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25 Reviews
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remaking folk music for 21st Century
Heard an interview with Sam on Front Row and was intrigued. I have moved away from folk music in the last decade but the snippets I heard made the hairs on the back of my hand stand up. I don't say this lightly. Here is a great new voice reinterpreting the folk tradition for modern times. His voice is exquisite, carrying all the emotional lament for the past within its...
Published on 18 July 2012 by Mr. A. Peters

versus
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Guitars missing
So, what's the latest "enfant terrible" of the nu-folk scene got to offer us (after all that pre-publicity) then ? Well, putting aside any considerations of the virtues of song collection or the merits of re-interpreting the "tradition", and just simply listening to it as an album in its own right, it's sort of ... overwhelmingly alright. Actually it verges on the...
Published on 19 July 2012 by M. Gardener


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remaking folk music for 21st Century, 18 July 2012
By 
Mr. A. Peters (Shropshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ground Of Its Own (Audio CD)
Heard an interview with Sam on Front Row and was intrigued. I have moved away from folk music in the last decade but the snippets I heard made the hairs on the back of my hand stand up. I don't say this lightly. Here is a great new voice reinterpreting the folk tradition for modern times. His voice is exquisite, carrying all the emotional lament for the past within its nuance. The arrangements are out there, using Jaw harp and other instruments to build up incredible layers of sound. Buy this album. Be blown away and thank the gods of old there are still people out there making music for music's sake and not just the mindless pap of ages or the froth of reality tv. Well done Sam, more please.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh talent, 17 July 2012
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TMathews (South West England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ground Of Its Own (MP3 Download)
Here is a wonderfully crafted new album by a relative newcomer to the genre. I'm no knit-your-own-youghourt folkie but Lee's approach is gentle and intelligent and he makes a tune unfold beautifully in ways you would not expect. Most are truly moving - Goodbye my Darling and the Tan Yard Slide are lyrical and sad - whilst a couple of jolly foot-tappers will lift your mood. His medieval-styled lyrics coupled with the use of unexpected instruments - marimba, trumpet, sleigh-bells, steel drums, clarinet (from what I can hear) - are idiosyncratic but they just work - a mark of someone who really 'gets' music. His voice is magnificent, soft and gentle: a lovely instrument. I will certainly be looking to purchase previous albums. I wouldn't get too upset about the anti-semitic sentiment causing a previous reviewer to only give one star. People sing about life, good or bad - deal with it.

Update - short listed for the Mercury Prize 2012 but sadly not the winner. Sorry, this is a debut album so no previous works to compare.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground of its own - world of its own, 27 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Ground Of Its Own (Audio CD)
Once in a generation, if we're lucky, an album appears that moves onward and upwards. Think Christy Moore's 'Prosperous' think Sam Lee's 'Ground of its Own'. A pure voice, true to the song itself, captivates. Imaginitive arrangements elevate. It is now, it is then. It is the singer and the song.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SAM LEE GROUND OF ITS OWN, 3 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Ground Of Its Own (Audio CD)
I HAVE NEVER BEEN INTO THE FOLK SCENE SO MIGHT NEVER OF HEARD OF SAM LEE HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR STUART MACONIE'S FREAK ZONE AND THANK WHOEVER YOU BELIEVE IN I WAS LISTENING. SAMS VOICE MADE THE HAIRS STAND UP ON THE NAPE OF MY NECK IT IS BEAUTIFUL. THE SONGS EVOKE SO MANY EMOTIONS THE ARRANGMENTS ARE STUNNING AND THAT VOICE! EVEN IF YOUR A COMPLETE RESISTER TO FOLK MUSIC I URGE YOU TO GO TO UTUBE AND LISTEN TO SAM AND LIKE ME YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF FIRMLY PLANTING YOUR FINGER IN YOUR EAR AND EMBRACING YOUR INNER FOLKY AND YOU WILL BE COMPELLED TO BUY GROUND OF ITS OWN AND PLAY IT TO DEATH. CANT WAIT FOR MORE.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite special, 11 Aug 2012
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Y. Levy "amarilli-mia-bella" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ground Of Its Own (Audio CD)
Not a long a detailed review; I am into vocal music, but not heavily into Folk. To summarize my impression of Sam Lee's CD - this is a unique treatment of the music, sung to perfection with deep understanding of what he is singing, combined with a very high degree of musicianship. The singing is haunting, and sensitive, paying as much attention to words as to music, and goes a long way to convert one to a fan of the genre. Impressive debut disc, evidently a labour of love. Looking forward to more. Thanks Sam.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ground of its own, 24 July 2012
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This review is from: Ground Of Its Own (Audio CD)
This has to be album of the year. Not only does Sam Lee have an amazing voice and a fantastic selection of little known songs but the arrangements are fresh different and frankly out of this world.
Goodbye my darling is my choice to be top of an outstanding selection but just listen to the trumpet on On yonder hill or the brilliant combination of instuments on Wildwood amber . If you love folk music or just good music buy this album.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, 24 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Ground Of Its Own (MP3 Download)
I've been waiting for a release by Sam Lee for what seems like ages after hearing the few brilliant things you can find on You Tube. On first listening I already know it's a wonderful record that I'll probably play a 100 times this month, both traditional and new and of course, with that great voice, perfect for folksong. Shame no Puck's song but you can get it on Oak Ash Thorn and I suspect some legal reason for that. I hope this is just the start of many great records. If you like UK folk, a must buy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Guitars missing, 19 July 2012
By 
M. Gardener - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ground Of Its Own (Audio CD)
So, what's the latest "enfant terrible" of the nu-folk scene got to offer us (after all that pre-publicity) then ? Well, putting aside any considerations of the virtues of song collection or the merits of re-interpreting the "tradition", and just simply listening to it as an album in its own right, it's sort of ... overwhelmingly alright. Actually it verges on the slightly boring at times and struggles to hold my attention at times. I'm afraid that for my punk-rock ears a whole album totally devoid of guitars and without much in the way of drums is a bit too much for me to take all in one go. (Don't be alarmed, punk & folk are two sides of the same coin I reckon). However, and let's concentrate on this, it does contain a couple of absolute gems.

The best is On Yonder Hill where the part of "lead guitar" is taken by "hunting horn". OK it's actually a trumpet but that's what it (deliberately) sounds like, brilliant, brilliant, absolute genius. The other gem is Goodbye My Darling, which (once it gets going) sounds like Outdoor Miner by Wire, yes, it really does. It's worth the price of admission just for these two tracks alone. Actually it would be worth it just for On Yonder Hill alone.

A word on the earlier review by Leonardo27 who has completely missed the point to an almost unbelievable degree. As Sam explained on a recent Mike Harding show, the song The Jew's Garden is there to demonstrate how the English can be shown in a bad-light regarding anti-semitism. So therefore, one could say that the presence of the song here is effectively anti-English rather than anti-semitic. Was Leonardo27 not aware that Sam is Jewish ? It seems to get mentioned in every interview he does and every article about him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Voice. Fascinating music, 21 Feb 2013
By 
Rob Cottrell (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ground Of Its Own (MP3 Download)
Apart from being a great singer, Sam Lee is obviously a great cultural historian. This selection of folk, mainly Romany songs have been passed down the generations for hundreds of years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OLD BUT NEW, 12 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Ground Of Its Own (MP3 Download)
I HAD TO GET THIS RECORD AFTER HEARING ONE OF THE SONGS ON THE RADIO.THE SONGS AND VOICE SEEM TO COME STRAIGHT FROM OLD ENGLAND,BUT THE INSTRUMENTATION,ALTHOUGH ACOUSTIC AND REAL,MAKES THE OVERALL SOUND QUITE NEW,ATMOSPHERIC BELLS,JEWS HARP AND EVEN TRUMPET ON ONE TRACK WITH HINTS OF MILES DAVIS.THE SONGS ARE QUITE DARK MOSTLY,BUT I CAN,T STOP PLAYING IT .
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Ground Of Its Own by Sam Lee (Audio CD - 2012)
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