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.