Four years ago, Eliza Carthy assembled a folk big band of distinguished friends to help promote her Wayward Daughter project. They gave some memorable concerts, and now – at last – all 12 have recorded an album together. It’s remarkable as much for the quality and range of her singing as for the inventive arrangements. Most of the songs are traditional, and include a furious, edgy treatment of Devil in the Woman, a story of domestic abuse now driven on by brass and electric guitar, to the gently emotional, fiddle-backed lament I Wish That the Wars Were Over, or the grand and brooding Fade & Fall (Love Not). Then there’s a jaunty jazzy setting for Ewan McColl’s The Fitter’s Song, and Carthy’s You Know Me, an angry and timely but uplifting folk-rock hip-hop response to the refugee crisis, on which she is joined by MC Dizraeli.
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