Sam Lee, a Mercury-nominated singer, curator and promoter, who has made his name traversing many worlds, challenging and pioneering folk music in many diverse places and ways.
At its base in Euston, London, Club Inégales has led the way in cross-genre collaboration, featuring traditional and new music. The evenings are directed by composer/conductor Peter Wiegold and guests have come from classical, jazz, folk, Asian, Middle-Eastern, South and North American, electronic and experimental backgrounds, and all collaborated with resident band Notes Inégales. The club has also featured spoken/written word artists such as Benjamin Zephaniah and Will Self. With the latter they released the first Club Inégales CD Kafka’s Wound.
Peter Wiegold writes: Sam joined us at the Club in October 2014 and after some delightful inventions, just before the end, we thought we’d try one more piece. A new groove set off, sparked by the pizzicato violin of Max Baillie, then my 5-note riff on the keyboard. Sam came in with his version of Rambling Boys, and a touching performance emerged – and this album was born.
We decided to go into the studio, switch on the red light and see if we could repeat this spontaneous process, starting with Rambling Boys and the theme of ‘journeys to the other side’. Once more, this was almost entirely improvised, the band set off with grooves and textures and Sam added melodies. I steered the band into different areas, looping some music, isolating ideas then bouncing off from them into other directions, spending extended times getting absorbed in an idea. I have edited this six hours of adventures into the nine tracks for this album.
The extraordinary backgrounds and flexibility of the band – classical, jazz, folk, Scottish music – enable us to draw on our experiences of music of the past as well as today, and then we search for a new music born of what each person brings into that studio – just like the club nights at Club Inégales.
‘This disc is a wonderful re-imagining, taking Sam Lee’s folk-inspired vocals into new lands and territories with some magical instrumental textures from Note Inégales … If you think you know what folk music sounds like and don’t like it, then think again. This really is a journey to the unknown, and wonderful it is too.’ Planet Hugill
1 Rambling Boys
2 Deep Blue Sea
3 Botany Bay – Bad Company
4 Suit of Blue
5 Quicker Now Than Any Wind
6 Laurel Green
7 Middle of the Ocean – The Cuckoo She’s a Merry Bird
8 Flash Company
9 The Submarine Gardens – I Have Travelled in Exile
Artists: Max Baillie violin | Martin Butler piano | Joel Bell guitar | Sam Lee vocals | Simon Limbrick percussion | Ben Markland bass | Peter Wiegold keyboard | Fraser Fifield pipes and saxophone
All tracks were recorded on 8th and 10th September 2015 at Brunel University.
DANIEL HALFORD Recording Engineer