Martin & Eliza Carthy: The Moral of the Elephant review – ease and delight


Twenty years ago, the then teenage Eliza Carthy joined her celebrated parents Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson on the first Waterson: Carthy album. Since then, she has recorded the classic LP Gift with her mum, and now comes the debut set with her dad. The result is brave, and anything but predictable. No other musicians are involved, as the duo match their solo and harmony singing against fine, sparse guitar work from Martin and his daughter's fiddle-playing. They work together with an ease and delight that's at times reminiscent of Martin's work with Dave Swarbrick, switching from traditional songs including the thoughtful The Queen of Hearts, which Carthy recorded on his solo debut 49 years ago, to unexpected new songs. Best of all is the quietly poignant Happiness, written by Nick Drake's mum Molly, and finely sung by Eliza.


Robin Denselow

The GuardianTramp

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