An Introduction To
An Introduction to Martin Carthy introduces 17 of his finest tracks covering mainly his solo released material. Influential and inspired Martin Carthy is truly one of the true greats of Folk Music.
In December 1962, when Bob Dylan arrived in London for the first time, he hung out with Carthy, one of the few British folk revivalists to give him the time of day. Carthy's guitar playing and knowledge of traditional folk song impressed and inspired Dylan. He wrote 'Girl From the North Country' and 'Boots of Spanish Leather', both using melodies he learnt from Carthy's arrangement of 'Scarborough Fair' and his arrangement of 'Lord Franklin' was the foundation for 'Bob Dylan's Dream'. Both these songs - alongside the likes of 'Byker Hill', 'Sir Patrick Spens' and 'Sailor's Life' - are tantamount to Martin Carthy's 'Greatest Hits'. It was largely though being heard on Carthy's albums that they became folk club staples during the 1960s.
This latest compilation of Martin's solo work doesn't end in the 60's although since then his regular solo recordings, most of which are represented here, came side by side with a variety of other group projects. Martin has played in Steeleye Span, the Albion Band and Albion Country Band, The Watersons and Waterson: Carthy. This compilation does not include tracks from those bands but does include a couple of tracks from the remarkable 1980's quintet Brass Monkey, boasting a bizarre line-up combining trumpet and trombone, various squeezeboxes (courtesy of fellow stalwart John Kirkpatrick), guitar or mandolin and percussion. And although this is ostensibly a collection of traditional material, Carthy is equally gifted in interpreting contemporary songwriters. His version of David Ackles' doomy 'His Name is Andrew' is one of his finest vocal performances.
Martin Carthy has continued to record and collaborate on work into the 21st century, tracks like Walter Pardon's 'A Ship to Old England Came' is taken from his last solo album to date, 2004's Waiting For Angels, and is a fitting song to end this collection.
Martin Carthy has won countless awards for his services to music including an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 1998. He was named Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2002, and again in 2005 when he also won the award for Best Traditional Track. Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick who recorded their last album together in 2006, fittingly won Best Duo the following year. In 2014 he was inevitably given the Lifetime Achievement gong at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. A few years ago I asked Martin what more he would like to achieve? His typically modest response was "Just to get better at what I do. This is wonderful music. The more you find out, the more there is to find out." He is without doubt, one of the greats and 'An Introduction to..." offers a glimpse as to exactly why this is so.
- Scarborough Fair
- The Wind That Shakes The Barley
- Sailor's life
- Lord Franklin
- Byker Hill
- Matt Hyland
- Prince Heathen
- His Name Is Andrew
- King Henry
- Palaces Of Gold
- The Jolly Tinker
- The Devil And The Feathery Wife
- The Handweaver & The Factory Maid
- Sir Patrick Spens
- A Ship To Old England Came
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