Seth Lakeman: Word of Mouth – review

(Cooking Vinyl)

The west country fiddler continues to draw inspiration from his heartlands, with this seventh album based on interviews with locals: bell ringers, engine drivers, dock workers and more. The resulting narratives are engaging enough, but Lakeman's trademark racing rhythms render several songs indistinguishable. Better are slower pieces such as Labour She Calls Home (about the Minnack Theatre) and The Saddest Crowd (about Titanic survivors). Recording in a Cornish church adds atmosphere to fine ensemble playing with cello, banjo, accordion and more, but vocal harmonies with band member Lisbee Stainton, a welcome change from Lakeman's strident style, are often lost in the belfry.

Contributor

Neil Spencer

The GuardianTramp

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