If you're being lauded by The Independent as a British folk figurehead, then you know you've finally reached 'the other side'. To be fair though, Seth Lakeman has been highly-regarded by folk and roots fans alike, not least Mike Harding on Radio 2 who has aired a few of the violinist-cum-singer's album-tracks in the past. The established folk-DJ has recently done the same thing again, this time with Lakeman's new opus "Hearts and Minds", due for a release (finally) on 19th July. Limited copies come with a slightly different version of the splendid "Live at the Minack DVD", and all copies come with thirteen new Seth-anthems of course.
Lakeman is already appearing at a host of festivals during the summer - Guilfest, Greenwich Summer Sessions and Weyfest, plus a slot at the Open Air Theatre, London on 5th September - but now a full UK tour has been announced for the autumn with tickets on sale now (£17 - £20.50). His first date is in Tunbridge Wells on 24th October, followed by Warrington (25th), Reading (26th), Truro (29th) plus a fair few more until Dorset on 21st November.
The album (recently streamed in advance on We7) sounds all grown up without detracting from the familiar subjects of love, folklore and his beloved Dartmoor. It sounds pretty good to these ears and a fair bit more varied than his last effort "Poor Man's Heaven".