These two leading interpreters of English folk traditions – folk guitarist/singer Carthy and squeezebox virtuoso/singer Kirkpatrick – are long-time collaborators in a variety of seminal musical projects: from John’s iconic 1976 Morris tunes album Plain Capers through Steeleye Span to Brass Monkey.
Their enduring enjoyment of playing with each other shines through in their performances – warm, natural and charismatic. Pure English folk pedigree!
For more than 50 years, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Martin Carthy has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it.
Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife (Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums, but Martin has only recorded 10 solo albums, of which Waiting for Angels was the latest. A ballad singer, a ground-breaking acoustic and electric-guitarist and an authoritative interpreter of newly composed material, Martin always prefers to follow an insatiable musical curiosity rather than cash in on his unrivalled position. Perhaps, most significant of all, are his settings of traditional songs with guitar, which have influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, on both sides of the Atlantic.
John is one of the most prolific figures on the English folk scene, performing solo, in duos, acoustic groups and electric bands, and has established an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso (melodeon, Anglo concertina and button accordion), as well as a leading interpreter of English folk music. He has been a member of the Albion Country Band, Magic Lantern, The Richard Thompson Band, Umps and Dumps, Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey, Trans-Europe Diatonique, and Band of Hope, as well as numerous ceilidh bands.
As songwriter, composer, choreographer, and musical director, he has contributed to over sixty plays in the theatre and on radio. And as featured artiste, band member, or session player, his music can be heard on over 200 different commercial recordings.