Carthy, Martin - Signs Of Life (Mega Blowout Sale)

SKU 23-TSCD 503
“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.
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.
After far too long between solo outings, England's leading man of folk returns with a surprisingly relaxed, refreshed set, Signs of Life. While there's plenty of traditional material, like the epic revisiting of "Prince Heathen," which Martin Carthy first recorded with musical partner Dave Swarbrick back in the '60s, and a wonderful take on "Sir Patrick Spens," the emphasis is far more on the modern, be it Hoagy Carmichael's "Hong Kong Blues," a tune he recalled from childhood, or Elvis' "Heartbreak Hotel," beautifully rendered as country blues, or most unusual of all, a very moving version of the Bee Gees' "New York Mine Disaster, 1941" which makes the listener realize that at heart it's a folk song.
His guitar technique, never flashy, is sparer than ever, but never less than effective and gripping, while his voice has mellowed beautifully into something that not only befits a folk veteran but also carries wisdom.
The highlight of the disc, however, has to be "Prince Heathen," a song he's grappled with for 30 years and has finally completely made his own. Even as he reduces it to something simple, it grows more complex in his hands, showing itself as one of the great ballads. While it might have taken him a while to make this record, the contents are more than worth the wait.”-AllMusic
  • LabelTopic
  • UPC714822050326
Your Price $5.00

Customer Reviews