“Sam Kelly … I just love. What a beautiful singer. He has that really rare male voice, that soft-edged tone, you know those beautiful tenor voices of the 30’s and 40’s…it really draws you in. Sam’s absolutely great, he’s going to go places.” Kate Rusby
Having already recorded and produced over 10 acclaimed records, had multiple live sessions and airplay on BBC Radio 2 and 3, and his music regularly featured on Sky Arts and Sky Sports, it’s hard to believe that 24-year-old Cornwall-based folk singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Sam Kelly has only been performing live for 4 years.
As a child, Sam spent many a night enraptured, listening to his Irish grandfather tell folk tales, sing songs, and play tunes on his melodeon. This awe and passion for Celtic music, coupled with a love for the heavy riffs of classic rock and blues, and a voice described by Mike Harding as ‘one of my favourite voices ever’ has led Sam on to produce some of the most exciting music on the British folk scene in recent years.
With folk luminaries such as Kate Rusby, Seth Lakeman, and Cara Dillon waxing lyrical about Sam’s live set, it seemed fitting when he was awarded the prestigious Horizon Award for emerging artists at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016 at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Ciaran Algar (fiddle, tenor guitar, bouzouki), Jamie Francis (banjo), Toby Shaer (flutes, pipes, whistles, fiddle, cittern), Graham Coe (cello), Archie Moss (melodeon) and Evan Carson (percussion) joined Sam in the full band line up in 2018. Together, they are Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys.
The band released their new album “Pretty Peggy” in 2018 with two concert tours and a festival season to promote. With an intoxicating mix of youthful exuberance and instrumental virtuosity, Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys breathe new life into traditional music, letting it rub shoulders with contemporary originals and even the occasional surprise rock cover. Chosen by Cambridge Folk Festival as the pick of the 2016 event, they have quickly become one of the most in-demand bands on the UK festival scene.
Expect to hear haunting harmonies, soaring tunes and melodies, charming anecdotes and instrumental performances of the highest calibre, all led by Sam’s unmistakable vocals. This is not a show to be missed.
BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – Horizon Award Winner 2016
Sam Kelly website