As Ian Carter of Stick in the Wheel said in our interview last week, in the hands of Martin Carthy ‘The Bedmaking’ is one of those songs that makes guitarists sit up and wonder what the hell he’s doing. You’ll commonly read of his influence, but his prowess really shows through whenever he sits down to this tune, marking him out as a fingerpicking ninja of sublime syncopation and subtlety.
Category: Folk music writing
Stick in the Wheel barely need an introduction these days. On the folk scene, they’re as known for their stark and direct debut album as they are for their similarly unflinching performances, and their leap from local pubs to festival stages has been swift. Meeting singer Nicola Kearey and guitarist Ian Carter in the basement cafe of Cecil Sharp House, their conversation is politically charged and urgent, although they’re not above self-deprecation, and they bounce off one another in a witty repartee familiar to anyone who has been playing in bands for most of their lives.
I interviewed Eliza Carthy three times over the course of two years, and I’m sure I’ll do so again. What appears on this page is…
‘Shallow Brown’ (Roud 2621) is a fascinating song for so many reasons. Is it a sea shanty? A slave song? Who is singing to who, and where in the world were they singing? There’s as much here to love as there is to be heart-broken by. Quite simply, another traditional folk song of fare-thee-wells and loved ones being transported over the sea that feels, in some ways, as prescient now as it ever must have done.
Lynched or Lankum; Lankum or Lynched? Rumours have been doing the rounds for some time that the acclaimed Dublin four-piece would be changing their name, and sure enough, in the days following this interview, they published the following statement, confirming that from here on in, Lankum they would be:
It’s a late January evening and you join us as we’re being turned away from a Thai restaurant in Andover, Hampshire. “We have nothing available,” they…
Sit ye down, weary internet traveller, for I bring to you a tale of epic proportions. In the first weeks of this blog’s existence, I interviewed the singer-songwriter, Ange Hardy, to find out more about the story behind her song, ‘What May You Do for the JAM?’ Within a few hours of its publication, I received a message from Daria Kulesh, a folk singer of Russian origin, very sweetly explaining that she had a few songs with interesting stories, too, and that she’d love to tell me all about them.
There’s a sense among reviewers of Big Machine, Eliza Carthy’s new album on Topic Records, that this collection marks the artist’s coming of age moment. I’m not sure how she must feel about that herself. I imagine she’s lost count of the number of times people have said that of her latest albums over the years. From Anglicana through Dreams of Breathing Underwater and ever-onward, Eliza Carthy must’ve come of age more times than her years naturally allow.
Pitching up at Normafest a few weeks ago, David Suff was one of the first faces we spotted in main hall. With his exceptional beard (hipsters, take note), the current Mr Topic Records (and acclaimed artist) is not easily missed, and I made a beeline for his stall, as much to try and engage him in conversation as to check out his wares.