Carthy folk dynasty appeals for financial support after income ‘dried up’ during pandemic

January 14

The folk musician Eliza Carthy has asked fans for financial support to aid her parents, celebrated musicians Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson, after their income from live performances “dried up” during the Covid-19 crisis.

Waterson has long been unable to perform owing to illness, Eliza wrote on the fundraising website Ko-Fi, and is currently hospitalised with pneumonia.

Eliza Carthy
Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band

“Right now the Carthy family, as many others, is struggling to survive the pandemic,” wrote Eliza, who moved closer to her parents 11 years ago in order to help care for Waterson.

“They urgently need funds to tide them over until the pandemic lifts and Martin and Eliza can return to touring and again become self-sufficient.”

Martin Carthy, 80, is one of the most influential musicians in British folk. He has released more than 40 albums as a solo artist, a member of Steeleye Span and the Albion Country Band, in collaboration with the late fiddle player Dave Swarbrick and with his wife and daughter as Waterson-Carthy.

In 2014, he received the lifetime achievement award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. He was named “arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all” by Q magazine, and inspired peers such as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon.

Waterson, 82, is one of the original members of traditional group the Watersons and a collaborator with Richard Thompson and members of Pentangle along with her family members. She received the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards lifetime achievement prize in 2016.

In December, UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin wrote to chancellor Rishi Sunak about “the devastating impact the growth of the omicron variant is having on the UK music industry”.

Many musicians have felt no choice but to postpone their immediate forthcoming tours given uncertainty over safety, including UK bands Wolf Alice and Blossoms, despite a lack of government support for cancelled events.

A UK Music report published in October said that one in three jobs in the UK music industry were lost during the preceding 18 months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Martin and Eliza Carthy are due to play live throughout the UK this winter, with an intermittent run of dates kicking off in Durham on 27 January. Eliza wrote that she had recorded a new album during the pandemic, proceeds from which would also help the family.

More than 2,500 people had supported the Carthy campaign at the time of publication. “I am a long-standing folk traditionalist,” wrote supporter Stephen Lyons. “Where would we be without these two? Eh? Love to them.”

The famed producer Van Dyke Parks also voiced his support on Twitter: “I am asking all who can help to contribute. These two are the key to what’s left of Celtic culture –and innocence – in the UK. I admire Martin so … Let’s make this an end-game victory, as a folk dynasty appeals for financial support.”

Source: Carthy folk dynasty appeals for financial support after income ‘dried up’ during pandemic

Hal-An-Tow

Hal-An-Tow is a processional song traditionally sung to usher in the summer.  And so we encounter, in the lead solo… two of the most distinctive voices in English music; the unarguably great husky-grey voice of Norma and the undeniably arguably great voice of Mike! I won’t say that ‘you either love it or hate it’ because, trust me, if you’re listening to the voice of Mike Waterson for the first time and finding it mannered, even ridiculous, there’s a very good chance that, in the fullness of time, you too will come to acknowledge Mike as every bit as great a singer as his sisters. An acquired taste, if ever there was one.

Source: Toppermost

From Glasgow Madrigirls summer concert ‘In the Greenwood’. Performed at St John’s Church in Keswick on Saturday 22 June 2013. Filmed by Harry Campbell. Conducted by Katy Lavinia Cooper

Traditional Lyrics

CHORUS

Hal-an-Tow, jolly rumble-o,
We were up long before the day-o,
To welcome in the summer,
To welcome in the May-o –
For summer is a-coming,
And the winter’s gone away-o!

Since man was first created
His works have been debated
And we have celebrated
The coming of the spring

Take no scorn to wear the horns,
It was the crest when you were born;
Your father’s father wore it,
And your father wore it too.

CHORUS

Robin Hood and Little John
Have both gone to the fair-o,
And we shall to the merry green wood,
To hunt the buck and hare-o!

CHORUS

What happened to the Spaniards
That made so great a boast, oh?
They shall eat the feathered goose,
And we shall eat the roast, oh!

CHORUS

And as for that good knight, St. George
St. George he was a knight o
Of all the knights of Christendom
St. George is the right o

CHORUS

God bless Aunt Mary Moses
With all her power and might-o;
Send us peace in England,
Send us peace by day and night-o!

Eliza Carthy “My Music”

This documentary focuses on Eliza Carthy, a singer-songwriter who is bringing traditional music to a new audience. She is the daughter of legendary folk musicians Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson. Her father was awarded an MBE for services to folk music in 1998, which actually seems quite a niggardly gesture when one considers how important a figure he actually is. He was inspirational to such musicians as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, and to later musicians such as Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and the Albion Country Band (the last two bands that included him as a member for a time).

by Gonzo Music TV
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“The Good Old Way” Episodes 1-4

Part 1 of a 4 part series about British folk music. Originally aired on BBC2 on June 13 1983. This episode focuses on The Watersons.

Part 2 of a 4 part series about British folk music. Originally aired on BBC2 on June 14 1983. This episode focuses on Alison MacMorland and Peta Webb

Part 3 of a 4 part series about British folk music. Originally aired on BBC2 on June 15 1983. This episode focuses on Martin Carthy and Ewan MacColl.

Part 4 of a 4 part series about British folk music. Originally aired on BBC2 on June 16 1983. This episode focuses on Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.