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Kitty Jay

42 customer reviews

Price: £6.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Music

Image of album by Seth Lakeman

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Biography

Seth Bernard Lakeman (born 26 March 1977 Buckland Monachorum, near Yelverton, Devon) is an English folk singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, who is most often associated with the fiddle and tenor guitar, but has also mastered the viola and banjo. Nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize, Lakeman has belonged to several musical ensembles, including one with his two brothers, ... Read more in Amazon's Seth Lakeman Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 May 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Seth B Lakeman Ltd
  • ASIN: B00022M5FE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,270 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. John Lomas 3:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. The Bold Knight 3:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Fight For Favour 4:03£0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Kitty Jay 3:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Farewell My Love 2:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Blood Upon Copper 3:04£0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Henry Clark 3:02£0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. The Storm 2:41£0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Cape Clear 4:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
10. The Ballad Of Josie 3:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
11. The Streamers 2:43£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Kitty Jay is a collection of songs written and inspired by the stories and legends of Seth’s birthplace and home of Dartmoor--it’s an ambitious disc that attempts to capture the spirit and atmosphere of the wilderness of the moor. Ambitious it may be but he’s certainly succeeded. Over the 11 tracks he creates an impressively dark and brooding atmosphere, but this is contrasted by lighter and sweeter passages spread throughout – it’s a disc that feels natural and balanced.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Greg Farefield-Rose on 16 Nov. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Recorded for a cost of £500 in Seth Lakeman’s kitchen, Kitty Jay has a better and clearer production than albums recorded for 100 times its cost. It has propelled Seth to recognition following its nomination for the 2005 Mercury Music Prize. A good example of the Mercury bringing deserved exposure to a new act though Kitty Jay almost wasn’t entered for the competition at all as Seth had trouble stumping up the cash to produce the 50 copies which need to be submitted for entry…
Kitty Jay is a modern folk album with self-penned and traditional songs inspired by the legends of Dartmoor in Devon. Seth sings and plays violin with his brother Sean on guitar and other musicians contributing when necessary. The sparse acoustic sound has a crispness and warmth absent from most albums today but also present on The Waterboys’ excellent Universal Hall. Highlights include the brisk, catchy opener John Lomas and the title track, a stirring solo vocal and violin performance played memorably by Seth on the Mercury Prize winning night. Kitty Jay is definitely a modern, contemporary folk album rather than one full of dull, repetitive traditional verses as is evident on another highlight Blood Upon Copper, a folk-rock track reminiscent of early 70s Fairport Convention.
Kitty Jay didn’t win the Mercury Music Prize which is probably fortunate for Seth given the curse that seems to have befallen previous winners. His nomination though did give this fascinating album the exposure it deserves. More than a token folk entry Kitty Jay deserves a place in any music-lover’s collection.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Jones VINE VOICE on 5 Aug. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Not being a new folkie, an old folkie, or much of a folkie at all it took the Mercury Prize nomination to wake me up to the talent that is Seth Lakeman.

Was lucky enough to have him play a gig in a local pub in the week he was nominated, and was amazed by both his voice and fiddle playing as he ran through most of the Kitty Jay album in a tiny but packed venue.

Naturally I rushed to get this album and happily it sounds just as good. (Why does anyone spend more than three hundred quid on recording a album when you can achieve this quality in your kitchen?)

Whenever I hear Seth being interviewed he comes over as down to earth, good humoured and in love with the music, not the attention.. which gives me another reason to admire him.

What with Seth, Teignmouth's Muse, and the Superimposers, is Devon making a case for being the new home of quality music??
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE on 10 Dec. 2006
Format: Audio CD
This album represents the best of modern folk. It clearly has traditional influences and sensibility, but nevertheless has an edginess to it which gives it a modern feel.

The songs are inspired by the writer's home in Dartmoor and this allows for great variety ranging from old fashioned murder ballads to tales of the moors and the excitement (and the dread) of setting out to sea.

The outstanding track is the title number Kitty Jay, a sad tale of betrayal driven by a fantastic string riff.

Well worth exploring if you fancy dipping your toe in the waters of modern folk.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By N P Vaughan on 21 April 2004
Format: Audio CD
The majority of tracks on this CD are penned by Seth, who is one third ofthe prodigious Lakeman brothers (see also Equation; Cara Dillon). Theother tracks included have been given Seth's own distinctive treatment,and the overall impression is of a rich and seamless tapestry. As befits acollection of songs inspired by tales from his Dartmoor home, they allhave a much more traditional feel than his previous solo album (The PunchBowl).
The compelling imagery on this tapestry ranges from sumptuousPre-Raphaelite (The Bold Knight), to stark minimalism (Cape Clear). LikeDartmoor, many of the tracks have a dark and threatening atmosphere (evenfor traditional folk music, there is an abnormally high body count -murder, suicide, battles, accidental death and lost love), but the finaltrack (The Streamers) more than compensates - it is like the sun breakingthrough clouds, and could dispel the deepest gloom. It is an anthem tocarefree innocence - I've sat on that hill, looked at that view, in thatcompany, and been guided by the angels! Thank you Seth, this CD is a gem.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By M. SIRL on 25 May 2004
Format: Audio CD
Seth Lakeman might be known to many folk music fans as an erstwhile Oysterband collaborator but make no mistake, Seth has a style and a sound all of his own. Perhaps owing more to classic Fairport Convention than to the modern folk-rock synthesists this is an impressive debut set from the young man from Plymouth. Most of the songs here are either written about or inspired by the people and landscape of Devon are, without exception, immaculately crafted and performed. From haunting instrumentals to sea shanties, Seth pulls it all off with the same expertise and enthusiasm. I shall eagerly await more from this rising star.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 July 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is a grudging four-star review (rounded up from three-and-a-half). I had come across Lakeman before in his local band Equation. I heard he had come up with a solo album based on local legends and my curiosity was aroused. This review addresses superficially the songs individually before looking at the album as a whole.

"John Lomax" is surprisingly good; making the chorus softer and quieter than the verses is very effective. "The Bold Knight" displays Lakeman's skilful handling of the violin. "Fight for Favour" is too sparse, whilst the title track displays marvellous energy in its violin cross-rhythms. The opening to "Farewell My Love" is a cringing parody of folk music. There is good drumwork in "Blood Upon Copper", but the song ends too soon. "Henry Clark" sounds like a preliminary to something bigger. "The Storm" is a missed opportunity too: where IS the sound of the storm? "Cape Clear", the longest track at 4'20'', combines an ominously sustained church organ with some fine violin-playing including some double-stopping. "The Ballad of Josie" is distinctive through its female backing vocals. The final song, "The Streamers", ends the album unmemorably.

With his poor enunciation, Lakeman's singing is just about bearable. The album is almost completely acoustic throughout its 37 minutes and eleven tracks. This was, presumably, the intention, but it has left the sound poor and sparse, giving it the feel of a demo-tape. It is an album of incredibly missed opportunities. For example, the ending of the opening track just suddenly fades out, whereas it calls for a build-up to a denouement.

But the more I played the CD, the more it grew upon me. Lakeman has good latent songwriting skills, although his lyrics border on the naïve in places. The songs need to be developed. They cry out for a more complex, deeper production, a more polished style. And so, for me, the album lives up to the poor life of Kitty Jay, "such a beauty thrown away".
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