9 January 2017
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 9 January 2017
I’ve just returned from this year’s NormaFest, the Carthy/Waterson family get-together in Whitby that celebrates the work of family matriarch Norma Waterson, and it was a fantastic celebration of family, friendship, and tradition. I was ‘off duty’ and didn’t catch everything as I was taking it easy due to illness but luckily NorthernSky‘s Allan Wilkinson captured the whole weekend in vivid detail with his trusty SLR and described everything in his detailed review. Please check out Allan’s review on Northern Sky and photo album on Flikr.
9 December 2016
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 9 December 2016
Eliza Carthy just posted this update on Normafest 2017, which takes place in Whitby, North Yorkshire on the first weekend of January. I’ll be there and will try to post some updates on Twitter and Facebook over the weekend. I hope some of you can make it too – it’s going to be a fantastic weekend. Here’s Eliza…
Good morning friends!
Normafest is a non-profit festival celebrating and supporting one of the greatest singers in the UK. Look at this year’s bill! Then please share, and do join us.
This year Friday begins in the afternoon, and we go through until midnight on Saturday with concerts, chats, and film. This year we’re also adding food, both local and in the form of our dear friend Hardeep who will be cooking. It’s going to be special.
Share, come, rejoice…
25 September 2016
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 25 September 2015
Here’s a video I just made of me playing the single version of Norma’s “Red Wine and Promises” on my new Crosley Cruiser record player.
Norma Waterson: Vocals
Martin Carthy: Guitar
Written by Lal Waterson
c/w “Rubber Band”
Released in the UK 1972 by Transatlantic Records BIG 507
From the album “Bright Phoebus”
Released in the UK 1972 by Trailer Records LES 2076
3 January 2016
Posted by Kevin Boyd, 3 January 2016
Normafest is coming up this weekend, Friday and Saturday, and as a family we have a small favour to ask please. Even if you’re not coming (you should, by the way, as it’s going to be ace ;-)) could you please share our link below? It would mean a great deal to us. This event is our loving attempt to keep mam singing without the need to travel, which as you know has caused her such pain in the past. The artists on the bill are giving their time for almost nothing, this is completely non-profit.
Tickets are selling well and we are over our ‘break even’ point for staging the event, but it would be great now to see that our generous musician friends and family get paid a decent amount of money! One last push this week will really help this family, and maybe help us to stage this for years to come, to celebrate our gorgeous mam and her singular talent.
Happy New Year everybody. And please do come if you can, it’s really going to be very special.
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: