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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 22 Feb 2004
By 
Jonathan (Bristol, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Martin Carthy (Audio CD)
Originally released on vinyl in 1965 this is in the best tradition of british folk music from one of its masters. His haunting but down-to earth voice and simple, almost spare accompaniment (helped in some tracks by Dave Swarbrick) bring out the enduring appeal of songs that have survrved the centuries. From the joyous 17th century "And a begging I will go" to the the tragic 20th century "Springhill Mine Disaster" these are songs which resonate with all the human emotions with a clarity that is mostly lost in more modern, over-orchestrated renditions.
The other tracks are: High Germany, The trees they do grow tall, Sovay, Ye mariners all, The queen of hearts, Broomfield Hill, Scarborough Fair, Lovely Joan, The barley and the rye, The wind that shakes the barley (one of the most moving Irish revolutionary ballads), The two magicians, The handsome cabin boy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Carthy 1, 29 Jan 2011
By 
Miss M. Potter "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Martin Carthy (Audio CD)
This is the debut album from the great Martin Carthy. It was released in 1965. There is no doubt that this is a great folk album.
Martin began work as an actor and then skiffle guitarist and singer with the Thameside four. Then made a solo recording on a collection of folk songs in 1963. He then became resident at London`s top folk club the Troubadour where he taught visiting americans including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. They later adapted "lord Franklin" and "Scarborough fair"(track eight) into their own repetoir.
By this time Carthy was very experienced in a wide repetoir of folk songs particularly from england and he was an experienced performer.
The wide experience shows on this album in terms of both the wonderful guitar work and vocals, and also in style and originality. This lovely album came at a strong point during the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s. It also paved the way for a very succesful recording career.
Martin Carthy shows his ability to give prime importance to the words he is singing. His phrasing helps to push the lyrics forward to tell their traditional story. And this is never in conflict with the rhythm of the guitar. He has a unique ability for guitar accomaniement. Even when this is to complement his own voice.
He has become a champion of English traditional folk songs and this first album is a fantastic example of the richness and beauty in our musical heritage.
The performance is magical and proffesional. And the sound is clear and full bodied. And there is a wonderful simplicity in the over all sound that seems like a perfect way to interpret these songs.
We have the purity of the voice that delivers the words and on some tracks, to add colour we get this very interesting guitar playing as well.
All of the songs are from the English Tradition except for track six "The spring hill mine disaster" a song written by Ewan McColl. This song sits well here since it sounds like a traditional song and it talks of the sort of thing that a folk song might well talk about. The song is the true story of the mine disaster of 1958 when an accident in one of the deep pits meant that some miners were trapped underground for five days until they were rescued.
The song "broomfield hill" deals with a Maid`s use of "broom", a herb, to escape the clutches of a Knight. And there is supernatural goings on in the song "Two magicians". There is strong performance on songs such as "Scarborough fair", "the barley and the rhye", "Queen of hearts" and "ye mariners all". Also the song "Lovely Joan" is a highlight of this album.
Also of note is that this album also features the fiddle playing of Dave Swarbrick. He was not so well known at the time of this album and acts as a session player. The fiddle playing is excellent and adds colour to the programme. By the time of the second album that followed this one, he gets propper crediting but on this first album he is not mentioned apart from the credit as shared arranger of the songs with Carthy.
We now know that Swarbrick went on to become an important figure in the folk revival just as Carthy did. He performed as a duo with Carthy on many recordings and was a lead member of Fairport Convention.

The debut album "Martin Carthy" is an excellent example of traditional english folk music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Carthy: Martin Carthy - Two Magicians making some great music, 11 Nov 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Martin Carthy (Audio CD)
It's odd, given my love of Fairport Convention, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Steeleye Span (to name a few) that I have only recently started to get into the solo albums of Martin Carthy, the prodigious and prolific Godfather of the British Folk movement. It was only a few weeks ago when I heard him and his daughter being interviewed on an episode of Radio 4's Mastertapes the I realised what a glaring hole there was in my collection, and I rushed out to get hold of a couple of his albums, starting here with his 1965 self titled debut. Learning that Dave Swarbrick, one of my musical heroes, was also involved only helped seal the deal. And I have to say that this is not a purchase that I regret.

Carthy's voice is amazing. Resonant, full of colour and passion, in it's own right it should be enough to make him a success but it is also coupled with his excellent guitar playing, innate feel for the music, a seemingly vast and encyclopaedic knowledge of old folk music and an experimental mien that allows him to push boundaries. And the result is a perfect piece of music, Carthy's voice and guitar coupled with Swarbricks's fiddle on a few tracks, to provide a seemingly simple sounding album that delves the deepest and darkest of man's passions with a sense of real grace and beauty.

It's an absolutely delicious album, 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emphatic debut, 6 Aug 2007
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Martin Carthy (Audio CD)
By the time Martin Carthy made this debut, he'd been around a few years, long enough to meet an emerging Bob Dylan and show Paul Simon how to play 'Scarborough Fair.' This release sets out his manifesto: the collection of traditional songs from the previous generation of performers. By recording them he ensures that a rich part of our heritage survives. With no accompaniment save for his own guitar and the occasional support of Dave Swarbrick's fiddle, Carthy lets the full impact of the songs have their way. Handed down and adapted over centuries, these are vivid and engaging tales.
'High Germany' is a reminder of the effect of war on domestic life; 'The Trees They Do Grow High' is so matter-of-fact in its hard-hitting revelation about a youth; 'The Barley And The Rye' is ruthless in its portrait of a farmer who sees himself cuckolded. There are strong heroines, as in 'Broomfield Hill' and 'Lovely Joan' and a touch of the occult in 'Scarborough Fair.'
Traditional music suffers in the public eye from its archaic vocal styles and a misguided perception that most songs are about shipping disasters. Once you've heard a few of Carthy's performances, however, you'll probably wonder why you thought the likes of Bob Dylan were the last word. This album is the beginning of a great service that Carthy and many of his contemporaries have done us in the last forty years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It could be 5. Say 4.5, 22 Mar 2007
By 
M. Knights "matt k" (Sheffield, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Martin Carthy (Audio CD)
Yeah definately a very good album. He is doing traditional songs very well. Although I find a lot of the power is in the songs themselves, independent of Carthy. But yet he'd probably agree with me. Thinking of it that way, his best performances are 'The Tress They Do Grow High,' the brilliantly rythmical 'Sovay', and the really moving 'Wind That Shakes The Barley.' A lot of the rest is excellent too though. I think it perhaps credit to him that 'Springhill Mine Disaster' stands up so well, considering it isn't a traditional song and was penned by Ewan MacColl (if I'm right). He sings it very well and it's a lot better than a slightly melodramatic version I heard done by the Dubliners. It's more persuasive. Definately buy this record
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5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpice of guitar and singing, 24 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Martin Carthy (MP3 Download)
Having just seen Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick at Cecil Sharp House last week, it prompted me to go back and listen to some of Martins early work. Having only a few of the tracks on this album, transcribed from my original vinyl copy, now long gone, I immediately went to Amazon and bought it. I'd forgotten how much sheer pleasure they gave then and still do now. A must have item. Incidentally, was so disappointed that I couldn't also get Shearwater in any format, digital or that old-fashioned CD format. Come on someone, lets have a re-release please
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4.0 out of 5 stars Martin Carthy, 26 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Martin Carthy (Audio CD)
A dvd of an LP I have possessed for a long time.
So at least |I can now listen to it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best of British Folk, 18 Sep 2010
By 
Albatross (Basingstoke,UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Martin Carthy (Audio CD)
This album is still, along with his second, the best of British Folk.
The clear fresh voice haunting in some tunes but alive with meaning in others still evokes the old folk club mentality.

Brilliant!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Aug 2014
This review is from: Martin Carthy (Audio CD)
Replaced lost album I bought in 60's Excellent!
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