Engaging folk duo Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman charm audiences wherever they travel – and tonight was no exception as they played one of the final dates on their spring tour before hitting the festival circuit.

The Dartmoor-based husband and wife, twice 'best duo' winners at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, juggle a busy family life – they have teenage twin daughters – with making sweet music out on the road.

Here they were promoting their seventh and latest album Almost A Sunset which has been recorded at ‘Devon pace’ over the course of a year and is five years after their previous offering.

Very much a modern take on the folk genre, it’s an exquisite brand of traditional and contemporary music full of characters, landscapes, memories, sounds of nature and emotions. And it was perfect to hear the collection of songs in the intimate surroundings of the Lighthouse’s Sherling Studio.

Roberts comes from a musical family in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and Lakeman is the eldest of the Devon folk dynasty which also includes brothers Seth and Sam and parents Geoff and Joy.

Thus, they could not fail to produce a musical union and have performed together since 2001 – formerly in folk supergroup Equation with Kate Rusby and Sam and Seth Lakeman – and have toured as an acoustic duo since 2011.

It was a warm, joyful and well-received evening of modern and traditional folk. Roberts mostly at the keyboard or playing flute and undertaking all vocals, Lakeman to her left on guitar, moving little, tapping his left foot and very much notable for his facial expressions as he plays.

As ever with folk, there are stories behind the songs, historical facts, the reason why they were written, for whom they were written, what inspired them and where they were written.

They began with the Belgian folk tale The Tribute Of Hands, swiftly moving on to Ropedancer, Roberts’ newish tribute to Victorian acrobat Charles Blondin, who crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

Then came Red Rose & White Lily Part 1, a trad ballad about the legend of Robin Hood distilled from 96 verses – Part 2 followed soon after.

Bound To Stone told the story of Sarah Winchester, wife of the son of the man who invented the repeater rifle that ‘won the west’ and who felt she was haunted by the souls of everyone that gun had ever killed.

She displayed her guilt/conscience by endlessly building a mansion to be haunted in San Jose, California until her death in 1922, reaching 200 rooms and 10,000 windows.

Back to the gig and the up tempo Fall Of The Lion Queen told of escaping circus lions and 52 Hertz charted the life of a whale whose mating song was in the wrong key and so her never mated.

Part one ended, as usual with Roberts’ beautiful A Song To Live By, written as a message of hope to one of her daughters and now appearing on greetings cards, read out at christenings and even on a poster on a psychiatrist’s waiting room wall.

The second half included Money Or Jewels about the June Fair in Francis Drake’s village, Buckland Monachorum, in west Dartmoor where Lakeman grew up and received his formative musical education playing jigs and reels for the ceilidh dancers until the cider ran out.

Call My Name charted a dark period in Roberts’ life last year (folkies do nothing if not share a lot of stuff) and Lusty Smith was a ‘smutty folk song’ about a village blacksmith, ‘collected’ by Roberts and Lakeman in the Appalachian Mountains, but which actually originated less than 20 miles from their home.

Lakeman comes alive on this one – they continue to play the spicier Appalachian version as it is ‘less pasty’.

The sublime Year Without A Summer, based on an old tune Lakeman wrote while on tour on the Isle of Skye, chronicled 1816 when the cataclysmic volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies led to dark skies, record low temperatures and disastrous crop failures across the world, but did, as an aside, lead to the teenage Mary Shelley (buried at St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth) beginning to write Frankenstein when rain ruined her holiday.

This excellent set (and history lesson) neared its end with two foot-tappers – Eavesdropper, a nickname for gargoyles, and the murder ballad Child Owlet.

Not a duo for fake encores, they then just played the last song Pew Tor, about Roberts’ favourite place on Dartmoor, east of Tavistock, where she wrote the spiritual number. And with that they were gone.