Nominated four times, and winner in 2015, of Musician Of The Year BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Sam is a veteran of the mighty Bellowhead, former and inaugural artistic director of the National Youth Folk Ensemble, founder member of the acclaimed instrumental trio Leveret, and “one of the defining English fiddle players of his generation” (Mark Radcliffe) at the forefront of the revival in English traditional music. After embarking on a solo career, releasing his debut solo album The Unfinished Violin on Island Records and touring it to sell-out crowds in 2019, Sam is releasing his highly anticipated second solo album, Unearth Repeat, in March 2020.
Unearth Repeat celebrates a new direction, not only for Sam but for English music. His new band are injecting into the tradition something that hasn’t been heard before. The music has the groove and swagger of traditional English music with the huge sound, flare, energy and sound palette more commonly heard within the Celtic and Scandinavian music scenes. Moving on from his five year connection to the First World War, which inspired his first album and captured the nation’s hearts through appearances on Antiques Roadshow and BBC Breakfast, alongside BBC Radio 2, 3, 4 and 6Music, Unearth Repeat sees Sam making music on his own terms, with a stellar line up of his favourite musicians and a massive sound. The new band brings together Sam’s unique fiddle playing, the acoustic and electric guitars of Jack Rutter (Seth Lakeman) and Louis Campbell (National Youth Folk Ensemble) and the double bass of Ben Nicholls (Seth Lakeman, Nadine Shah).
“One of the defining English fiddle players of his generation.” Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
“The fiddler with the Midas touch… an English equivalent of the great Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes.” ★★★★ The Guardian
“Sweeney’s playing is unearthly at times… an outstanding and deeply moving experience.” ★★★★★ Songlines
“One hell of an album from one hell of a fiddler.” ★★★★★ RNR
“The fiddler with the golden ear when it comes to hunting out tunes!” Verity Sharp, BBC Radio 3
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