Another year has flown by and it’s that special day for lovers once again. It’s time to express our undying love for the objects of our affection and what better song to help us celebrate than ‘Valentine’s Day’ from Yorkshire folk talent Sam Barrett. All based around Barrett’s voice and lovely, intricate banjo playing, it’s an original song in a timeless style. That forceful, pulsing banjo line is full of hypnotic melody and it’s amazing how it can carry the song along and take us with it. Traditional yet fresh, Barrett explained the inspiration to AUK: “This song is inspired by a traditional song of the same name that I found in The Seeds Of Love, a book published by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in the ’60s. The traditional song comes, in turn, from a song Ophelia sings in Hamlet when she loses her mind through grief after the death of her Father. My version draws from the tempo and feel of the traditional song but it’s a very personal love song.” For the video, Scott Dulson recorded Barrett playing live on The Chevin in West Yorkshire, a beautiful backdrop for his fine work on the banjo.
‘Valentines Day’ is taken from the recent album ‘The Seeds of Love’, which was named after the afore-mentioned book, given to Barrett as a gift by his wife. “I was immediately taken with how beautiful the book was and a large part of this record is comprised of songs from the book. In a lot of cases, I was new to the songs and I simply read the verses from the page and waited for a melody to come to me that I thought fitted the words. For some, I already knew the song and decided to play it straight with the traditional melody. For some time I’ve wanted to make a record with a very traditional feel, a ‘proper folk record’, and this book really helped that along. One way or another all the songs on this record are songs of love, be it tragic, misguided, unrequited or true.”
From folk clubs and pubs in Leeds to SXSW in Texas, Sam Barrett has performed throughout the UK and the USA, sharing stages with the likes of The Felice Brothers and Lucero. Over time, he has built a loyal fanbase who appreciate his sensitive reimagining of traditional songs and thoughtful new material rooted in and blending folk and Americana. Check this out and play it for a loved one.