Released to mark her 21 years as a professional musician, this is a gloriously varied 31-track double album that provides a timely reminder of the crucial role Eliza Carthy has played in the current folk revival. The emphasis is more on her vocal than instrumental work, but the range is still remarkable. There is traditional material recorded with her parents in Waterson:Carthy, and with John Spiers & Jon Boden in the Ratcatchers, and examples of her own increasingly inventive songwriting, from Two Tears to Britain Is a Car Park. The best tracks include the finely sung Grey Gallito, in which she is backed by Salsa Celtica, and the rousing Rolling Sea, from that inspired album of pirate songs, Rogue's Gallery. She's currently performing these songs on tour with a big band that includes Jim Moray. Next, I'd like to hear them record together.
Robin Denselow is a journalist and broadcaster who specialises in music and politics. He is the author of When The Music's Over, a history of political pop