Voice, Fiddle, Octave Fiddle
Describing herself simply as a “modern English musician” Eliza Carthy, at 35, is only now beginning to reach the height of her musical powers. During a 20-year journey/career she has become one of the most dazzling and recognised folk musicians of a generation. She has revitalised and made folk music relevant to new audiences and has captured the most hardened of dissenters with canny, charismatic and boundary-crossing performance. Many of the current crop of young professional folk musicians owe their successes in part to her determination, standard-bearing and campaigning spirit.
Twice-nominated for a prestigious Nationwide Mercury Music Prize with 1998’s ‘Red Rice’ and 2003’s ‘Anglicana’ Eliza is also the winner of more than five BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and has presented awards for MOJO magazine and been invited to judge at both the Q Awards and the Ivor Novello Awards. In 2003 she became the first English traditional musician to be nominated for a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music.
Album Review: Wayward Daughter
Released to mark her 21 years as a professional musician, this is a gloriously varied 31-track double album that provides a timely reminder of the crucial role Eliza Carthy has played in the current folk revival. The emphasis is more on her vocal than instrumental work, but the range is still remarkable. There is traditional material recorded with her parents in Waterson:Carthy, and with John Spiers & Jon Boden in the Ratcatchers, and examples of her own increasingly inventive songwriting, from Two Tears to Britain Is a Car Park. The best tracks include the finely sung Grey Gallito, in which she is backed by Salsa Celtica, and the rousing Rolling Sea, from that inspired album of pirate songs, Rogue’s Gallery.