top of page

Sam Carter

Sam Carter

Saturday 14th October 2017

Lawns Hotel, Chellaston

Sam Carter is an English guitarist, singer and songwriter who has been described as 'one of the most gifted acoustic guitarists of his generation." by BBC Radio Two's Mike Harding. Sam's vocal and guitar style have drawn comparisons with John Martyn and Roy Harper, while comparisons to Richard Thompson's lyrical perspective have also been drawn. Following his 'Here in the Ground' EP in 2008,

Sam released his first full album, "Keepsakes", in 2009. The following year he won the 'Horizon" award for the best newcomer at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. In 2012 Sam released his second album, "The No Testament", and performed on Later... with Jools Holland as well as appearing in two BBC Four documentaries, one about the legendary folk singer Nic Jones, and the other a recording of a tribute concert to the late singer/songwriter Sandy Denny.​

Sam's other projects have included touring with an all star line-up for 'The Lady: A Homage To Sandy Denny' tour in 2014, as well as his work with Jim Moray under the name 'False Lights' whose 2016 album 'Salvor' received a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nomination. Sam has also collaborated with revered South Asian classical musicians Sajid Hussain and Haroon Samuel.

Album Reviews... HOW THE CITY SINGS ‘This is a bittersweet folk-electric concept album, influenced by his time spent in London, and the songs range from the slow and personal From the South Bank to Soho, which features exquisite viola work from Sam Sweeney, to the remarkable Drop the Bomb, which starts as a gentle ballad backed by the piano of Neil Cowley (of Adele fame) and ends as a furious electric guitar workout.’ ⭑⭑⭑⭑ The Guardian‘Sam Carter is a brilliant guitarist and songwriter who combines the observational with social comment and personal reflection’ ⭑⭑⭑⭑ Songlines   ‘While How The City Sings is in no way a love letter to the capital, it is an engaging insight into how Carter’s decade spent living there has shaped him and his music’ ⭑⭑⭑⭑ EDS Magazine ‘…like one of his heroes Richard Thompson, Carter has the ability to enthral with just one climactic chord when he moves effortlessly into rock guitar mode and the jagged contrast with his softer side makes it all the more effective… he has such an abundance of natural talent, and you will him on all the way’ ⭑⭑⭑ fRoots ‘A singer who can hold the audience spellbound all by himself’ ⭑⭑⭑ R2 ‘How the City Sings presents a perfectly balanced blend of soft acoustics, upbeat rhythms and fiery rock. There’s no startling polarity, just a healthy and instantly appealing eclecticism that allows us to enjoy the wide spectrum of Sam Carter’s craft on one wonderfully engaging release.’ Folk Radio UK ‘A joyous statement from a master songwriter’ FATEA‘No longer is he the amiable befringed folk singer armed with a guitar and his take on a traditional song. He’s grown into a sharply aware (and sharply coiffured) observer and chronicler of the contemporary…a significant album: for Sam Carter, for 2016 and for folk music.’ Bright Young Folk ‘This is the sound of a man supremely confident in his ability to craft and shape both words and music’ ‘There are many flashes of beauty here’ Acoustic THE NO TESTAMENT ‘Throughout, Carter shows a maturity of purpose and achievement, building strong original work from the common tongue. Those who foresaw great promise in him are correct’Songlines ‘Three years on [from debut album Keepsakes] the exemplary musicianship is bolder, the vocal arrangements more striking… as penetrating as Richard Thompson’s best work’Uncut ‘Brilliant though [Keepsakes] was, The No Testament is a confident and reassuring step forward’R2 ‘…finely observed songs… well worth checking out’Guardian ‘Again, Carter holds court, killer script in hand, with a very British album that should be on your list’Guitar & Bass ‘[Carter] continues to combine present-day lyrical themes and his versatile folk-based approach with skill and ease’Guitarist ‘Full of energy and substance this is his most complete release to date’Spiral EarthKEEPSAKES ‘Keepsakes is a surefire collectible’Independent ‘One of the most gifted acoustic guitarists of his generation’Mike Harding, Radio 2 ‘A sophisticated blender of ancient and modern’Uncut ‘Tunes like Taxi and Captain could well be the work of a great songwriter in the making.’Guitar & Bass ‘He’s intriguing both because he’s an excellent guitarist and an original, distinctively English singer-songwriter, specialising in well-observed songs – and his debut album lives up to expectations.’The Guardian ‘There’s a cinematic quality to his writing enhanced by clever arrangements and the album’s melancholic intimacy indicates a talent developing quickly’Mojo ‘An English acoustic virtuoso… there’s a thread of bittersweet romanticism and cold realism that’s occasionally reminiscent of John Martyn, and like Martyn, his guitar parts may be complex and musically intricate but they serve the songs. Fans of acoustic music rejoice, the UK ‘s proud tradition of folk singer-songwriters is in safe hands.’Guitarist Virtuosity is not supposed to be rewarded in English folk music, for the reason that virtuosity is a vanity. But thankfully the virtuosity of Carter’s guitar playing does not obscure the careful narratives of his songs. So let’s briefly reward Carter anyway and then observe how his gravely observed songs and light voice are what we’re really listening to… …there’s real talent budding here.’**** Independent on Sunday ‘Deftly played and perceptively written, it’s a unassuming but quietly persuasive affair that can only serve to bolster Carter’s profile and reputation as it finds its way on to the folk albums of the year lists.’ ‘I have a feeling, and I’m not alone, that Sam Carter is going to be huge. His excellent debut album Keepsakes displays talents of perception and a musical confidence that belies his age – it hardly seems fair that someone so young and with so much time to improve is already so damn good.’The Irish World ‘Strong personalities rarely shine through when dealing with singer/songwriters. Many anesthetize their songs by trying to satisfy a record company request or anticipate the zeitgeist. Thankfully, Sam has avoided any poisonous pitfalls, and developed his own harmonically rich language that’s unique to him and a gift to us.’Spiral Earth

bottom of page