Instant Replay – New Triple Vinyl Folk Artsit Compilation

Instant Replay
Stealing Sheep – One of the artists on Instant Replay

ECC Records unveil ‘Instant Replay’, a stunning vinyl-only triple album featuring 32 brand new versions of songs originally recorded between 1971 and 1981. It follows on from 2017’s highly acclaimed compilation album Self Preservation Society that featured reworkings of songs from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Like its predecessor, it has been personally curated by Mark Constantine, founder of Lush and passionate music fan, this time bringing together some of the finest funk, folk, pop and ballads of the time.

Compositions by artists as diverse as Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Sparks, The Clash, Vangelis, Mott the Hoople and Stevie Wonder, have been reinterpreted by a galaxy of established and rising stars including Teddy Thompson, Stealing Sheep, Eliza Carthy, Jackie Oates, Marry Waterson, Bash & Pop and Honeyfeet. The result is yet another, magnificently diverse, six-sided jewel of a record.

Mark Constantine says: “There’s a trend to use the phrase ‘curated by’, but in this case it’s never been more appropriate. For me, selecting outstanding tracks from that decade to be covered by such magnificent performers has been the ultimate luxury. Some selections are obscure and overlooked greats; others are some of the most popular of the era. As you’ll see, once we started we couldn’t stop – and the digital album has even more tracks! I hope you love it as much as I do.”

Once again, this triple vinyl presents a collection of songs which may sound unlikely on paper but in reality are truly stunning in their diversity and creativity. Side A opens with Honeyfeet’s cover of the 1971 Jethro Tull song Locomotive Breath featuring a magnificent, bluesy vocal from singer Rioghnach Connolly, also heard on the uplifting hands-in-the-air cover of Vangelis’s State of Independence from Afro Celt Sound System. Stealing Sheep tackle Peter Gabriel’s Excuse Me and rework Heart’s Barracuda into an artful slice of synthpop, while Marry Waterson provides a radical reimagining of the Cure’s 10:15 Saturday Night alongside Robert Palmer’s Johnny and Mary with cello accompaniment. Elsewhere we hear a beautiful reinterpretation of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On by Teddy Thompson who goes it alone with just vocal and ukulele on Stevie Wonder’s If It’s Magic, both juxtaposed by The Kenneth’s proggy version of Werewolves of London. With 37 tracks on this delectable collection, there is a new discovery on each listen.

ECC Records was founded by Mark Constantine, founder of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Simon Emmerson – record producer, guitarist, founder of Afro Celt Sound System and core founder of The Imagined Village (a collaborative work of many roots artists that includes Eliza Carthy) is its Musical Director. Read more at https://www.eccrecords.co.uk/about/

‘Instant Replay’ is released on 7 June 2019 as a triple-vinyl available from all Lush stores, selected vinyl outlets and from eccrecords.co.uk plus all the usual digital retailers (Cat # ECC100-014).

INSTANT REPLAY – Full Track Listing

Side A

  1. Locomotive Breath – Honeyfeet

– originally appeared on Jethro Tull’s 1971 album Aqualung
showcases Ríoghnach Connolly’s brilliant bluesy vocal and virtuoso flute playing

  1. Tusk – The Kenneths

– title track of Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 album

  1. The Hansbach – Gamesteacher

– taken from from Rick Wakeman’s 1974 prog rock epic, Journey to the Centre of the Earth

  1. Barracuda – Stealing Sheep

– a complete reworking of Heart’s soft-metal track into artful synthpop

  1. This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us – Dream Themes featuring Piney Gir

– originally a number 1 hit for Sparks in 1974

– recorded by TV theme tribute band Dream Themes, formerly the backing group for Mancunian showbiz legend Frank Sidebottom

  1. Down And Out – Eliza Carthy

– a version of a song from Paul Williams’ Oscar-winning 1976 soundtrack to the film Bugsy Malone

– performed by the multi-award winning Eliza Carthy MBE

Side B

  1. All The Way From Memphis – Max Poscente

– originally a hit for Mott The Hoople in 1973

– blistering sax solo comes courtesy of PJ Harvey and Tindersticks collaborator Terry Edwards

  1. What’s Going On – Teddy Thompson

– a beautiful reinterpretation of the Marvin Gaye protest song

– Teddy’s work, both solo and with his talented family (including Richard & Linda) is widely acclaimed

  1. Lost In The Supermarket – Sheema Mukherjee

– first appeared on The Clash’s 1979 album, London Calling

– features Sheema Mukherjee’s sitar and distinctive vocal

  1. Who By Fire – One eskimO

– classic Leonard Cohen track with a melody based on a Hebrew prayer

– a brand new recording by Kristian Leontiou’s One eskimO project

  1. Tubular Bells (excerpt) – Rhodri Marsden

– an excerpt from Mike Oldfield’s magnum opus

– narration comes courtesy of Simon Heyworth, co-producer of the original album

  1. The Belfast Hornpipe – Na Cliaraí

– tune originally popularised by The Dubliners

– a collaborative effort between Honeyfeet’s Connolly and producer Richard Evans

NOTHING IN THE WORLD LIKE…

Side C

  1. State Of Independence – Afro Celt Sound System

– Written and recorded by Yes frontman Jon Anderson and Greek synth wizard Vangelis in 1981

– Subsequently and memorably covered by Donna Summer

– A huge number of musicians involved in this epic reworking by the Afro Celts

  1. Nothing In The World Like Love – The Free French

– the opening track from Labi Siffre’s 1971 album The Singer And The Song

  1. Tangled Man – Green Gartside

– A rare recording by Scritti Politti frontman Green Gartside
– taken from Anne Briggs’ 1971 album The Time Has Come

  1. Liza Radley – Jackie Oates & Barney Morse Brown

– b-side to The Jam’s 1981 hit “Start!”

– reinterpreted with cello and violin courtesy of Oates and Morse Brown

  1. Brass In Pocket – Honeyfeet

– the first number one single of the 1980s, originally recorded by The Pretenders

Side D

  1. Overture~Cotton Avenue – Working Week with Julie Tippetts

– First appeared on Joni Mitchell’s 1977 album Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter

The first collaboration between Working Week and Julie Tippetts since 1989

  1. Amsterdam – Ben Murray

– A cover of Al Stewart’s homage to the Dutch city from his 1972 album Orange

  1. Dead Ringer – Si Nicholls

– a song from The Stranglers’ 1977 album No More Heroes

– performed by Lush’s very own father & daughter combo Simon and Libbi Nicholls

  1. 10:15 Saturday Night – Marry Waterson

– A radical reimagining of the original recording, which appeared on The Cure’s debut album, Three Imaginary Boys

produced and arranged by solo artist Adem Ilhan, formerly of Fridge, now with Domino Records

  1. The Kiss – Rosie Doonan

– a track from Judee Sill’s beautiful 1973 album, Heart Food

– features one of the UK’s leading harpists, Ruth Wall

EMOTIONAL RESCUE

Side E

  1. Grace Darling – Atlas and The Pleiades

– features four vocalists: Rosie Doonan, Mira Manga, Jackie Oates and Angie Pollock

– the closing track of Strawbs’ 1975 album Ghosts

  1. Still… You Turn Me On – Ben Murray

– a track from Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s fourth album, Brain Salad Surgery

– performed by actor, folk musician and singer Ben Murray

  1. Emotional Rescue – Honeyfeet

– a version of The Rolling Stones’ falsetto single from 1979

  1. If It’s Magic – Teddy Thompson

– Teddy goes completely solo, with just vocal and ukulele

– a song from Stevie Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life album (1976)

  1. Johnny And Mary – Marry Waterson

– Robert Palmer’s 1980 song about the shallowness of male politicians and the boredom of their wives

– accompanied by Barney Morse Brown on cello

Side F

  1. Werewolves Of London – The Kenneths

– the original is best known for its appearance in the Tom Cruise film The Color Of Money
– recorded by Warren Zevon in 1977 with Fleetwood Mac’s rhythm section

  1. Pulstar – Gamesteacher

– The 1976 synthesiser masterpiece by Vangelis reworked with a full band

– The current drummer of prog legends Gong provides the rhythm track for this version

  1. Mandolin Wind – Bash & Pop

– featuring Tommy Stinson, former bassist with The Replacements and Guns N’ Roses

– original track released by Rod Stewart in 1971

  1. You’ve Got A Friend – Martha Tilston

– One of Carole King’s best known songs, appears on her Tapestry album

– performed by singer and BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominee Martha Tilston

  1. Instant Replay – Wattle & Daub

– Dan Hartman’s disco classic reworked by multi-instrumentalist Rob Smoughton (Hot Chip, Scritti Politti, Black Peaches) and his bandmate Rhodri Marsden

USB

  1. Excuse Me – Stealing Sheep

– A track from Peter Gabriel’s 1977 debut album

  1. Water Bearer – Beagle & Amalthea

– The title track from the 1978 album by Sally Oldfield, sister of Mike Oldfield

  1. Grease – Nuala Davies

– The title track of one of the highest-grossing musical films of all time

– solo violin courtesy of Jennymay Logan of The Elysian Quartet

  1. Back To Nature – Palm Skin Productions featuring Kate Berney

– the original, an early electronica classic by Fad Gadget, was the second ever release on Mute Records

  1. You’re So Vain – Beagle & Amalthea

– a Ronettes-style reworking of Carly Simon’s biggest hit

 

ELIZA CARTHY – Restitute (Topic TSCD599)

RestituteHitherto only available direct from Carthy’s website, Restitute was originally recorded as a fund raiser for the Wayward Band after they lost funding for the Big Machine album project halfway through and, though eventually rescued by Topic, no one got paid, hence the prevalent theme of betrayal. Save for a couple of numbers, featuring predominantly traditional material it was recorded entirely solo in Carthy’s bedroom and marked her first such album in fourteen years.

Now made commercially available as part of the label’s 80th anniversary, Restitute opens with an arrangement of the traditional ‘Friendship’ featuring Carthy on chopsticks, violin, viola, octave violin and, er, wooden skeleton giving it an almost Japanese koto flavour. Joined by dad Martin on guitar accompanying her octave violin, the near seven-minute ‘The Leaves In The Woodland’ is a stunning reading of the Peter Bellamy number that shows her voice in fine powerful fettle.

Bellamy’s also called on for his setting of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Gentleman Rankers’, a poem about English army troopers, the legions of the lost, sung a capella and featuring the lost sheep baa baa chorus.

Two other potent figures from the folk heritage are represented, firstly with Carthy joined by Jon Boden on wheezing concertina for a stripped down take on Leon Rosselson’s ‘The Man Who Puffs The Big Cigar’, a song written as part of the early 70s protests against the development of Piccadilly Circus which brings together the stories of a property developer and two lovers, a stripper and trapeze artist, who arrange to meet at the Eros statue but are confounded by the building work. A long-time staple of her live set, this is its second recording (first, was with Boden for a collection called “And they all sang Rosselsongs” a few years ago) as indeed is also the case for ‘Dream of Napoleon’, rousingly performed a capella with Boden.

The other heritage name is that of Robert Burns, represented with a voice and violin revisiting of ‘The Slave’s Lament’, originally recorded for the first Waterson:Carthy album, punctuated here with her own haunting instrumental ‘Farewell To A Dark Haired Friend’.

Two further traditional numbers follow with her solo voice and violin arrangement of ‘Lady All Skin And Bone’, the lengthier and lyrically darker version of an old children’s playground Halloween song, and, another graveyard song, ‘The Old Sexton’, a lively rendition for which space was found in the bedroom for David Delarre’s acoustic guitar and Ben Somers’ double bass. It ends with Ben Seal on keys for his and Carthy’s liltingly waltzing setting of ‘The Last Rose Of Summer’, written in 1805 by Irish poet Thomas Moore, a terrific finale for an album that strips Carthy’s work back to its raw material and which will surely be greeted with open arms.

P.S. Restitute, the deluxe double disc edition featuring hand-drawn postcards and the unabridged audiobook of The Announcer’s Daughter read by Carthy with music by her and Seal broadcast on Radio 4 in 2014 is now sold out and no longer available.

Mike Davies

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‘Gentlemen Rankers’ – live:

WILL POUND – Through The Seasons (Lulubug LULUBUG004)

Through The SeasonsThe cover tells you most of what you need to know about this album. Will Pound, here devoting more of his energies to melodeon than harmonica, was brought up in the Morris tradition and is a long-time member of Chinewrde Morris. Through The Seasons is a project he has long cherished and has brought together some fine musicians to realise it. Although there are a convenient twelve tracks, this is not a calendar – the Plough Monday tune comes in at number nine – nor is it a user manual. It is, as Will himself says, a celebration.

If you have even a passing interest in Morris many of these tunes will be familiar to you but possibly only the hardiest will have heard ‘The College Hornpipe’ or ‘Papa Stour Sword Dance’ in situ. You will certainly have met ‘Getting Upstairs’, ‘Trunkles’, ‘The Nutting Girl’, ‘Brighton Camp’, ‘Salmon Tails’ and ‘Ampleforth’ not to mention ‘The Liberty Bell’. The selection of tunes covers Cotswold, North-West, Border, Rapper, Molly and Longsword.

At the core of band are fiddler Ross Grant and Benji Kirkpatrick playing bouzouki, banjo and guitar but Will has called in a few favours, notably John Kirkpatrick who leads the melody on the Border tune, ‘Not For Joe’ and Eliza Carthy who lends her fiddle and voice to ‘The Nutting Girl’ – the latter proving that she is a Waterson through and through. Fiddlers Ross Couper and Patsy Reid are drafted in to add authenticity to the Shetland tune that closes the set.

Purists, if any are left, may take exception to one or two liberties taken with the arrangements – Will certainly does odd things to ‘Brighton Camp’ – but the casual listener will enjoy Through The Seasons immensely and I’m sure it will be in every car on the way to a folk festival this summer.

Dai Jeffries

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Through The Seasons:

The Self Preservation Society

Here is something that must have been a lot of fun to do… Released by ECC Records – 19th February 2018 – A really folking brilliant, folk-rocking and beautiful listen – Darren Beech

‘The Self Preservation Society’, a stunning vinyl-only triple compilation album, three years in the making. Personally curated by Mark Constantine, founder of Lush and a passionate music fan, the album features 34 versions of songs from the late 1960s and early 1970s, bringing together some of the finest progressive, folk and psychedelic moments of that era. Original compositions by artists as diverse as Genesis, Nick Drake, The Doors and Frank Zappa have been reinterpreted by a galaxy of established and rising stars including Teddy Thompson, Eliza Carthy, Jackie Oates, Marry Waterson, Julie Tippetts and Honeyfeet. The album captures a period of time that was rich with experimentation; an era when anything and everything could happen. The result is a magnificently diverse, six-sided jewel of a record.

Mark Constantine on Teddy Thompson’s version of The Zombies classic, She’s Not There, taken from the album…

The track is one of many “from a period of time when my friends and I were experimenting by listening to everything from West Coast bands like The Byrds to classically-inspired groups such as The Nice,” says Mark Constantine. Honoured and thrilled that that some of his favourite artists, many of whom he had worked with before, shared his enthusiasm and passion for these songs, he added, “Each track has had the deluxe treatment from a collection of great individuals, bands and producers. The result means a great deal to me, and I can’t stop listening to it.”

The album will be available from all Lush stores (plus via the amazon link below) bringing this extraordinary collection to a new audience. The record is full of breathtaking moments, many of which sound unlikely on paper but are stunning in reality. The Imagined Village’s take on Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”, featuring pounding dhol drums of Johnny Kalsi and Eliza Carthy’s incredible vocal performance, is an undoubted highlight. Barney Morse Brown’s version of Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love”, a face-off between layered cellos and pounding drums, adds a sinister, ghostly edge to a rock classic. Beautiful vocal performances by Jackie Oates, Rosie Doonan and Marry Waterson bring nostalgic memories of The Zombies, The Byrds and Leonard Cohen into sharp focus. And two versions of Quincy Jones’s “Get A Bloomin’ Move On” – the theme to the 1969 film The Italian Job – bookend the album.

“They were truly extraordinary times,” says Simon Heyworth, who mastered the record. “I was an avid attendee at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco… I would go to every concert I could, including Cream, Blind Faith, The Grateful Dead, Buffalo Springfield. I never saw The Zombies perform, but Teddy Thompson’s rendition of ‘She’s Not There’ is brilliant. I love the way all these recordings sound.”

‘The Self Preservation Society’ is released on heavy-weight triple-vinyl .

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‘The Self Preservation Society’ Track list:

Get A Bloomin’ Move On – The Pickled Walnuts
The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack – Beagle & Amalthea
Hocus Pocus – Man Diamond
Time Of The Season – Jackie Oates
Fresh Garbage – Julie Tippetts
I Wouldn’t Leave My Wooden Wife – Iamesh and the Secret Collective
Gunga Din – Rosie Doonan & Ben Murray
I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe) – Beagle & Amalthea
Lady Eleanor – Ben Murray
As You Said – Doonan, Oates & Manga
Sunshine Of Your Love – Barney Morse-Brown
Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye – Marry Waterson
Hello, I Love You – Beagle & Amalthea
Reasons For Waiting – Honeyfeet
She’s Not There – Teddy Thompson
Riders on the Storm – The Dhol Foundation featuring Charlie Casey
Kashmir – The Imagined Village (feat Eliza Carthy)
White Rabbit – Honeyfeet
America – The Naked King
Utterly Simple – Sheema Mukherjee
For What It’s Worth – Kami Thompson
Don’t Bogart Me – Honeyfeet
Crazy Cajun Cakewalk Band – Iamesh and the Secret Collective
Lullaby – Matt Shaw & James Porter
Graveyard – Jackie Oates & Barney Morse-Brown
Terrapin – James Porter
The River – The Naked King
Montana – Iamesh and the Secret Collective
Get A Bloomin’ Move On – Dream Themes
Nantucket Sleighride – Beagle & Amalthea
Stamping Ground – Iamesh and the Secret Collective
Moonchild – The Naked King
Time Has Told Me – Ben Murray

USB EXTRA – It Happened Today – Wojtek Godzisz

ECC Records Web link: https://www.eccrecords.co.uk/about/

VARIOUS – From Here: English Folk Field Recordings (From Here Sitw005)

From HereThey may be newcomers to the scene, but Stick In The Wheel are certainly making their mark, not just with their own recordings and associated artifacts, but in their involvement with the folk world in general, and the traditional in particular.

Band members Ian Carter and Nicola Kearey serve as curators, collaborators and producers for this collection of new live recordings by both the great and good and some of the lesser known luminaries in the genre. The remit for those involved was to record songs that explored either place or their musical identity, culminating in a gathering of field recordings captured in locations as diverse as a stone cottage in Edale, a bank vault and a garden at Robin Hood’s Bay using just two stereo microphones and with no subsequent overdubs.

As you would imagine, the tracks are stark and raw, first up being ‘Bedfordshire May Carol’, chosen by performer Jack Sharp, leader of psych-folk outfit Wolf People, as it supposedly originated just a few miles from where he grew up. Next up, Eliza Carthy leads a flurry of more familiar names with a self-penned number, ‘The Sea’, a new setting of the broadside ballad found in Manchester’s Chetham Library and featuring on her current album, the initial pizzicato fiddle giving way to more robust playing. She’s followed by one of the veterans of English folk, John Kirkpatrick, applying his accordion to a song from his lengthy repertoire and a folk club staple ‘Here’s Adieu To Old England’, while his sometimes musical partner, Martin Carthy, also chose a number he’s recently reintroduced back into his sets, ‘The Bedmaking’, a familiar tale of the abused and cast aside servant girl. fingerpicked here to a halting rhythm.

Sandwiched in-between is one of the rising stars of the few folk firmament, the Peak District’s Bella Hardy, who went to 19th century collection The Ballads and Songs of Derbyshire for ‘The Ballad of Hugh Stenson’, setting it to a more upbeat tune than the hymnal adapted by Jon Tams, while, another member of folk royalty, Jon Boden puts his squeezebox to work on a contemplative take on 19th century drinking song ‘Fathom The Bowl’.

There’s a couple of spokes from the Wheel, both unaccompanied, Kearey delivering glottal version of the much covered ‘Georgie’ and Fran Foote ‘The Irish Girl’. They’re not the only numbers to be sung naked as it were. BritFolk alumnus Lisa Knapp has a lovely treatment of the tumblingly melodious ‘Lavender Song’, while, also from the female side, Fay Hield tips the hat to Annie Briggs with her choice of ‘Bonny Boy’.

On the other side of a capella gender fence, Geordie folkie Stew Simpson mines his Newcastle roots for ‘Eh Aww Ah Cud Hew’ (which the accompanying booklet helpfully translates as “Oh Yes, I Could Pick At The Coals”), Sam Lee turns the evergreen ‘Wild Rover’ on its head to transform it into a slow, sad lament rather than more familiar rollicking rouser of Dubliners and Pogues note, and, from Wales, a deep-voiced Men Diamler closes the album with ‘1848 (Sunset Beauregard)’, a self-penned political protest ballad about Tory policies. The remaining unaccompanied track is actually a duet, Peta Webb and Ken Hall joining voices for an Irish in London in the 50s marriage of Ewan MacColl’s ‘Just A Note’, about the building of the M1, and Bob Davenport’s account of the dangers of ‘Wild Wild Whiskey’.

The three remaining tracks are all instrumentals. Bristol’s acoustic instrumental quartet Spiro are the only band on the collection and provide their self-penned ‘Lost In Fishponds’, apparently about getting lost en route to a gig, joined here by North Wales violinist Madame Česki, while Sam Sweeney brings his fiddle to bear on two tunes. ‘Bagpipers’, one of the first things he played with his band Leveret, and ‘Mount Hills’, an English dance tune from the 17th century. Which leaves Cumbrian concertina maestro Rob Harbron to provide the third with a pairing of ‘Young Collins’, a Costwolds’ tune learned from Alistair Anderson, and, another from the Morris tradition, ‘Getting Up The Stairs’, which, by way of a pleasing synchronicity, he actually learned by way of John Kirkpatrick on the influential Morris On album.

It more than does the job it set out to achieve, and, likely to loom large in end of year awards, fully warrants a place in any traditional folk fan’s collection.

Mike Davies

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Stew Simpson – ‘Eh Aww Ah Cud Hew’:

ELIZA CARTHY & THE WAYWARD BAND – Big Machine (Topic TSCD592P)

Big MachineFrom her debut solo album back in 1996, Carthy has never been predictable in her constant determination to both celebrate and reinvent the folk tradition and, while that may not have always endeared her to purists, it has produced a remarkable – and sometimes challenging – back catalogue. Her latest is no exception, here working with the big-band set up on her festival appearances, a 12-piece line –up that includes, among others, Beth Porter on cello, melodeonist Saul Rose, Mawkin’s David Delarre on guitar, bassist Barnaby Stradling from Blowzabella and former Bellowhead fiddler Sam Sweeney.

Aptly titled to reflect the sound, Carthy appearing on the front cover like some kind of folk Boudica leading her tooled-up army into battle, the material follows a similar pattern of self-penned originals, traditional reworks and covers, kicking off with a strident metronomic rhythm arrangement of one of ‘Fade & Fall (Love Not)’ complete with plucked cello and soaring brassy flourishes. It’s one of three Manchester Ballads, the others being equally strident shanty ‘The Sea’ with its martial beat and sweeping fiddle and, introduced with a cosmic keyboards whoosh, stumbling domestic violence number ‘Devil in the Woman’ with its repeated refrain chant ‘charming little woman”.

Staying in the traditional arena, the album’s longest and arguably most striking number sees her joined by Damien Dempsey for the eight-minute ‘I Wish That The Wars Were All Over’ (performed live onstage in the studio), a Roud ballad sung from the perspective of a soldier’s love, stemming from the American Revolution and referencing the Seven Years War, collected by the Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould, from Dartmoor miner Sam Fone. Featuring a tinkling repeated piano pattern, melodeon, fiddle it has Carthy in tender vocal form, counterpointed by Dempsey’s keening longing. Interestingly, it has also been recorded by American folk artist Tim Eriksen with whom she made 2015’s Bottle album.

Ewan MacColl’s cabaret-like lurching shanty ‘The Fitter’s Song’ provides the title source, the melody a variation on ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’, with the third cover seeing her joined by the scion of another folk family dynasty, Teddy Thompson lending his voice to a rousing gospel-blues shaded treatment of Rory McLeod’s ‘Hug You Like A Mountain’ providing a showcase fiddle spotlight.

The remaining numbers are all Carthy originals, indeed the whale-themed shanty ‘Great Grey Back’ is a new treatment of a song that originally featured on Wayward Daughter, here with massed vocal backing rather than just one voice. One is an instrumental, the rousing part vocalised but wordless ‘Jack Warrell’s (Exerpt) – Love Lane’, while, another big sound, ‘Mrs. Dyer the Baby Farmer’, with its fiddle lament intro, is essentially a murder ballad concerning Victorian serial killer Amelia Elizabeth Dyer who took in babies that were unwanted or could not be cared for, ostensibly to be adopted, and despatched them to Jesus. ‘Epitaph’ closes the album on another murder ballad, here a cabaret-like tale of death by custard poisoning, Willy Molleson providing the thundering drums. The remaining track again underlines Carthy’s willingness and thirst to experiment and push the folk envelope, ‘You Know Me’ a commentary on hospitality and the refugee crisis (“the door is always open and the fires are blazing, no one ever turned away, the fruit in our garden is always good”) that, with a scratch intro and set against a dub-styled rhythm, features a rap by MC Dizraeli. Arguably her best work since 2008’s Dreams of Breathing Underwater, it further confirms her as one of the fiercest and most striking voices in contemporary folk music.

The album also comes as a deluxe edition that includes ‘Aleppo in the Sun As It Was’ from last year’s English Electric EP as well as the demo of ‘The Fitter’s Song’ and five extra tracks, including both a fiddle and vocal version of ‘Three Day Millionaire’.

Mike Davies

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Artist website: www.eliza-carthy.com

‘Fade And Fall (Love Not)’ – official video: