Martin and Eliza’s “Record Store Day” release

23 February 2014

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 23 February 2014

It’s been a busy week for Topic Records at the BBC Folk Awards: as well as Martin and Eliza using the occasion to debut a number of songs from their forthcoming duo album, another Topic act The Full English performed at Wednesday night’s ceremony and received awards for Best Group and Best Album. In the middle of all this Topic announced that Martin and Eliza would feature on the label’s 2014 UK Record Store Day release with a 7″ single of “Happiness” due on 19 April.

Happiness single cover

2014 will be the seventh UK Record Store Day and Topic have previously participated with releases by June Tabor & Oyster Band (2012) and Davy Graham (2013). These were exclusively available in physical format as limited runs of 1000 copies on 7″ vinyl from participating stores on the day of release with remaining copies being made available via Topic’s website at later dates. Digital versions can be downloaded via iTunes.

It’s safe to assume that the release of “Happiness” will follow the same format. This will be the first available track from Martin and Eliza’s new album “The Moral of the Elephant” as the 19 April release date will be some six weeks before the album is issued on 2 June. As yet there has been no announcement on the single’s B-side(s) or catalogue number but I would expect the latter to follow recent patterns and be assigned STOP2014. More detail to follow as and when it becomes available.

Edit : 24 February
Topic Records posted the following response:
“Martin & Eliza’s RSD single will have the catalogue number STOP2587.
We will shortly be announcing our other Record Store Day release which will have the catalogue number STOP2014…..
Best wishes
Topic Records”

VIEW “Happiness” in DISCOGRAPHY

Read my review of Topic’s 2013 Record Store Day release (also available here)

Recording “The Moral of the Elephant”


2014 BBC Folk Awards – there’s more!

22 February 2014

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 22 February 2014

The thing about actually being at the BBC Folk Awards is that you tend to miss out not only on the TV and radio broadcasts of the awards themselves but also on the various peripheral pre- and post-awards shows that support the main event. Partly for this reason and partly because I had spent several hours travelling back to the north of England on the day after the awards I hadn’t managed to actually listen to any of Simon Mayo’s now traditional Drive Time broadcast in the build-up to the event before I made yesterday’s post. Nor had I been able to check out the BBC iPlayer for any additional appearances. I’ve had a chance to do that now, so here is Martin on BBC Radio 4′s Front Row and Martin and Eliza talking to Simon Mayo and singing two exclusive live versions of songs from their forthcoming duo album “The Moral Of The Elephant“, The Queen Of Hearts and Happiness. In what is turning out to be a busy few days I’ll shortly be posting about an exciting development regarding the latter track so I suggest you check back after the weekend.


2014 BBC Folk Awards update

20 February 2014

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 20 February 2014

I mentioned in an earlier post that Martin Carthy was due to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 BBC Folk Awards and the award was presented by Jarvis Cocker at the ceremony held at the Royal Albert Hall in London last night. During the course of the evening Martin and Eliza performed “Died For Love” from their forthcoming Topic Records album “The Moral Of The Elephant” as well as contributing instrumental and vocal backing to Peggy Seeger’s tribute to her late brother Pete on “Quite Early Morning”. Here are a few photographs and videos from the evening taken of the BBC Radio 2 website:


Martin Carthy to receive Lifetime Achievement Award

29 January 2014

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 29 January 2014

BBC Radio 2 this week announced that Martin Carthy will be one of two Lifetime Achievement Award recipients at the 2014 Folk Awards.

The award will be presented at the ceremony being held at the Royal Albert Hall on 19 February. Irish band Clannad will also receive the Lifetime Achievement Award while the Cambridge Folk Festival will receive the Good Tradition Award and Cecil Sharp will be the first inductee into the new Hall of Fame.

Martin says: “I’ve just been lucky enough to follow my heart and pretty much do what I want over the past 50 years or so. If, along the way, I’ve been able to play a part, however small, in keeping the traditional music of these islands alive, then I consider myself a fortunate man.”

Topic Folk Awards

Controller BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music Bob Shennan says: “The Radio 2 Folk Awards exist to celebrate the very best in folk music. Clannad and Martin Carthy have made magnificent contributions to folk music over the years and are thoroughly deserving of these prestigious accolades. Many congratulations to them.”

Martin and Eliza will perform at the awards ceremony which will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 between 8pm and 10.30pm on 19 February. Previous ceremonies have also been shown live on TV and online via the BBC red button service with highlights available for some time afterwards but no TV broadcast details for the 2014 awards are available at present.

BBC Folk Awards website 
Martin Carthy York Press interview 


Recording “The Moral of the Elephant” : Martin & Eliza’s new album

19 January 2014

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 19 January 2014

Mixing “The Moral of the Elephant”, January 2014 (Photo: Topic Records)

Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy completed work on “The Moral of the Elephant”, their first duo album, this week. Recording began on 7 January at Ollie Knight’s Robin Hood’s Bay studio and was completed on 16 January, with final mixing taking place the following day. Topic Records will release the album on Monday 2 June under catalogue number TSCD587.

Eliza posted a number of photos on Twitter and Facebook during the recording which she has been kind enough to allow me to reproduce below. She also provided details of some of the songs included on the album:

“The Elephant” is from the children’s poem “The Blindmen and the Elephant” by John Godfrey Saxe which itself is an adaptation of the widespread Indian parable.

“Happiness” is one of a number of songs by Nick Drakes’s mother Molly that were recorded in the 1950s and only recently unearthed and released by Squirrel Thing Recordings.

“The Queen of Hearts” is a new version of a song that appeared on Martin’s first album in 1965. This brings the total number of songs from this album that have subsequently been re-recorded to eight, the others being “The Trees They Do Grow High” with Brass Monkey (Head Of Steam, 2009); “Sovay” with Brass Monkey (Brass Monkey, 1983) and with Dave Swarbrick (Life & Limb, 1990); “Ye Mariners All” with Waterson:Carthy (Waterson:Carthy, 1994);  “Broomfield Hill” (Landfall, 1971); “Scarborough Fair” with Wood, Wilson, Carthy (Wood Wilson Carthy, 1998) and as a duo with Bert Jansch under the title “The Elfin Knight” (Acoustic Routes, 1993); “Lovely Joan” (Because It’s There, 1979); “And A-Begging I Will Go” with Dave Swarbrick  as “The Begging Song” (Life & Limb, 1990 and 100 Not Out, 1992). Martin also occasionally still sings “High Germany” at his live shows but has yet to re-record this song.

“Bonny Moorhen” is  traditional and is number 2944 in the Roud folk song index.

“The Grand Conversation on Napoleon” is another traditional piece (Roud 1189).

One further song goes by the name of “Waking Dreams” but I’ve been unable to identify the specific source for this.

Martin and Eliza tour throughout May and June to promote the album and the latest dates can be found on Eliza’s website.

VIEW “The Moral Of The Elephant” in DISCOGRAPHY

Thanks to Eliza for the song info and the use of her photos and David Suff at Topic Records for additional album details and catalogue number. 


2013 in review

31 December 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,900 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


Martin Carthy Tunes Up

25 December 2013

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 25 December 2013

As a festive treat for everyone who has supported this site over the last year I’ve put together this ‘highlight reel’ of Martin’s finest tuning up moments.

Gasp in wonder as Martin tunes up! Listen in awe as he clears his throat… a lot! Tremble in anticipation as he mumbles a bit and almost plays some tunes… almost!

Happy Christmas and I hope to see some of you at Martin’s gigs in 2014.

Enjoy!
Kevin


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