With EMI's double CD set, you are able get instant access to two of the very talented Seth Lakeman's brilliant studio albums: 'Freedom Feilds' and 'Kitty Jay'. Seth is a Devon born folk singer/songwriter, whose sound will appeal to people of all ages.
Freedom Fields (2006):
Staying true to his musical routes, the songs on Seth's third album deal with traditional folk stories and legends, in this case, from his West Country home, but the music itself leans towards a more contemporary feel with the modern rhythms. The heavy fiddle and guitar playing by Seth is great, but it's the passionate and distinctive voice which he has that really makes his music most enjoyable to listen to.
My personal favourite songs are the excellent opener 'Lady Of The Sea (Hear Her Calling)', 'The Charmer', 'Childe The Hunter' and the absolute beauty of 'The White Hare', which, when collected together, are catchy, up-lifting, mystical and spiritual. Freedom Fields' was my first Seth album, and it made me an instant fan. I'd recommend this record to anyone who wishes to 'test-the-water', and you can then decide whether you wish to hear more, I did, and I ended up with a full set of prized albums.
Kitty Jay (2004):
Two years earlier, following the release of Seth's second album 'Kitty Jay', it was deservedly short-listed for the Mercury Music Prize for 2005. This is traditional folk music with a contemporary edge, and his subsequent albums, in which he repeated the winning formula, have led, not only to critically acclaim, but real chart success.
Here, on his breakthrough record, Seth recorded tunes which dealt with the usual traditional folk themes, legends and stories which were inspired by his hometown of Dartmoor. This is something that he would repeat on the albums which were to follow, and such bittersweet tales are always interesting to hear, not to mention having the ability to evoke some wonderful pictures which will circulate inside you're head if you have the creativity to let them. My personal favourites are the title track, the tragic story of a betrayal, 'Joe Lomas', and 'The Ballad Of Josie', which deals with a woman who also fell (literally) victim to a betrayal, from her recent lover.
By relying almost only on his violin, acoustic guitar, and that excellent voice of his, this is music from a real musician who knows how to write good songs. Considering the tiny budget of 500 pounds which was made to record the 'Kitty Jay' album, it's quite remarkable to have such a confident, compelling folk record, and one which, like the rest of Seth Lakeman's, will endear this timeless musical genre to new generations.