THE LAKE POETS
“Snapshots of winsome folk that fall somewhere between Bright Eyes and John Martyn” **** Mojo
“A set of gorgeous songs that explode out of the English folk tradition….Quietly brilliant” 8/10, Uncut
“…beautiful, thought provoking, honest acoustic music” The Guardian
A loose collective based around Sunderland-born singer/guitarist Marty Longstaff, The Lake Poets will release their self-titled debut album on September 25th on Dave Stewart Entertainment/Membran. Featuring eleven sparsely beautiful songs, The Lake Poets is set to see Longstaff mentioned in the same breath as John Martyn and Richard Thompson thanks to his dextrous finger-picking acoustic guitar, while his shimmering, pure vocals echo the unadorned distinctively North East tones of Paddy McAloon and Martin Stephenson And The Daintees.
Recorded over three days at Nashville’s renowned Blackbird Studios – where Roy Orbsion and Hank Williams once recorded – the album was produced by Eurythmics legend and fellow Sunderland native Dave Stewart. The sessions were engineered by Blackbird’s owner John McBride, who has recorded everyone from Bruce Springsteen and The White Stripes to Taylor Swift and The Black Keys in his studio. The celebrated musicians who accompanied Longstaff on The Lake Poets sessions were Chad Cromwell (Neil Young, Mark Knopfler), pedal steel guitarist Dan Dugmore (James Taylor, Bob Dylan), guitarist Tom Bukovac (Brian Wilson, Dolly Parton), bassist Michael Bradford (Ringo Starr, Stevie Nicks), violinist Ann Marie Calhoun (Hans Zimmer), guitar/banjo/backing vocalist Molly Tuttle, all sister quartet SHEL (backing vocals), plus Academy of Country Music Award winners Mike Rojas (keyboards) and Michael Rhodes (bass).
A trained schoolteacher, 26 year-old Longstaff was at work when he got the invitation to record in Nashville from Stewart. “I ignored Dave’s email at first, thinking it was my mates taking the piss,” recalls Longstaff. “I hadn’t noticed that Dave had begun following me on Twitter a month earlier. He said ‘I really like your music. How about we work together on something?’”
The Lake Poets is an album that’s easy to get lost in, with intimate songs rich in painting the big picture about love and mortality by way of a keen eye for the vivid small details of life. First single Your Face – written by Longstaff in just 20 minutes in Nashville while missing his girlfriend – is as romantic a song as you’ll hear all year. He excels at social realism too; Vane Tempest is the story of how the miners strike affected his father, while the decimation of the North East and family struggle is writ large in Shipyards, a worthwhile successor to Robert Wyatt’s Shipbuilding, about the death of Longstaff’s grandfather.
The album is accompanied by a documentary, directed by Paul Boyd, which follows the band from Sunderland to Nashville, and the journey of recording an album in one week.
Having starred at festivals including Glastonbury, Kendall Calling and T In The Park, and supported Ben Howard, Jake Bugg and Daughter, The Lake Poets’ live experience is equally as intense as their album.