Serious Sam Barrett: Where The White Roses Grow
DL / Stream/ CD/ Vinyl
English cowboy Serious Sam Barrett sings muscular folk at dynamic pace on his new album, Where The White Roses Grow. Bryony Hegarty reviews for Louder Than War.
Sam Barrett’s new album Where The White Roses Grow features old time soulful banjo hues and trademark acoustic 12 string guitar. His vocal resonates with vitality and at times, an inner longing. Barrett combines trad folk, Country and Americana, sliding seamlessly from old tunes to his own timeless compositions. Where The White Roses Grow was recorded at The Stationhouse in Leeds by producer/engineer James Atkinson.
The title track, Where The White Roses Grow opens with up tempo beats, dynamic spirit and a sense of adventure. Drinking song, Last Of The Yorkshire Outlaws, emerges from the wisdom of sobriety. Barrett captures evasive glimmers of expectation and hope in the bottom of the glass, whilst imbuing the personality of the bar regular with a sense of affection. A stripped back arrangement on I Don’t Need To Wait For Heaven delivers a pledge of love. He sings acappella on renditions of English folk ode Holmfirth Anthem and self-penned Darling Where You Are, where warm hued vocal tones deliver a resilient empowering pledge.
Another traditional interpretation: Waters Of Tyne features Jamie Barrier (Pine Hill Haints) on fiddle. The song tells of a lassie’s quest for a ferryman who can reunite her with her lover across the flowing divide. At brisk pace on Bonaparte’s Love Song, an instrumental opening builds with country and western twang. Robin Hood And The 15 Forresters is Barrett’s version of an old tune (from The Child Ballads), building the rhythmic pulse of nursery rhyme, to claim the Sherwood people’s hero as a Yorkshire legend.
Putting a foot on the gas, Everybody Needs A Helping Hand picks up the pace. A perpetual resonance chimes with the moment, expressing human frailties behind the public facade and acknowledging our universal need for the milk of human kindness. Haunting strings and vocal urgency resonate on Bramhope Tunnel Monument remembering the 24 workers who died during construction of the railway shaft on the Harrogate line in the late 1880s. Jamie Barrier returns on fiddle for Tennessee Line, picking up the locomotion of a different kind of railroad song, rich in pioneer spirit and country living.
21st Century traditions for folk lovers old and new.
Listen to the title track from the album here:
All words by Bryony Hegarty. More writing by Bryony can be found at her Louder Than War Author’s Archive