Credited with rescuing British folk music from what she once called, “Laura Ashley frocks and beards and stuff”, Eliza Carthy was born today in 1975.
Folk singer/fiddler Eliza Carthy was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. The daughter of folk giants Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy, Eliza’s first album release came in 1993 and since then she’s proven to be both unafraid of pursuing different directions and unconcerned with conforming to established genre boundaries.
Earning plaudits for her eagerness to mix traditional tunes and performance with contemporary beats and electronia, Mercury Music Prize nominations followed for both her”Red Rice” and “Anglicana” albums. The acceptable face of 21st century traditional music to many, Eliza is a frequent recipient of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and occasional broadcaster.
That media friendliness and contemporary image combine with a peerless vocal and fiddle playing ability (and not forgetting forays on the squeezebox) has seen her collaborate with artists as diverse as Nick Cave and The Imagined Village, not to mention performing solo shows.
Unable to sing live following the release of 2008′s album “Dreams of Breathing Underwater” due to a cyst in her throat, Eliza had returned to full fitness by the time of the well-received “Gift” in 2010. with her mother Norma (exhibiting what the Telegraph newspaper labelled “emphatic chemistry”) and guitar contributions from her dad.
Based in Edinburgh and the mother of two girls, 2011′s release “Neptune” then found Eliza continuing to move beyond the accepted boundaries of conventional folk – with tracks such as “Britain is a Car Park” even treading into the quirkily commercial territory once occupied by the daughter from another famous folk family – Kirsty MacColl.
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And here’s some footage of Eliza in action: