Sam Lee plays a unique role in the British music scene. He is a multi-award-winning singer with a rich and soulful voice, a committed folk song collector and a successful promoter of imaginative live events. With training in visual art and contemporary dance, Sam has presented acclaimed radio documentaries and appeared on stages around the globe. And if all that wasn’t enough, Sam Lee is also a passionate conservationist and highly effective environmental campaigner. This is seen through his work with Extinction Rebellion, Music Declares Emergency and the recent RSPB campaign, ‘Let Nature Sing’, where Sam helped get 3 minutes of birdsong into the UK Top 20 charts for the first time.
Sam Lee’s third album, Old Wow, his first for respected indie label, Cooking Vinyl, is due for release on January 31. The album will be accompanied by his most comprehensive UK tour to date. As with Sam’s previous albums, this latest album looks set to surprise, challenge and inspire.
Old Wow was recorded at RAK Studios and Studio 355 in London and is produced by Bernard Butler (Suede, MacAlmont & Butler) who also contributes electric guitar, an instrument Sam has never recorded with before. ‘It’s played so beautifully and sensitively here that you wouldn’t necessarily know it was an electric guitar at all!’. A remarkable and rare guest vocal is provided by Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins) with Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh of the acclaimed band, The Gloaming, joining on hardanger violin. Matthew Barley provides cello on two songs. There are also beautiful harmonies provided by Cosmo Sheldrake and spoken-word poet, Dizraeli. A dazzling supporting cast of musicians features: James Keay on piano, Misha Mullov-Abbado on bass and on percussion, Josh Green. Bucolic front cover artwork is provided by Alex Merry (Boss Morris - and designer for Gucci).
Old Wow is an album devoted to the natural world; a commitment that has dominated Sam’s heart and non-musical practice for more years than he has been singing. It’s an album about our complicated relationship with planet earth but also, about the impact that ecological crisis has on our sense of self and the place we call home. The title came to Sam during a journey in the wilds of Scotland, where he had gone to reconnect with nature. While alone on a mountainside, a buzzard suddenly swooped down and screamed right over his head. Sam felt he was 'receiving a message, telling me to listen properly and pay attention and the name ‘Old Wow’ surfaced. I use ‘Old Wow’ to describe that sense of wonder and magic that can, if listened to deeply enough, animate nature very powerfully. It also describes those experiences which exist beyond the natural realm which are often described in our folk songs.’
29 January 2020 Glasgow Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Strathclyde Suite)
31 January 2020 Newcastle Cluny
01 February 2020 Manchester Night and Day
03 February 2020 Nottingham Rescue Rooms
04 February 2020 Leeds City Varieties
05 February 2020 Birmingham Glee
06 February 2020 Exeter Phoenix
07 February 2020 Bodmin St Petroc’s Church
08 February 2020 Lyme Regis Marine Theatre
10 February 2020 Cambridge Junction 2
13 February 2020 Brighton St George’s
15 February 2020 Canterbury Gulbenkian Theatre
16 February 2020 Norwich Open
17 February 2020 London EartH
19 February 2020 Bristol St George’s
21 February 2020 Cardiff The Gate