Sea Song Sessions by the sea

FIVE folk singers and musicians – a veritable “super-group” of the British folk scene – are on a short tour in September, recreating a programme of maritime songs that they recorded on an album last year. The local dates are at Clevedon’s Princes Hall on 27th and the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, on Thursday 28th September.

The five musicians – Jon Boden, Seth Lakeman, Ben Nicholls, Emily Portman and Jack Rutter – celebrated the release of the album of British maritime folk songs and sea shanties with a series of on-board and harbourside performances. The album and concerts were called Sea Song Sessions.

The concept for the album came to this all-star group in 2021, when they were asked to prepare an evening of sea-related songs for the Folkestone Festival. Boden’s celebrated work with Bellowhead (no strangers to sea-faring songs) and Ben Nicholls’ band, Kings of The South Seas (who play exclusively maritime-influenced music), Seth Lakeman’s own extensive body of work from the South West and Emily Portman and Jack Rutter’s sizeable oceanic repertoires together formed a natural foundation and inspiration for the album.

They chose to record material from each artist’s repertoire, traditional songs and some newly written for these sessions and the album was released in September 2022 on Topic Records. Folk Radio described it as “a glorious album, showcasing some of the best of the current crop of British folk artists”.