Martin & Eliza win fRoots Critics Poll vote

6 December 2014

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 6 December 2014

froots logo

Martin and Eliza Carthy’s album “The Moral Of The Elephant” was announced as the winner of the 2014 fRoots Critics Poll album of the year on Friday.

fRoots editor Ian Anderson made the discussed the awards and announced the winners on the BBC Radio 3 “World on 3” show which you can hear for the next four weeks here.

LINK: “The Moral of the Elephant” in DISCOGRAPHIES
LINK: Recording “The Moral of the Elephant”
LINK: Photo Gallery from Martin & Eliza’s 2014 tour



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”


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

Recording “The Moral of the Elephant”

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. 

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