Sam Lee and Friends
Lee has a wonderfully warm, enveloping, timeless baritone voice, and the band have a sound all their own, combining Jew’s harp and Indian shruti box, providing a haunting accompaniment to Lee’s gentle interpretations of Britain’s traditional material.
Although Sam Lee has spent the last four years of his career embedded in British traditional music as intensely and uniquely as is possible, Sam and his band perform not in the slightest bit traditionally but create a radical yet melodic new passage for folk song for the contemporary audience. But don’t expect old English hornpipes and ‘foldy roll’ chorus songs.
Firmly honouring the ‘roots and wings’ concept of how traditional music needs to thrive to survive, Sam treads a thoroughly modern course and musical vision. The band consists of Sam’s honed and dexterous vocals and Shruti box work, accompanied by the exquisite sounds of Jew’s Harp combined with klezmeresque cello, tabla, Japanese Koto, ukele, violins and percussion.
Together they fuse a sound incomparable to anything else within the folk revival’s canon, dedicated to serving these stunning songs almost lost to obscurity with as much joy and passion as has kept them sung for at least the last 500 years.
The Band whittle folk in wonderful shapes, giving a flavour of 70’s krautrock, while hints of disco and bluegrass added brilliant backing to Lee’s Baritone
Jude Rogers, The Guardian