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Following the success of British multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer Seth Lakeman’s latest album Ballads of the Broken Few (Cooking Vinyl), the acclaimed multi-instrumentalist had been tapped on the shoulder by none other than Robert Plant to play on that legend’s latest release, Carry Fire. Playing an essential role in the recording, Lakeman’s trademark stomp, swooping singing and aching fiddle and viola can currently be heard as the show opener, as well as a member of Plant’s backing band The Sensational Space Shifters, on Plant’s 2018 U.S. and Australian tour.

Lakeman’s latest studio album, his eighth, is a stunning combination of dynamic songwriting and playing, the genius of legendary producer Ethan Johns and the sublime harmony vocals of emerging young female trio Wildwood Kin. Ballads of the Broken Few has seven original tracks plus a striking cover of Anna Lee, the Laurelyn Dossett song from Levon Helm’s Grammy-winning Dirt Farmer album. Lakeman also revisited the Cecil Sharp House archive featured in “The Full English” project, which resulted in him and fellow leading British folk musicians claiming “Best Group” and “Best Album” at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Since the Mercury Prize nominated album Kitty Jay (recorded in Lakeman’s kitchen for £300), the follow-up gold selling Freedom Fields and his highly acclaimed offering, Word of Mouth, Lakeman has relentlessly pushed his musical boundaries and those of folk and roots music. His innovative approach, groundbreaking albums and powerful live performances have put him at the forefront of the re-emergence of British folk and successfully steered it into the mainstream. With Ballads of the Broken Few Lakeman demonstrates yet again that, far from being complacent, he is constantly exploring new and bold musical paths.

Seth Lakeman was kind enough to spend some time with Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips backstage at the Palais Theatre prior to Robert Plant and the Sensational Space Shifters’ Melbourne show. In this video interview Seth chats about his early days, playing with Robert Plant and tells us he has a new album in the can and ready to go for September.

Photos from Palais Theatre show by Wicked Rock Photography


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