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Martin Carthy is good/crap -discuss!!

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Fiddlin' Sid 16 Apr 01 - 01:00 PM
Liam's Brother 16 Apr 01 - 01:18 PM
GUEST,ceiliwidow 16 Apr 01 - 01:22 PM
zander (inactive) 16 Apr 01 - 01:36 PM
Ian HP 16 Apr 01 - 02:38 PM
Geoff the Duck 16 Apr 01 - 02:52 PM
Roger in Sheffield 16 Apr 01 - 03:13 PM
Fiddlin' Sid 16 Apr 01 - 03:36 PM
Roger in Sheffield 16 Apr 01 - 03:49 PM
GUEST,Russ 16 Apr 01 - 04:55 PM
Fiddlin' Sid 16 Apr 01 - 05:03 PM
Liz the Squeak 16 Apr 01 - 05:15 PM
Fiddlin' Sid 16 Apr 01 - 05:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Apr 01 - 05:21 PM
GUEST,ceiliwidow 16 Apr 01 - 05:30 PM
Fiddlin' Sid 16 Apr 01 - 05:33 PM
Liz the Squeak 16 Apr 01 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Ed Pellow / Zebedee 16 Apr 01 - 06:00 PM
GUEST,ceiliwidow 16 Apr 01 - 06:28 PM
GUEST 16 Apr 01 - 06:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Apr 01 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,ceiliwidow 16 Apr 01 - 07:01 PM
Linda Mattson 17 Apr 01 - 03:02 AM
English Jon 17 Apr 01 - 03:17 AM
sledge 17 Apr 01 - 03:25 AM
IanC 17 Apr 01 - 06:55 AM
Big Tim 17 Apr 01 - 07:11 AM
manitas_at_work 17 Apr 01 - 07:17 AM
P Mitchell@work 17 Apr 01 - 08:20 AM
Lanfranc 17 Apr 01 - 09:25 AM
Gervase 17 Apr 01 - 09:35 AM
GUEST,Rana 17 Apr 01 - 10:42 AM
Les from Hull 17 Apr 01 - 11:05 AM
GUEST,JohnB 17 Apr 01 - 12:43 PM
Bernard 17 Apr 01 - 03:10 PM
GUEST 17 Apr 01 - 07:33 PM
jacko@nz 17 Apr 01 - 07:37 PM
Matthew B. 17 Apr 01 - 07:57 PM
Bearheart 18 Apr 01 - 04:14 PM
Dave Wynn 18 Apr 01 - 06:21 PM
MAG (inactive) 18 Apr 01 - 06:40 PM
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Subject: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Fiddlin' Sid
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 01:00 PM

Martin Carthy is good/crap -discuss!!


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 01:18 PM

Martin Carthy is so modest and self-effacing a person that he is more likely to agree with your second option. He has a good sense of humor and a generous heart doing gigs that someone of his stature simply does not have to do but for love of the music.

Often imitated, he is still unique, very stylized and not for every taste. Crap? Just try to do what he does!

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: GUEST,ceiliwidow
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 01:22 PM

I like the songs he sings. They are traditional but not of the over-done variety. His voice does take some getting used to though and I can see how some would not like to listen to him.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: zander (inactive)
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 01:36 PM

Martin is sixty years old this year and has NEVER compromised the music WE love and he sings and plays so brilliantly. Dave


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Ian HP
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 02:38 PM

And the point of this thread is?


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 02:52 PM

Martin Carthy is an extremely accomplished guitarist, collector and arranger of folk songs and music. His singing is imitated by some, but those who appreciate how talented he is would not even attempt to copy. Beyond that, he is very approachable and is known to take the time to supply extra information about the somgs he sings, even jotting down lyrics for audience members.
Martin Carthy is one of the "Nice guys" in the Traditional Music scene. Do we need any point other than that?
Geoff the Duck!


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 03:13 PM

Sorry I thought dom was just a little bored so I ignored this and the other threads that started around that time.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Fiddlin' Sid
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 03:36 PM

Roger, what a man you are - a traditional man, a serious man and I hazard a guess....a bearded man!!


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 03:49 PM

....just someone waiting to hear your views on this subject you started, so what do you think of mr MC, his music/singing discuss


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 04:55 PM

I love that fact that he not only does traditional music but industrial strength traditional music.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Fiddlin' Sid
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 05:03 PM

Carthy(in my opinion -For what it's worth - not much!) is a v.clever guitarist , but an over rated bore of a singer.... gasp!!Life is way too short to learn all 48 verses of 'Famous flower of serving men'Stand back in amazement..... He's insulted the king of the folk royal family...horror!!

Stick that in your tankard Roger me old baldrick!!


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 05:15 PM

Martin is 60??!!!! Ye Gods, I should look so good then..... I've been kissed by an OBE who will qualify for his bus pass this year!!! Oh well, almost as good as the Bratling being kissed by a peer of the realm....

LTS


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Fiddlin' Sid
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 05:20 PM

Come out Roger boyo!!


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 05:21 PM

Martin Carthy is as important for the attitudes he expresses and represents and encourages as he is for his music.

Back in 1987 New Punchbowl Music, 333 Petersham Road, Petersham Surrey, England, put out a book of songs and hints about how he plays them, called "Martin Carthy - A Guitar in Folk Music". Anyway it's got a great introduction by Martin which all of us who go round and round the "What is Folk" threadmill would do well to read. He cuts through the crap.

Getting hold of the book might be a problem - I couldn't track it down on the net anyway.

But here is a quote which says what needs saying (I think I've probably posted it before, but it bears repeating):

If you listen to folk music from around the world, you are listening to a distillation over thousands of years of people who from nothing have arrived at some quite astonishing conclusions, and these make up an important part of a society's culture. Folk music is not blind, it's not noble savage stuff, it's actually people thinking deep and emotionally, and being able to articulate what they feel in music and dance. Now that I have actually realised it, I am more in awe every single day at just how smart people are. Saying it is boring rubbish and finger in the ear stuff is wilful ignorance, and is an insult to ingenuity and creativity of those ordinary people. That's how important it is.

Amen! If Martin had never picked up an instrument or opened his mouth to sing, he'd be worthy of respect just for writing that.

And here is the official waterson/carthy site. (But it doesn't have the book or the introduction Martin wrote to it, and it really should.)


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: GUEST,ceiliwidow
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 05:30 PM

But Dom don't you feel it's a good idea that someone is willing to replicate songs in their entirety now and again just to keep them alive? Abridgement leads to forgetfulness.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Fiddlin' Sid
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 05:33 PM

'Folksong is a spontaneous utterance from the unlettered classes' Cecil Sharp


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 05:43 PM

He's 60 for heaven's sake.... bloody hell!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: GUEST,Ed Pellow / Zebedee
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 06:00 PM

To my mind Martin Carthy is a genius, and a genuinely nice guy to boot. There aren't many who fit both criteria.

The first time that I saw Martin perform was about 15 years ago.

I walked out halfway through, and thought he was dreadful.

I was wrong. Of course, he's not for everyone, but he's a taste well worth aquiring.

I remember asking him a few years back about an obsure English singer (Walter Pardon). He gave me good advice as to how to find the recordings, but finished by giving me his home address, and urging me to get in contact if I had no luck.

Enough said, I think.

Ed

McGrath,

Music Exchange, St Peter's Sq, Manchester still have the book.

Ed


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: GUEST,ceiliwidow
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 06:28 PM

Dom, I wasn't suggesting that Martin was writing the folk music. I think he is very good at dutifully reproducing existing folk music. Perhaps he feels it is not his job to decide which verses should stay in a song and which should be pitched because they are just "boring". I think he feels he is trying to keep them alive by singing them whole. At least that what I got when I read the quote McGrath provided.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 06:34 PM

Celiwidow,

Martin is not adverse to changing things if the original strikes him as rubbish - he builds on it


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 06:36 PM

Well, here's a link to a Steeleye Span bibliography which has a list of the songs in the book.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: GUEST,ceiliwidow
Date: 16 Apr 01 - 07:01 PM

Guest, I was basing my discussion on Dom's remark about singing all 48 verses of some song (I forget which one). I'm not assuming he does so with EVERY song he sings. I haven't heard every song he sings so am no judge on that end of it.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Linda Mattson
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 03:02 AM

Martin Carthy wrote an updated version of the traditional song "And a-beggin I will go" that struck me to the core. I was poor and unemployed at the time, and he sang about homeless people. His use of language was striking. Speaking of homeless people he wrote that they were "completely invisible to the state, and there for ALL to see..."

In his version, the singer sang "I had luncheon off the embankment, and that was my lunch and tea, and only the finest cardboard made a home that was fit for me, and a-beggin I will go, and a beggin I will go."

I asked him if I could print the words in our folk club newsletter, and he sang his version into a tape recorder for me after the concert. I think he's a great, generous, and humble, man. Linda


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: English Jon
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 03:17 AM

I think Martin would be the first to agree that it's the songs, not the performer which is important. Sometimes with these "Epic Ballads" Flower of serving men, Patrick Spence, Tamlin, Prince Heathen, et all you have to do the whole thing for the balance of the lyric to work. I once tried dropping 3 "unnecessary" verses out of Prince H. and immediately stuck them straight back in, because the flow of the song was disturbed.

I first saw MC in 1992. I was 16 at the time. Since then he has been an enormous influence on me, not just in terms of guitar style, but more importantly in terms of attitude, and approach to the tradition. IMHO a giant of a man.

English Jon


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: sledge
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 03:25 AM

I have met Martin a couple of times, very briefly and he comes over as a real gent, the idea that he will just pass out his home address fits in well with my picture of the kind of man he is. Always approachable and ready to answer questions I have yet to hear anyone say bad things about him.

His singing is not to everyones taste but I enjoy it and the last time I saw him, so did every one in the packed hall where Norma and He were playing, even my pet dragee for the night enjoyed it all.

I am looking forward to wishing him happy Birthday at the Apollo Theatre in Oxford on the 20th May, any other catter doing the same?

Sledge


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: IanC
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 06:55 AM

Dom

I think you picked the wrong bloke if you were thinking to knock down a folk icon.

The reason most people like Martin Carthy is that he's a nice ordinary bloke who sings folk songs using his own voice and does everything he can to support real folk activities.

Tell us why you think he's not any of these. You don't have to listen to his singing if you don't want.

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Big Tim
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 07:11 AM

MC is one of the folk greats, taught Dylan a song or two, but he's not to everyone's taste, who is, and he's not to mine, saw him live in the 60s.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: manitas_at_work
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 07:17 AM

Dom,

If you think that there's no time for songs with 48 verses then you're listening to the wrong type of music. May I suggest you would be better off listening to pop music where the 3 minute song reigns supreme, music for people with the attention span of a goldfish! The music Martin Carthy sings (and most of us here love) is music for people who had no radio and TV and wanted to fill those dark winter nights when there was nothing to do but repair nets and pots, spin and weave and so on. And there are some subjects and stories that are too big even for 48 verses.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: P Mitchell@work
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 08:20 AM

Martin Carthy was my proper introduction to folk music, so I feel i owe him a lot. Perhaps the best lesson I learnt was that in folk music it is perfectly acceptable to take an old tune and put new words to it, and that that is a way in which folk music can pass information across generations. Mind you, I've heard people at festivals describing him as boring and as a poor guitar player. I guess I can see why some might find some of the songs dull, but a poor guitar player?! He's a bit of an icon all round. It's nice to have a role model, even though I'm dead old myself.

Paul


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Lanfranc
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 09:25 AM

Martin Carthy crap? If so, I'd like to be one per cent as crap as he is, then I could die happy.

I've known him for more years than I care to admit, first alongside Dave Swarbrick, which pairing I still rate as one of the greatest ever in Folk Music, then with Steeleye and in various other combinations and solo. Anyone accusing him of lack of sense of humour has only to reflect on his appearances with Les Barker performing parodies of songs ancient and modern.

"Swarthy and Carbrick", as Redd Sullivan used to call them, introduced me to more traditional material than anyone else I can think of. Martin was always courteous and generous with his time and scholarship, as well as with encouragement for the up-and-coming (and sometimes the down-and-going, too).

He doesn't need me to defend him, his own achievements do that, but I do so anyway. He is one of the greats in any genre of music, and yet he's still modest and approachable. Don't knock him, emulate him!


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Gervase
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 09:35 AM

Amen, McGrath, Llanfranc et al.
Carthy's the genuine article - a modest, hugely talented and generous-hearted bloke without whom the world of traditional music would be much the poorer. Even if you don't like his particular style of performance, you have to credit him with keeping a huge mass of material alive with his phenomenal repertoire.
Ergo Martin Carthy is good, not crap. End of discussion (I wish..!)


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: GUEST,Rana
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 10:42 AM

I'm not going to re-echo all the stuff that has been said in this (and Dom's other) pointless and thread. Just going to give reference to the Carthy Chronicles - that and the web page says it all!

Free-Reed Carthy Chronicles

Rana


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Les from Hull
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 11:05 AM

For any Carthy fans that haven't yet succumbed to this purchase I can tell you that Carthy Chronicles is excellent. 4 CDs of wonderful music fully representative of an illustrious career. Oh, and you get to find out Martin's middle NAME AS WELL


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 12:43 PM

He is one of the reasons I will be going to the Old Songs Festival this year. Maybe he is not for everyone but who is. It is immensely bloody boring just listening to the proliferation of anal singer songwriters of this world. Who? will be singing their songs 100 - 200 + years from now? Probably not too many. I just hope that there is still someone like Martin around to weed through and salvage the odd good song here and there. JohnB


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 03:10 PM

Martin has played at our Folk Club (the Railway) to a full house each time.

I was doing the warm-up spot, and had left my capo behind - without hesitation he offered me the use of his.

He may be a 'superstar', but he hasn't forgotten how he got there...


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 07:33 PM

errr the mudcat is short of threads?


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: jacko@nz
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 07:37 PM

I first saw Martin in 1960, at the Troubador I think it was. I caught up with him next in New Zealand some 27 years later.

We sat in the kitchen and he taught me 'Hamlet' his way then said "but with you're accent you'll be able to do it the way it was written"

Fate intervened at this point and the same week, out of the blue, I received a copy of Adam Mc's original from my sister, still in Edinburgh

You don't have to like his style, but the man's ability and integrity are quite beyond criticism as far as i'm concerned

Jack P


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Matthew B.
Date: 17 Apr 01 - 07:57 PM

Nobody seems to mention what for me is the greatest thing about Martin Carthy: his voice. His magical, lyrical, expressive, playful, soulful, haunting, impossible-to-imitate voice. The sound of his voice is as unique and significant to me in the world of folk as sound of the Beatles has been to the world of pop music.

I think I must have more albums by Steeleye Span than I do by any other group -- including the Beatles. The ones with Martin's magic are by far my favorite. I have a smattering of other Carthy (non-Steeleye Span) recordings, and he's just as good on them.

Finally, I had the pleasure of seeing him perform a few months ago in NY City at The Bottom Line. Despite that place's horrible acoustics, smoke-filled air and ubiquitous stench of spilled beer, I loved it. And even at (gasp) sixty, he sounded fantastic.

And as an icing on the cake, his daughter performed with him and sounds magnificent.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Bearheart
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 04:14 PM

Been listening to Carthy in various configurations for many years, and love his taste in songs and how he does them. My sister just got the Chronicles-- thanks to the folk who were inspired to put it all together. Especially like the notes which give lots of backround info on songs and sources. It would be nice if they'd do the same for some other notable singers. Good way to collect the songs.

Frankly I like the old ballads, the longer the better-- tells us what our forebears were really about.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: Dave Wynn
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 06:21 PM

I don't think for one minute that we should be discussing Martin Carthy on this public forum without his permission. Regardless of the pleasant and positive comments he should not be discussed in this way or on this forum without him having requested or infered he would want it.

I think it's rude of us to do so.

Spot.


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Subject: RE: MARTIN CARTHY
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 18 Apr 01 - 06:40 PM

After his concert in this area last year (for which I drove 60 miles, I might add) I approached MC with my feelings about Mill O'Tifty's Annie -- that I think songs like this are important to preserve, in that they show how people don't really die of a broken heart, like in the watered down versions. Annie gets beaten to death by her family for refusing to marry someone who will raise the family's social standing. That said, I have a terrible time listening to them, and Prince Heathen and Bonnie Susie too, thank you very much.

this man who had just finished an intense solo concert spoke to me for about half an hour about these songs and our mutual concerns in them. He's a hero.


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