Sam’s Mercury Award nominated 2012 debut album is a work several years in conception which brought together a multitude of experiences and influences for a musician who has cut an unique course in his artistic development. This 8-track release mixed by the legendary John Wood (of Nick Drake fame) comprises material gleaned from years of research and exploration into the forgotten songs and sounds of the British Isles.

‘Ground Of Its Own’ brings together songs directly sourced from English Gypsy and Irish and Scottish Traveller communities until now unheard in the wider music world. Sam’s time has been spent learning their characterful and inimitable singing styles, and deep knowledge of the land and the relationships these songs have with their history and ancestry. With this experience at the album’s core, many of our indigenous musical principals – such as traditional song having pulse but not always rhythm – have helped create a contemporary idea of how future folk music might sound.

What ‘Ground Of Its Own’ sets out is a new method for the interpretation of folk song which seeks to honour this rich native art form whilst marrying it to a resourceful, contemporary approach that explores the tapestries of lost sounds and new sounds that surround us always. These compositions are not only filled with Jew’s harp, hang, hammered dulcimer, alpine Horn, autoharp, shruti boxes and gas cylinders, but ultimately the voice and Sam’s passion for breathing new life in to these jewels on our doorstep. All combined, what is created is an album of depth and vitality that reaches to the absolute heart of the tradition in a respectful but highly modern manner.

Album Press & Reviews

Sam’s extraordinary and wonderful debut album.


It demands patient attention but it’s an album of unusual dignity and immense beauty


Lee’s album is tremendous, blessed with courtly, uncanny, subtly radical treatments. sounding at once ancient and, in a relatively original way, contemporary.


A dream-like quality that’s as rare as it is compelling


Lee’s voice captures the mythic charm of these songs, but it’s his arrangements, at once vivid yet shrouded, which set Ground of Its Own apart


An impressively brave and original set


its downbeat, trancelike mood is unwavering, the album has a gentle, insistent power


It’s rather good

Independent on Sunday

Ground of Its Own is wonderful. The singing is sublime and exquisite! It’s gentle and despairing, trancelike and tender. Strokes of genius there I think!

Shirley Collins

When Sam Lee makes this record public he’s going to find himself with a success story on his hands...

Fiona Talkington, Late Junction (BBC Radio 3)

A wonderful singer and fascinating character. He’s working with musicians in a very interesting and unusual way, his arrangements are unlike anything anyone has ever really heard before

Joe Boyd

Well it feels like its been a long time coming but here at last is somebody doing really creative things with traditional English Folk Song from the ground breaking new album

Verity Sharp, Late Junction (BBC Radio 3)