If the English folk revival of the 1960s had a single "father" and guiding spirit, then Martin Carthy was it. Carthy's influence transcends his abilities, formidable though those are - apart from being one of the most talented acoustic guitarists, mandolinists, and general multi-instrumentalists working the folk clubs in the 1960s, he was also a powerful singer with no pretensions or affectations, and was an even more prodigious arranger and editor, with an excellent ear for traditional compositions. In particular, he was as much a scholar as a performer, and frequently went back to the notes and notebooks of folk song collectors such as Percy Grainger, scouring them for fragments that could be made whole in performance - no "second hander," he used the earliest known transcriptions and recordings of many of the oldest folk songs known in England as his source, and worked from there. By 1966, at the time he was cutting his first two albums, Carthy was already an influence on Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, and by the end of the 1960s was de facto mentor to virtually every serious aspiring folk musician in England. At least three major English folk-rock bands, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and the Albion Band, were formed either directly or indirectly with his help and influence.
Carthy's debut album rates a place alongside the album by Bob Dylan, as the debut work of a man who ultimately revolutionized folk music performance in England (Carthy is mentioned as an influence on the notes to Dylan's Freewheelin' album). This is Carthy's purest and simplest folk effort, an all-acoustic recording done in barely an afternoon that includes his version of "Scarborough Fair," awhich Paul Simon learned from Carthy (including the chords and changes from Carthy's arrangement) and transformed into a hit of his own. Also here is "Two Magicians," a song that later entered the repertory Steeleye Span, and "Lovely Joan," a folk song that is most familiar to classical listeners as the source of the counter-melody to Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on Greensleeves." The playing and the interpretations are somewhat less ambitious and rather rougher than subsequent efforts, with Dave Swarbrick guesting on fiddle on about half the tracks, and Carthy's guitar covering all but the acapella tracks.
|The Trees They Do Grow High||3:31|
|Ye Mariners All||1:47|
|The Queen Of Hearts||2:21|
|Springhill Mine Disaster||4:21|
|The Barley And The Rye||1:39|
|The Wind That Shakes The Barley||4:26|
|The Two Magicians||3:23|
|The Handsome Cabin Boy||3:24|
|And A-Begging I Will Go||2:54|
Martin Carthy - Martin Carthy (1965)
(320 kbps, cover art included)