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4.8 out of 5 stars
Hidden People
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£9.17+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 19 July 2012
This is the long-awaited sequel to Kathryn and Sean's earlier duo projects, imaginatively titled "1" and "2", which dated from the later Equation days. If you, like me, fondly remember Equation, and wonder what they would be playing now, look no further than this collection. It even has a few other Equation members (Cara Dillon, Iain Goodall, and of course Sean's little brother) guesting.

Eight of the ten tracks are new compositions by Kathryn and Sean, with one of the other two being a typically lively Roberts/Lakeman arrangement of traditional coded bawdiness in the style of "Cuckoo's nest" or "The Buxom Lass". The remaining track (Jackie's song) is one that the pair have been playing live for a good few years, and is delivered with touching pathos.

For the eight new songs, there is often a supernatural theme or a dark twist to the tale. Ghosts, demons and cursed maidens all play out their parts through Kathryn's rich and vivid vocal palette, painted on Sean's intricately woven canvas. My stand-out choice of these is "Hang the rowan", which is a deceptively chilling tale of the inexorable vengeance of wronged mother on her betrayer, that even the grave cannot prevent.

"The ballad of Andy Jacobs" is Kathryn's mature reflection on the miners' strike of her childhood. Whatever side you were on you can't help but be moved by this retelling of its effect on one family - there were no winners. "Money or jewels" starts as a love story, but turns into something else entirely. Which leaves "The wisdom of standing still" - a haven of calm and simple good advice that too many people accept too rarely.

Kathryn and Sean have made treasure, and it shouldn't be hidden. They are overlooked and under-rated, and richly deserve far better than that.
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on 17 July 2012
Great to see these two returning to the limelight after a few years bringing up the kids. Sean Lakeman is one of the three Lakeman brothers (Seth, Sam) and has been touring (mosly with brother Seth), producing and arranging, while Kathryn has been busy as a Mum to twin girls.
Kathryn started her singing career in a duet with Kate Rusby before both joined the Lakeman brothers to form the hugely successful `Equation'. Sean & Kathryn have also released two previous albums together.
Hidden People consists of mostly self-written songs and goes a long way to bring the art of ballad writing bang up to date. Supernatural Scandanavian tales mingle with upbeat folk rock, tradtional (and contemporary) ballads and love songs.
For me, the stand-out track on the album is The White Hind - a highly dramatic rendition of an old favourite featuring a host of voices.
The combination of Sean & Kathryn's skills as song writers, arrangers and musicians, Kathryn's much admired vocal talent and contributions from Lakeman brothers Sam and Seth, Cara Dillon, Mark Chadwick, Dave Burland, Stu Hannah and Jim Moray have produced a wonderful album that should put them right back in the limelight.
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on 17 August 2012
This is the third album I have and they are all excellent; but this to me is the best yet. Many artists find it difficult to make follow on CDs when they release a good one; but Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman seem to get better and better.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 May 2015
I saw this duo live in concert for the first time locally earlier in the week. A charming married couple currently on tour up north from their remote Dartmoor home with their 2 young girls accompanying them, amusing asides and anecdotes of their domestic life peppered the performance. Kathryn has a real belter of a voice, much more powerful and assured than I had expected from their CD's, with an incredible range and power which she can control at will, even when suffering with a sore throat. She also plays the keyboards, flute and woodwind to good effect. Sean's guitar playing is also often robust, strongly rhythmical at times, technically accomplished , but not overindulgent,, he is a great player. Together live they gave a mature confident fine performance, with explanations to the context of each song, and asides on their domestic circumstances on tour and at home, they seem a firmly grounded couple in love with a very happy family unit.This album has a strong set of songs, not a duff track among them, and a sophisticated production, everything is crystal clear, but there are classy additional guest spots including Cara Dillon on supporting vocals on haunting opening track Huldra which features stunning multi layered female vocals as a highlight; and Sean's famous brother Seth featuring on violin on the bawdy tale of the Lusty Smith. This is a mature accomplished album by the core duo at the top of their game with a strong supporting cast of superb accompianists adding to the feel of this classy collection. The new original songs are fantastic, The Ballad of Andy Jacobs is a standout track about the personal dilemma that miners faced in the strike some 30 years ago, and The Wisdom of Standing Still is a beautiful song with simple but true sentiments about taking time to sometimes step back and relax from the hurly burly of the rat race. If you are looking for their finest album, this is probably the pinnacle of their recorded career to date, with clever production and lovely additional guest slots. Their latest album Tomorrow Will Follow Today is also excellent, featuring just the couple as you will hear them in live performance. A lovely mix of fine new personal original songs with a couple of traditional ones thrown in, this comes highly recommended as a career highlight If you get opportunity to see them live in concert then grab it, you will not be disappointed.
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on 16 January 2013
Bit of a slow-burn this, but listening and reading the lyrics revealed how wonderful this CD is. Kathryn's voice is beautiful, and Sean's playing is brilliant. It doesn't hurt that the 'family and friends' are also helping out on several tracks.
'The Lusty Smith' is one of the rudest folk songs I've heard, makes the 'Cuckoo's Nest' and 'Bonny Black Hare' pale into insignificance! The ballads are meaningful, accessible and wonderfully arranged and played.
Can't wait to see them 'live' at Cropredy in the summer....
Go and buy this album NOW!
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on 17 April 2014
Due to unforeseen circumstances had to miss a live gig locally by this duo who had been highly recommended by friends. Bought the CD to compensate and to hear what the fuss was about. I know now. What a superbly crafted CD this is. Sublime vocals from Kathryn Roberts backed by superb instrumentation and production from Sean Lakeman. All tracks are excellent. A
classic album which rates as one of my top buys of recent years. Am now looking forward to catching them live at their next gig in home county of Devon.
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on 17 September 2012
I had the great pleasure of seeing this duo at this year's Cheltenham Folk Festival and to my mind they were undoubtedly the stars. The long-awaited album was well worth waiting for and should be the clear favourite for the album of the year. It shows their amazing versatility, with every track a winner for me - but if pushed I would select 'The White Hind' and 'Lusty Smith' as the absolute stars. Hopefully the wait for the next album will not be as long - PLEASE!!
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on 12 March 2013
This is, astonishingly the debut album of husband and wife duo Lakeman and Roberts, famous for their work with folk contempories like Kate Rusby, Equation, Roberts the inaugeral winner of the BBC Young Folk Award, and Lakeman producer for his brother Seth's successful solo career.
They step out from the shadows of their more famous collaborators to put their considerable talents to work on this majestic debut, Seans superb guitar work, and atmospheric production gives the songs room to breathe, whilst Kathryn's vocals wave their magic over a diverse range of songs that cover all bases from gothic Scandinavian folk tales (Huldra) to love songs (Money or Jewels) the miners strike (The Ballad of Andy Jacobs) which still resonates nearly 30 years on, and bawdy innuendo laden folk songs (Lusty Smith) all performed with a panache and surety, borne from skills honed by years of performing. Finishing with the anti war song Jackie's Song, this debut is amazing, and is my folk album of the year. If this doesn't win awards I'll eat my hat.
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on 11 February 2013
A superb CD with great vocals from Kathryn and superb guitar from Sean whose production is faultless to my ears.
My own favourites are Huldra, Hang The Rowan and Jackie's Song but all songs are excellent. It's definitely a folk
classic and up there with Cara's Hill of Thieves. Just buy it, you won't be disappointed.
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on 30 March 2014
Bought the album after seeing them at St. Bonaventures in Bristol recently. They are fantastic live, great singing,great guitar playing and lovely people to boot. Jackie's song a particular favourite but the whole album is great. Support these talented people and buy it!
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