The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #44486   Message #655193
Posted By: MikeofNorthumbria
22-Feb-02 - 07:12 AM
Thread Name: In praise of Martin Carthy
Subject: RE: In praise of Martin Carthy
Hell yeah! The Loft, in Primrose Gardens, just off the Finchley Road was a wonderful place. I had a regular Friday night gig there for a few weeks in 1964, and although the pay wasn't too generous (fifteen shillings, a plate of spag boll, and as many cups of tea or coffee as you could drink) the company was always great.

In those far-off days, the young Carthy was already recognised as a phenomenal singer and guitarist - but hasn't he come a long way since then? An amazing musician, a great entertainer, and an all round good chap. But what I'd particularly stress (for anyone who hasn't already noticed it) is his massive artistic integrity.

At several points in his career, Martin established a repertoire and a performing style which gained the respect and admiration of a substantial audience. Each time, he could have kept his public happy and himself gainfully employed more or less indefinitely by staying put. But he kept on looking for new challenges, re-thinking or discarding material that no longer satisfied him, and rebuilding his style and technique from the ground up whenever this seemed desirable.

Like many of his admirers, I found a few of his experiments uncongenial(though they were always thought-provoking.) But even when these experiments turned some former supporters against him entirely, he didn't rage or sulk, he just kept doing what he felt he had to do until they caught up with him again. Which mostly they did. All too few artists, in any genre, have that kind of honesty, and that much courage. So well done Martin - keep on surprising us!