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Geoff Lakeman Geoff Lakeman
Album: After All These Years
Label: DMS
Tracks: 13

The music industry is full of families that have played and sung together. It is however quite rare to discover a family that does not necessarily play together but that has produced a plethora of talented musicians. Such a family is the Lakeman family renowned for Seth, Sean and Sam Lakeman and married partners Kathryn Roberts and Cara Dillon.

So what more could this family achieve? Well, now Dad and Patriarch Geoff Lakeman has, at the ripe old age of 69, decided to produce his first album. To use an old seafaring saying, "there is life in the old dog yet." After fifty years working in journalism, much of it in Fleet Street, Geoff has retired and pursued his first love, MUSIC. Not that he has not been involved previously either as a performer or an organiser, but the production of a first album is a major step to take.

The three sons, with Mum and Dad, started playing and performing together many years ago and the influence of Dad is apparent in their music today. So now they have helped the "old man" spread his love of folk music to a wider audience.

The album is a mix of traditional folk songs, some with his home of Cornwall as the backdrop, three self-penned songs, a couple of sea shanties and two Irish ballads. Despite the guest list of musicians contributing to the album reading like a Who's Who of folk music, the tenor voice of Geoff and his playing of the concertina shines throughout the album.

I doubt very much that Geoff expects to see his offering rushing up the pop charts. In fact I think he might be quite upset if it did. He has aimed this delightful musical offering at the lovers of pure traditional folk and his audiences, especially in the West Country from where he does not travel very far, will be thrilled by it.

If you are not a lover or a listener of folk music but have wondered what it is all about, then take a listen to this album which will happily transport you, mentally at least, to a smokey folk club in the back of a pub somewhere on Dartmoor. It is evocative, emotional and very effective!

At the moment, Geoff has seventeen dates booked for 2017 with no doubt more to be added. He has even got a couple of gigs booked in the North. I hope he remembers to take his passport with him. An evening of good music and stories in abundance is almost guaranteed.

Rory Stanbridge