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Fishes & Fine Yellow Sand

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Audio CD, July 20, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

One of the most important and best loved of all English folk groups, Waterson: Carthy (Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy and Tim Van Eyken) present their fifth album for Topic Records. It's an album of eclectic material ranging from fine traditional songs and tunes such as Farewell Lovely Nancy and Captain Kidd to a stunning performance of the Jerry Garcia/Grateful Dead song Black Muddy River. The album features several Eliza Carthy-penned songs - her first new recordings since Anglicana.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Goodbye Fare You WellWaterson : Carthy 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. The Oxford GirlWaterson : Carthy 5:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Galopede / Walter Bulwer's No.2Waterson : Carthy 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Newry TownWaterson : Carthy 6:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Farewell Lovely NancyWaterson : Carthy 4:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Black Muddy RiverWaterson : Carthy 4:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Quadrille / the Tempest / the Portland FancyWaterson : Carthy 5:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Napoleon's DeathWaterson : Carthy 4:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Green BroomWaterson : Carthy 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. George Tills No.2 / George Tills No.1Waterson : Carthy 4:39$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Captain KiddWaterson : Carthy 9:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Twenty One Years on DartmoorWaterson : Carthy 5:24$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 20, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Topic Records
  • ASIN: B00026WA78
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,778 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By o dubhthaigh VINE VOICE on July 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The hard thing is that when you are so closely identified with what English song should sound like, it is easy enough to be trapped by your own commanding history. So, when you have a voice like Norma Waterson or a guitar technique like Martin Carthy, how do you get beyond your own history, and theirs is a daunting one. I don't even know that English women should sound like Norma waterson, but she is so quintessentially English that you hear any other deflection as through the prism of her delivery. As for Carthy, how can you pick up a Martin guitar to play any English tune and not be influenced by the man who, along with Richard Thompson and Robert Fripp, has set the standard, so much so that I can't think of any one before Carthy with the same influence. Can you?

So, then, you have their child who is the first Brit fiddle player in a very long while to stand on an equal plane with her Scots and Irish contemporaries. It's been at least since Dave Swarbrick's heyday.

All of which could lead to a CD trapped by its own baggage.

That's not the case here. Choosing tunes that reflect stories of best intentions gone wrong and disastrous consequences resulting, WC has unleashed a torrent of an album. The song and tune selections have almost as much gallows humour and body count as an Old Blind Dogs' CD. The musicianship is sublime and superb (how could it not be!). WC is a Churchillian force to be reckoned with and their allegiance to the less fortunate in their greene and pleasante land is word enough to bolster heart and spirit when the rest of the world caves in to the Texas nitwit. I love this CD. It's arrived at just the right time.

One day, they'll do a DVD.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jerome Clark on January 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is the fifth Waterson:Carthy CD and as worthy as any of its illustrious predecessors. As before, English folk veterans husband and wife Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson perform with their daughter, fiddler/vocalist Eliza Carthy, who has already made a name for herself on the international folk scene. "Folk music" in the United Kingdom is pretty much that -- traditional and tradition-based music, not the confessional, singer-songwriter acoustic pop irritatingly and misleadingly labeled "folk" on this side of the water.

On its rare excursion into nontraditional material, W:C turns new songs into old-sounding ones. On this album it's the Grateful Dead's lovely "Black Muddy Water," and it sounds in no way out of place. Otherwise, joined by melodeon player and singer Tim Van Eyken (whose striking vocal on "Napoleon's Death" leaves the listener wanting more), the band explores ballads and tunes from the English countryside. W:C's knowledge of the tradition is legendary, the pieces well chosen and generally not well known; even if the title looks familiar, the variant isn't. A particularly pleasing surprise is the version of "Twenty One Years on Dartmoor," whose origin is in the American hillbilly song "Twenty One Years." Written in the 1920s by Bob Miller (best known for the old-time standard "What Does the Deep Sea Say?") and recorded by several first-generation bluegrass groups, it was, like much early commercial country music, a folk-like composition. At some point it crossed the ocean and evolved into a genuine folk song, and a very fine one indeed.

English traditional music has been splendidly served on the many recordings of Martin Carthy, the Watersons, and Eliza Carthy. Fishes & Fine Yellow Leaves is as masterly as one has come to expect, a happy continuation of a family-music tradition within the larger English-music tradition. Really, it doesn't get any better than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Scarff on September 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I too have all the Waterson:Carthy CDs and even have had the great privilege of hearing them in concert. I agree with all the comments of the prior reviewers. I will add that someone new to their music may be initially put off by their dark voices, which sound so different than today's pop singers, a pint of dark ale or bitter compared to a bottle of Bud Lite. Give them a chance; this music "ages" extremely well; the more you listen, the more you hear, the more you realize these are songs that have survived many decades or more, and appreciate what they are doing. I am a great fan of Eliza's fiddling, and the harmony singing of W:C has a quality only achievable by a family that has been singing together for as long as anyone can remember. Try it, you'll like it.
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