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What a beau your Granny is!
Heat Light And Sound - Eliza Carthy
Member Name: Bryn Pearson
Heat Light And Sound - Eliza Carthy
Date: 16/08/01, updated on 16/08/01 (53 review reads)
Advantages: excellent fiddle playing, some really good songs.
Disadvantages: not as lively as later albums
Eliza Carthy is (and this may be a blessing or a curse to her) still best known for being the daughter of living folk legends Martin Carthy and Norma Watersone. However, that's all i'm going to say about her parents, because I think its far more fair to judge the lass on ehr own merits.
Heat Light and Sound is Eliza's first solo album (although I suspect not her first forray into a recording studio). It's largely traditional - only one song of hers on this one - and may therfore be surprising to those who have only encountered her later and better known work on Red Rice. The whole sound to this album is very traditional, and uses traditional instruments (of which Miss Carthy plays far more than I feel is reasonable.)
Cold Wet&Rainy Night/The grand Hornpipe. A song about a young man persuading his lass to let him on, the usual ensuing. i know a much funnier and sillier version of this in wich the young man is kidnapped by the girl's grandmother! The transition into the hornpipe is a little odd.
Cumberland Waltz/Petit Homme/Miss Bowls - tunes , some great fiddle playing and some singing in french. (It's a convention with folk tunes to string a couple together to make up a full length piece of music, hence all the neames in the title.)
What a beau your granny is/ Stone Steps - more tunes, the first from a book of Thomas hardy tunes, apparently.
10,000 Miles/bacca pipes. 10,000 miles is on Red Rice and this is a less lively version - bit of a let down after eharing her more recent take on the song, but still worth hearing.
Clark Saunders - a grim ballad about love and murder, although there is some clever scheming in it.
Stamps for the dog - a James Fagin tune, played on the fiddle, and very good it is too. Expect to tap your toes lots.
Peggy - not the most memorable song, but good to listen to.
Blind Fiddler - an American song "I lost my eyes in the blacksmith
s shop...."and so the singer becomes the blind fiddler and has much woe and struggles to make ends meet. The fiddle playing on this track is excellent.
Lady Barnsley's fancy/Trip to Cartmel/Hardy's crow - realy lively fiddle music, I recomend you have lots of space to listen to this in as you maty well get the urge to dance.
By Then - Eliza's one original song on the album, lots of fiddle on it as well, melancholy and introverted.
Sheath and Knife - this is a real candidate for most depressing folk song I have ehard this eyar - a noble woman is pregnant and to save her family name, arranges for her ebst friend to help her commit suicide and to make it look like a hunting accident. Quite a haunting tune.
Jacky Tar - really unsubtle song about sex, and various parties trying to get their own way, getting into people's bedrooms under false pretences and other good traditional activitie. It's quite fun and ends the album on a bright note.
Not everyone goes for Eliza's singing, her voice is odd, certainly not the bland tones of a pop artist, nor the trained vocals of a classical singer. Her Yorkshire accent is quite pronounced, and there is a slight roughness to her voice - if you like folk then this will all sound very familiar, but if you are used to a more polished and manufactured sound, then you aren't necessarily going to get on with this. As a fiddle (violin to the uninitiated)player, she is great - again she plays in a folk style. Her voice and style go from strength to strength in later albums - Red Rice is fantastic. Live she is brilliant - energetic and charismatic, at ease on the stage and very talented. Well worth encountering if you get the chance.