11 Oct 2014

Martin and Eliza Carthy

Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson's marriage unified two folk music dynasties which stretch back many generations and hundreds of years.

Together, as solo artists, and with bands including The Watersons and Steeleye Span they led the folk revival in the U.K. in the 60s.

Their daughter Eliza joined the family business early - Martin recalls his six year old daughter's insistence that she join them onstage at the 1971 Filey Folk Festival,

"I said well okay, we'll go up onstage and when you know one of the songs, you can tug on my jeans, and I'll lift you up onto my hip and you can sing the song. So first song came up, and she tugged on my leg, and she sang the song all the way through, sang harmony, word perfect. Second song came up, and I felt a tug on my leg - and after about four tugs I decided the best place for her was sitting on my hip. She just knew all the songs." 

In the mid-90s, Eliza officially joined the family band. Waterson:Carthy toured and recorded together for a decade, as well as holding down solo careers and other projects.

On working with family, Martin says,

"it's very easy. You just open your mouth and sing. Doing what we call 'arrangements' is very easy."

Martin and Eliza have recently released their first album as a duo, The Moral Of The Elephant, and are heading over to NZ together for the 50th Wellington Folk Festival on Labour weekend.

Kirsten Johnstone got them on the line, and began by asking about the last time they came, a decade ago….

Playlist

Artist: Martin and Eliza  Carthy
Song: The Elephant
Composer: Traditional  
Album: The Moral Of The Elephant
Label: Topic

Artist: Eliza Carthy & The Red Band
Song: Child Among The Weeds
Composer: Traditional  
Album: Wayward Daughter
Label: Topic

Artist: Waterson:Carthy
Song: The Foresaken Maiden, May Song
Composer: Traditional  
Album: Wayward Daughter
Label: Topic

Artist: Martin and Eliza  Carthy
Song: Queen Of Hearts
Composer: Traditional  
Album: The Moral Of The Elephant
Label: Topic

Artist: Eliza Carthy & Norma Waterson
Song: The Rose and The Lily
Composer: Traditional
Album: Gift
Label: Topic