8 December 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 8 December 2015
This is the last of my #MC50 videos featuring rare live and studio tracks sourced from my personal archive of radio recordings, mostly from the late-80s onwards. It’s an appropriately seasonal recording from Waterson:Carthy’s 2006 ‘Frost & Fire’ tour. The Devil’s Interval feature heavily (their ‘Quern Song remains unreleased officially to the best of my knowledge) and this was Tim van Eyken’s last full tour with the band.
I’ve published a different recording each month during 2015 to celebrate 50 years since the release of Martin’s first solo album and it has been interesting revisiting some of them. I’ve tried to include a representative cross-section of solo, duo, group and family recordings. Some of the audio has been in less-than-pristine condition but everything has had its merits to some extent and I think it’s been worth including all of them for one reason or another.
There have been some fairly obvious omissions – the numerous appearances to promote Martin and Eliza’s recent duo album and tour, for instance – and I still have a lot more recordings than I haven’t had the chance to publish so for that reason I’ve decided to continue this series into next year and beyond. The only difference is that I’ll only be publishing on an ad hoc basis rather than strictly once a month.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the videos I’ve published so far and I look forward to your continued support into 2006.
Merry Christmas. Kev.
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:
31 August 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 31 August 2015
This month’s #MC50 video celebrating 50 years since Martin’s first solo album arrives a little late due to an unexpected house move but there’s still an hour of August left so here it is. It’s a 2005 live appearance on WNYC National Public Radio in New York from July 2005. Waterson:Carthy were mid-tour and Martin was invited into the studio to talk to John Schaefer about his career and to play a live version of “Limbo”.
5 July 2015
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 5 July 2015
July’s #MC50 video is a live recording of Blue Murder in their original lineup from 1987.
This lineup never formally recorded, had just two live tracks released (on Martin Carthy and Watersons box sets) and only played a handful of gigs in the late-1980s so these are rare recordings. I’ve dated this late-1987 but I failed to record the full details at the time so it could possibly be a little later – though it’s unlikely to be after 1988.
EDIT: I’ve remade and re-posted the YouTube video with some amendments and corrections. Thanks to Reinhard Zierke for some additional details.
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).