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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 19 July 2010
First ever album from mother and daughter Norma and Eliza and well worth buying. I'm a huge fan of Norma Waterson and like Eliza although I find a lot of her solo stuff a bit hard to swallow. Many big names on the album, dad Martin and Martin Simpson included. Robin Denselow in 'the Guardian' gave it a 5* rating and i'd certainly go along with that!
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on 16 August 2016
I would probably rate this as a 7 out of 10 album to score it more accurately.
As with many musical projects and collaborations undertaken by established artists, you tend to get some numbers which don't work as well as others, and some which come across as self indulgence.
On this CD l would class Ukulele Lady/lf Paradise Is Half As Nice (really?!) and Prairie Lullaby as indulgences which would almost certainly have been filtered out of consideration for a commercial recording by the original Watersons group.
I accept you can't expect recent recordings by the surviving/extended Waterson family to have the same raw power as the early legendary 'Frost and Fire' & 'For Pence and Spicy Ale' albums.
Today's folk albums tend to have more elaborate musical arrangements, and probably include more lengthy ballads than was usually the case during the early days of what became known as the 'folk revival'.
Some of the arrangements on Gift work well for me and are melodic and varied enough to sustain emotional involvement with the song throughout. I would include 'Bunch of Thyme', 'The Rose and The Lily', 'Poor Wayfaring Stranger' and 'Psalm of Life' as good examples of this.
The rousing 'Bonaparte's Lament', 'Little Grey Hawk' and family harmony song 'Shallow Brown' (originally a song about slavery?) are also well performed and worthy of inclusion on the album.
But to my ears, 'The Nightingale' and 'Boston Burglar' sound weary and tend to drag.
On the latter Norma resorts to singing 'da de da' at one point which is reminiscent of someone singing along who can't remember the lyrics.
There is probably enough here to make the CD worthwhile if you can pick it up at a reduced price as l did, otherwise it might be advisable just to purchase the mp3 tracks you really want.
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on 18 August 2010
Wonderful to have mother and daughter together on this CD. I'm a great fan anyway, but this one excels. The sensitivity to the music, a great choice of songs and arrangements make this a "must have". Easy to listen to and there's plenty of depth too - the more I listen to it the better it gets. Don't hesitate to buy. Thanks Norma and Eliza. More please!
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on 24 August 2010
My difficulty in listening to this album lies in the fact that the Waterson-Carthy appeal is so esoteric, so that passers-by who are not tuned in are likely to declare 'what a row' because of the style of delivery, rather than the content. I, personally, am not one of these and have been a fan of all the Watersons since the mid-1960s, when this definitive folk revival family was in its heyday. While I prefer tracks in which Mrs and Ms Carthy stick to pure folk roots, I respect their right to sample other musical styles. I also support professional reviewers' singling-out of 'A Bunch of Thyme' as a distinctive, heart-rending piece which, for me, was worth the cost of the album on its own. DR, August 2010
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on 20 June 2016
A chance listening to a Radio 2 folk programme led me into the world of the Carthy / Watersons. What a fabulous album this is, beautiful time honoured lyrics delivered with passion and belief. You cannot fail to get emotional with each track. Bunch of Thyme (the track I heard on the radio ) is magnificent
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on 10 August 2010
Absolutely fabulous. Best singers in the country, Norma and Eliza,mother and daughter. What a gift.
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on 12 September 2010
I kind of enjoyed listening to the odd folk music but not a great fan. Then I heard Norma's first solo album, released in 1996 and I have been a fan of hers ever since.

This is such an "easy" album to listen to with a good blend of songs. Mother and daughter's voices blend well together.
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on 4 March 2013
It's only in the last decade that I have started to listen to English Folk, but I am pleased that I have, Eliza Carthy has an evocative voice and having listened to her parents I can see where it all started. I look forward to seeing again her next time she tours the South East. Her voice mixes well against the strength of her mother's on this CD and it is always great to hear a regional accent coming through strongly.
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on 7 September 2010
Another Goodie from the First family of English Folk. Of the standard we expect from mother and daughter
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I have yet to hear anything from the Waterson/Carthy clan (who are now legion) that is anything less than lovingly sung and played, with a professionalism not always associated with folk music.
This beautiful album is no exception.
I've long thought Eliza to be one of one of Britain's most stunning talents: a superb
fiddle player and a haunting singer. Her mum's pretty wonderful too, with a wealth of experience in that slightly husky earth-mother voice, which holds so much weight in its deceptively comfortable tones.
They sing solo and in harmony here, with family members chipping in, including their esteemed dad/hubby Martin and Oliver Knight, along with contributions from Saul Rose,
Marry Waterson, bass veteran Danny Thompson, Aidan Curran, and even guitar wiz Martin Simpson.
The choice of songs is eclectic and a pleasing mix of the recognisable and the more obscure.
A truly stirring, engagingly arranged version of Poor Wayfaring Stranger is sung by Norma, with Eliza discreetly harmonising on the choruses, and is a lovely way to begin this labour of love.
Another highlight is Eliza's The Nightinglale/For Kate - the first part being a traditional song, the second a tune by Eliza in tribute to the recently deceased Kate McGarrigle, a nice gesture.
I first heard the old American song Prairie Lullaby on an early Michael Nesmith LP and Eliza and Martin Simpson do a fine version of this sweet song.
Ukelele Lady/Half As Nice involves the whole gang, and gives Norma and Eliza the chance to show their 'music hall' chops, Half As Nice being the likable old Amen Corner hit, though it has never sounded like this before.
There isn't a wrong note struck or dud track on the whole disc, and it comes with one of their characteristically personal booklets, with notes by (I'm pretty sure) Eliza.

Eleven numbers over fifty-four minutes. All of it a gift to each other and to us.
Lucky us.
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