Former Mercury Prize-nominee Sam Lee heads to Sheffield in March

The acclaimed artist Sam Lee, a British folk singer and traditional music specialist will be performing at the Crookes Social Club in Sheffield tonight.
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The former Mercury Prize-nominee has just released his latest (and fourth) album, ‘songdreaming’, which represents a further evolution in the development of Sam Lee’s musical repertoire to date.

As if taking the guise of a contemporary shamanic figure, Sam Lee delivers an album that spans an eclectic range of styles. At times harking back to more immediately identifiable acoustic songs to broad ranging drone soundscapes, songdreaming is an acoustic, ambitious, deliverance of lamentations of lost ardour for an England that once was and is perilously close to no longer being — especially if humanity continues in the direction of impending ecological collapse.

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“We are so beholden to nature, and we have no idea how much we are. We have this completely separated sense of different identities that nature is over there, we are over here, and somehow our food will just turn up on our plates or in supermarkets.”

“Actually I think what a perilous world we live in being able to provide. And that actually comes down to land misuse, abuse of nature, being extracted in the interest of profit and not about sustainability. That all comes down to the fact that we have lost our relationship, love and affection for nature.”

Without a shadow of a doubt this is an emotional, heartfelt, earthy experience that incorporates many elements. From the beautiful bard-like balladry of Sweet Girl McRee to the gospel tinged Leaves of Life, a destination only reached after the rage-infused, yet patiently delivered Bushes and Briars — a song that captures Sam’s frustration at how civilisation continues to wreak havoc on a world that should by all rights be treasured and enjoyed.

Speaking on his love of nature and the great outdoors, Sam had this to say in a recent interview for the Chris Talks Music podcast.

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“It was always a deep passion, my love for nature. As a young boy growing up in London, it was always my happy place. I spent as much time out there out of love and appreciation as I could.”

Sam Lee "Songdreaming" Album artwork 2023Sam Lee "Songdreaming" Album artwork 2023
Sam Lee "Songdreaming" Album artwork 2023

Despite studying a degree in Fine Art, it seemed that nature’s call held a stronger allure and beckoned Sam into undertaking a different journey.

“That’s developed from that into a place of great learning and teaching, and then reinterpreting for growing a life and a career into now communicating the importance of nature.”

The striking vocals present throughout teem with traditional folk rhythmical structures, built on the backbone of double bass, percussion and violin. It’s an aural experience that intertwines the culture of many nations, infused with a world of instrumentation including the Arabic Qanun, Swedish Nyckelharpa, small pipes, and more.

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It particularly struck a chord as I lost myself in the journey being trod by Sam Lee, impressively delivered across nine songs, clocking in at just over 45 minutes. A soulful deliverance that teems and courses through the songs to frame an everlasting reverence for Albion of old. One we most definitely owe it to ourselves and future generations to treasure.

‘songdreaming’ marks a further evolution of Sam as an artist, from his initial appearance as a curator of ancient song through to the creator of a new musical language for the canon and the meaning contained within it. It is an album that avoids simple classification, the revelation of an artist at the height of his creative powers, dedicated to both his message and its connection to its audience.

You can listen to the full interview on the Chris Talks Music podcast by clicking right here.

Sam Lee will be performing at Crookes Social Club, Sheffield, on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Doors open before 7pm.

You can buy tickets from:

Sam Lee’s new album, ‘songdreaming’ is out now and was released by Cooking Vinyl on 15th March, 2024, on Vinyl Album, CD, and digital download from:

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