they likely to have heard many of these songs before - Irish Travellers are, if anything, even more insular than English Gypsies, and also have a strong song-writing tradition.
Thomas says "Some people will tell you that style of singing isn't meant for our ears," he adds, suggesting that such oral ornamentation was originally developed by singers at the court of the kings of old Ireland.
And : "I'm going to record for the Irish traditional music archives, songs that they wouldn't have. It's important, I think, me being the last one of my family. Even if Travelling people don't sing our songs, they'll be there for other people and they won't be forgot. People will still sing them."
Thomas McCarthy tour dates
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Venue: All Saints Church
BN3 3QE 50.830257, -0.166422
→ Hove 9 min walk