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Tales From The Barrel House

Seth Lakeman Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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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 (2 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Honour Oak Records
  • ASIN: B0079VGDG8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 324,191 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. More Than Money 4:250.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Blacksmith's Prayer 4:260.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Watchmaker's Rhyme 3:440.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Hard Road 3:380.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. The Sender 4:260.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Salt From Our Veins 4:220.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Brother Of Penryn 3:540.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Apple Of His Eye 3:430.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Higher Walls 3:480.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. The Artisan 5:430.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

"GRITTY folk singer-songwriter and virtuoso fiddler Seth Lakeman could not have dug deeper into his roots for his 6th album, "Tales from the Barrel House." He went down a disused West Country copper mine to record one track. The rest of the songs on this "experimental" CD were laid down in the cooperage (The Barrel House of the title), old smithy and other workshops at the ghostly Morwellham mining port on the Devon bank of the River Tamar. In his boldest musical statement yet, Seth, has not only written the songs, but played everything produced and mixed the album. His bow-shredding violin riffs are there, together with his driving tenor guitar rhythms. But it's the primitive new sounds he's conjured up that give this album it's atmospheric vibe - loads of what Seth calls "dirty viola," banjo, bouzouki, a booming bass heartbeat from an old Salvation Army drum he rescued from a junkshop, and a jangling array of percussion made up from bits of old iron or discarded tools found down the mine and around the Morwellham workshops. The album opens with blissful birdsong from the idyllic Tamar Valley. Then a rasping viola sound that makes the hair stand on end, and a dynamic song ("More than Money") that is fiercely evocative of the hardships of the men working underground. This album is like the granite bedrock of Seth's West Country stamping ground - solid, hard and uncompromising. Seth says he has enjoyed this solo project like no other. "I've been aching to do something musically experimental like this for some time, to get right back to the basics of Kitty Jay - and beyond" (The £300 kitchen-table album that shot him to fame). "To be blunt, this is a concept album I could never have done with a major label" (He has now left Relentless/EMI/Virgin after three records). "I'm grateful for having worked in some of the best-equipped studios and with top producers, but with this record I feel free. I've not had A&R men looking over my shoulder or record bosses influencing me in any way."

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to Earth 2 April 2012
Format:Audio CD
After a seemingly sour ending fling with the big corporate music nasties which resulted in the lacklustre and soulless Hearts and Minds (it is telling that the last time I saw Seth live there was no H&M song on the set list), Seth returns to his roots and records this fine album in the barrel house at Morwellham Quay, Devon.

With this record and the masterful Freedom Fields, Seth has established himself as a dab hand at the concept album; the lifeblood of this one being the stories of craftsmen miners and artisans of times passed. There are not many dumb notes on the record, but some tracks are stronger than others. The first two, More Than Money and Blacksmith's Prayer are probably the most effective, along with The Artisan, which bookends the album. These tracks in particular are the most powerful, with Blacksmith's Prayer very effectively evoking the atmosphere of old English working, with its strange percussion and little ghostly sounds. In fact, the lyrics here are as strong as the brilliant Solomon Brown or Fight for Favour. Although verging on twee, Apple of his Eye is another lovely track with some very tidy and quite innovative arrangements which are very welcome.

Criticisms are few and far, but I found the violin lines running through or over every song a bit intrusive at times. On some songs, like The Sender or Apple, they are subtle, but some are quite heavy, like on the otherwise strong Watchmaker's Rhyme. It would have been nice to hear the claustrophobic banjo picking of a mineshaft recorded More Than Money without the violin addition, for example. And there is the odd cliche lyric in there, but these are minor quibbles that do not take much away from a very well made and pleasing album from a back in form Seth. Nice packaging too from the guys at Proper.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wistful and mature work 9 April 2012
By Arthur Dooley VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Like the other reviewer, I too found Seth's last album a tad lacklustre and I too have found 'Tales from the Barrel House' a return to form of sorts,although still coming up short when set against-for me anyway-Seth's best album-Freedom Fields.
There is a dark and sombre vibe going on here; reflected perhaps by the dark and moody image on the CD cover. Apparently TFTBH is a total one man band effort with Seth composing and playing every instrument. Not a problem perhaps for such a virtuoso musician but impressive in showing his total committment to the project.
Recorded at Morwellan Quay which TV viewers in the UK will recognize from the BBC2 series -Edwardian Farm. A 12 month televised experiment in living life as it was lived one hundred years ago in a community that was easier to access by boat from the sea than by land. Morwellan is on the beautiful River Tamar which seperates Devon-Seth's home county and perhaps the most English of counties- from the ancient Celtic region of Cornwall. That melancholic celtic air is reflected in the compositions. A slow burner which oozes quality with each listen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 7 Dec 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Seen Seth Lakeman lots of time live & always sounds amazing. However this is rather disappointing & lacklustre. I've played this several time now to try to get onto it, but it just lacks that excitement that he generates live. The songs are fine & the playnig is as good as on previous albums. I'm sure that fans will enjoy this, but if you are new to Seth Lakeman try Freedom Fields which I think is closer to his live sound & every track is a winner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SETH LAKEMAN - Tales From The Barrel House 7 Jun 2012
Format:Audio CD
I've long admired the chutzpah of The Lakeman Brothers and in particular Seth for his go-ahead attitude to the music business. Self-belief in one's creative direction is no bad thing and in respect of this he must now be truly titled a `folk' hero for those that have followed him from his early career. He is now a fully paid-up member of the `cottage industry' process with not only singer/songwriter under his belt but multi-instrumentalist, producer, mixer and record company director to his credit. Whatever next...Simon Cowell's chair on the X-Factor? Drawing many influences from his colourful West Country background the songs he relates may be rooted in the traditional idiom but are given the driving passion (particularly with his attention to detail in the lyrics) of a young man more comfortable in the twentieth century. Like Barry Dransfield before him his passion in allowing his double-stopped fiddle bow to be submitted to the indignity of winding-up looking more like Miss Whiplash's cat of nine tails at the end of a particularly energetic session shows just how much energy he can expel. An advocate of really `having something to say' whether it be the decline of traditional crafts ("Blacksmith's Prayer") or the demise of tin and copper factory workers in "Hard Road" the term `Voice Of The People' could not be more justified.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars back to basics 11 April 2013
By S. Fox
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
after the more rocky last couple of albums Lakeman switches back to a more acoustic an folky mode with great results. Micxture of traditional and self penned numbers is a good fit
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Good one from Seth 29 Jan 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Excellent CD with DVD included in the luxury album with documentary showing how Seth gets some amazing sounds from some of the tools in the Barrel House.Well worth the money!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The British folk movement is really in ascendancy at the moment, pushed along by luminaries such as Spiers and Boden, The Imagined Village and, of course, Seth Lakeman.

Lakeman's solo career recently saw him move into the clutches of big corporate music companies, and resulted in Hearts and Minds, a curiously soulless album that was clearly aimed at larger commercial success away from the niche beardy folky market. I cannot begrudge him the chance at fame and fortune, but I have to say I found the album a little uninspiring and was determined not to buy any more if he continued along the same route. It was with great pleasure then that I read reviews which suggested that for his next release Lakeman has stepped away from this path and gone back to basics. Having now listened several times I am pleased to report that the reviews are correct, and that this is Lakeman back at his heartfelt impressive best.

It's a classic piece of music making. With a stripped back band and a set of songs that celebrate craftsmen and their traditions (most of which are now dying out and are nothing more than a fond folk memory) Lakeman has produced a series of really heartfelt tracks that tell stories and draw you along. It's well paced and programmed to provide an album with variations in tone and pace that keeps you listening. Not as frenetic as some of his earlier work, it is quietly understated and all the more powerful for it.

Included in the 2 disc set is a short DVD with live versions of several of the songs. IT's an excellent set, and with 2 discs it's also excellent value for money! 5 stars for this impressive return to form for Lakeman
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As usual great album
Published 5 days ago by Terrence B. Winters
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another goodie
Seth has done it yet again. I purchase before hearing his stuff now as I expect to be pleased. Yet to be let down.
Published 26 days ago by P. Mann
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by norma mckeown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Back to his best
Published 1 month ago by stuart heath
5.0 out of 5 stars Big fan
A superb collection from a superb musician...foot stomping musical food for the heart, mind and soul...a must for Seth fans, new and old
Published 13 months ago by Lou S
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album
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If you want reviews ask for them in brief form. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mr. R. A. Shenton
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from Seth Lakeman.
If you like Seth Lakeman you will like this. I particularly like the theme of songs relating to craftsmen and artisans. My version had an interesting bonus DVD.
Published 17 months ago by Colin D Beswick
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
This is my first Seth Lakeman cd so nothing to compare it to. Seen him live - he was incredible!
Published 17 months ago by Rebecca
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a good musician that enjoys his 'trade'.
I love Seth Lakeman's work and this one didn't disappoint me. He played all the instruments on this CD, from a hammer and anvil to conventional instruments. Read more
Published 17 months ago by V. R. B. Browning
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice to have the real Seth Lakeman back!!
I've been following Seth Lakeman since his first album. After the very drab and commercial Hearts and Minds (which ended up on ebay the next day) and basically being raped by the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Alfonso Criscuoli
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