Eliza Carthy: Wayward Daughter

Just lately everyone seems to be celebrating 20 years as a musician. England’s Eliza Carthy has gone one better and celebrates 21 years as a professional singer and musician with this new double album which gathers together 31 tracks from all periods of her recording career. It all makes for a very strong and varied set in which the folk and roots music rubs shoulders with rock and reggae with hints of hip-hop and salsa.

Eliza Carthy was brought up in a musical family as part of the Waterson: Carthy dynasty and she is still at the forefront of the revival in English folk music. Although a prominent fiddler, this selection of tracks focuses on her singing and is an all-encompassing trawl through traditional folk songs, originals, collaborations and more. Apart from her solo albums there is something from her work with Waterson: Carthy, The Imagined Village project and many others from the folk world and beyond.

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Carthy fans will probably have most of these songs already but will no doubt want to own a copy of this excellent double CD anyway. The juxtaposition of so many different songs and performances is a great reminder of just how important she has been over the past two decades. She has also emerged as a fearless and feisty songwriter from her early song ‘The Company of Men’ right up to the final track here ‘Britain is a Car Park’ from her most recent solo album Neptune.

Also included is ‘Rolling Sea’ her contribution to the Rogue’s Gallery collection of sea-related songs. Among the best of the traditional songs is the vibrant ‘Gallant Hussar’ from Rough Music and ‘Adieu, Adieu’ from the groundbreaking double solo album Red Rice. The album begins with ‘Worcester City’ another fine recording of an old song. Everyone will have their own favourites – and complaints too about songs not included – but this is a wonderful introduction to one of the very best exponents of English roots music.

Wayward Daughter is released on Topic Records.

www.eliza-carthy.com

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