Folk by the Oak backed Sweet Liberties album released this week

PUBLISHED: 16:39 03 October 2016 | UPDATED: 14:25 04 October 2016

Sweet Liberties album

Sweet Liberties album

Archant

A folk supergroup that appeared live at Hatfield House this summer releases its debut album later this week.

Featuring the combined talents of folk artists Martyn Joseph, Nancy Kerr, Sam Carter, Maz O’Connor, Patsy Reid and Nick Cooke, the Sweet Liberties album comes out on Friday, October 7.

The group appeared on the main stage at Folk by the Oak in the grounds of Hatfield House in July, the performance being the culmination of an exciting partnership with The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS).

Following the success of The Elizabethan Session, the 14-track Sweet Liberties album charts Britain’s social and political journey through the eyes of some of the country’s leading folk singer-songwriters and musicians.

The view from the main stage at Folk by the Oak 2016 during the Sweet Liberties set, tweeted by Martyn JosephThe view from the main stage at Folk by the Oak 2016 during the Sweet Liberties set, tweeted by Martyn Joseph

Folk Words wrote “destined to achieve classic status... every composition is a gem waiting to be uncovered”, while R2 Magazine said: “These are some of the best songs of the 21st century – listen to them carefully.”

BBC Folk Singer of the Year 2015 Nancy Kerr, Martyn Joseph, Sam Carter and Maz O’Connor considered milestones that marked the passage of key pieces of legislation, and also reviewed moments when the aspiration for rights or liberties were articulated.

The four songwriters were joined by musicians Patsy Reid and Nick Cooke for a launch gig at Parliament’s Speakers House and a short UK tour in November 2015, and the six reunited for a final performance at Folk by the Oak in July.

The view from the main stage at Folk by the Oak 2016 during the Sweet Liberties set, tweeted by Martyn JosephThe view from the main stage at Folk by the Oak 2016 during the Sweet Liberties set, tweeted by Martyn Joseph

Visitors to FBTO were able to grab advance copies of the album.

Among the tracks, ‘Welsh Springsteen’ Martyn Joseph pays tribute to fellow countrymen Nye Bevan and Dic Penderyn, while Nancy Kerr weaves subjects including the Magna Carta, the Human Rights Act, women’s suffrage and slavery into compelling and heartfelt songs.

Sam Carter showcases his storytelling skills to examine the struggle against slavery.

Sweet Liberties' Nick Cooke and Nancy Kerr on stage at Folk by the Oak 2016 at Hatfield HouseSweet Liberties' Nick Cooke and Nancy Kerr on stage at Folk by the Oak 2016 at Hatfield House

Maz O’Connor, one of the freshest voices on the contemporary folk scene, brings history firmly into the present day with her reflections on the Poor Law and race relations.

Backed by talented instrumentalists Patsy Reid, formerly of Breabach, and Nick Cooke, of Mawkin and Kate Rusby Band, Sweet Liberties is a unique record of thought provoking and highly original new music that was recorded in response to overwhelming demand from audiences during the project tour last year.

The project was commissioned by the EFDSS and Folk by the Oak in partnership with the Houses of Parliament’s 2015 anniversaries programme, Parliament in the Making.

Sweet Liberties album coverSweet Liberties album cover

You can pre-order Sweet Liberties from www.folkbytheoak.com

• The Folk by the Oak music festival will return to Hatfield House in 2017 on Sunday, July 16.

For more on Folk by the Oak, visit the festival’s website at www.folkbytheoak.com

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