1 November 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 1 November 2015
For the penultimate #MC50 video celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Carthy’s first solo album I’ve chosen a great live recording of a Martin and Norma show that formed part of his 60th birthday celebrations in 2001. This was originally broadcast on Andy Kershaw’s BBC Radio 3 show in two parts about five months apart, which accounts for there being two ‘finale’ numbers (the first appearing half way through at what was the end of the first broadcast) and for one of Norma’s intros being duplicated.
The concert took place at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford on 23 May 2001 and Martin and Norma are accompanied by Chris Parkinson on piano accordion.
10 October 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 10 October 2015
It’s rare that anyone can pinpoint a moment that changed their life but this month’s #MC50 YouTube video includes one such moment for me. The first time I heard The Watersons on Andy Kershaw’s Radio 1 show in August 1986 I knew little or nothing about folk music of any kind, much less about English traditional song, but hearing this in my box bedroom in Doncaster at the age of (just) 18 was a revelation. It’s by chance as much as anything that I’ve retained a recording of that session – I only re-discovered it a few years ago – but the quality has suffered over the years and for that reason I’ve mixed it into mono to avoid some conspicuous drop-outs (especially in the last two songs). The sound quality is still far from perfect but I hope it gives a clue as to what I heard that set me on a journey of discovery that continues to fascinate and surprise.
To compensate for the poor sound quality of the Kershaw session I’ve also included a slightly better quality (stereo) recording from a couple of years later. This is the broadcast portion of the Watersons’ set from the Copper Family’s “Coppersongs” launch concert at Cecil Sharp House in january 1988. It also includes a brief interview with Norma and Mike Waterson and may be one of the last broadcast recordings of the Mike, Lal, Norma and Martin lineup.
The complete “Coppersongs” broadcast also included performances by The Copper Family and Peter Bellamy and an interview with Derek Schofield. The complete broadcast can be heard here:
30 September 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 30 September 2015
September’s #MC50 video is a session from the popular BBC Radio “Folk On Two” show from late-1987. Chris Wood guests on two instrumental tracks and to the best of my knowledge this is the only time these two have recorded as a duo (although Chris guested on a track from Martin’s solo album “Right Of Passage” the next year).
Several months later Martin would sit in as presenter of “Folk On Two” and would feature Chris Wood as a guest. Here is the resulting interview and session:
1 June 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 1 June 2015
June’s #MC50 YouTube video, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Carthy’s debut solo album, is a session recorded by Martin and Dave Swarbrick in October 1988 at the BBC Pebble Mill studios for the BBC Folk On Two show.
The session was recorded half way through their First Farewell Tour – their first major set of gigs since they had split in 1969 – and includes a number of rare or unique recordings. It was broadcast on 12 October 1988 on BBC Radio 2 and the photos are from their gig in Rotherham the following night (not Sheffield, as the broadcast suggests).
2 May 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 2 May 2015
This month’s #MC50 video features tracks from a 1976 BBC Radio 1 session for John Peel. This would have been Martin’s seventh Peel session (he would do two more) and includes a unique performance of Searching For Lambs that Martin hasn’t yet recorded officially and which hasn’t appeared on any of his recent live albums. It also includes a solo version of The Unfortunate Tailor, thirty years before Martin would record it officially with Swarb for Straws In The Wind. The remaining songs are from his then current album Crown Of Horn.
3 April 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 3 April 2015
Here’s April’s #MC50 YouTube video featuring tracks from Martin’s 2004 session for the BBC Andy Kershaw Show. #MC50 features rare and unreleased tracks from Martin’s career in a series of videos celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin’s debut album.
The original show also included an extended interview with Martin and you can hear the complete session here:
2 March 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 2 March 2015
The third of my #MC50 YouTube videos, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin’s debut album, is a unique recording from 2011 featuring Martin singing his version of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Nothing Rhymed with Jools Holland and his orchestra. This one-off recording comes from a 2011 edition of Jools’ BBC radio 2 show:
The original show also included an extended interview with Martin that you can listen to here: