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January Man

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, December 7, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Live archive release from the Folk legend. As the father figure and guiding spirit of the English Folk revival of the 1960s, Martin Carthy was involved in the formation of at least three major English folk-rock bands; Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band. The January Man is the first ever official release of a Martin Carthy live solo album, and is released with Carthy's full approval. This towering performance, recorded in FM quality in 1978, shows an artist who was a legend even then and whose brilliance is merely underlined with the passing of time.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Rainbow
  2. The Worcestershire Wedding (The Old Woman All Clothed in Grey)
  3. William & Nancy
  4. The Trees They Grow so High
  5. Willie's Lady
  6. Johnny Sands
  7. The Green Wedding
  8. The Siege of Delhi
  9. The Plains of Waterloo
  10. The Harvest Feast Song
  11. Prince Heathen
  12. The January Man
  13. The Bonny Black Hare

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 7, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hux Records
  • ASIN: B0049MTTCU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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October 1978: Martin Carthy does a gig in Belfast at the Sunflower Folk Club -- whose owner, Geoff Harden, happens to also be a BBC audio engineer. Thus we have as fine a recording as anyone could ask for of Carthy in his most natural habitat: despite his long association with Dave Swarbrick, and membership in an impressive list of groups over the years, he says (quoted in the booklet), "Solo gigs were really what I did." This album is a record of a good one.

So then why only four stars? It's a personal-preference thing, and many people would probably rate this higher. I really like Carthy's guitar playing -- for me, his distinctive vocal and guitar styles make the perfect blend and balance -- but on this disc six of twelve songs (The Rainbow, Johnny Sands, The Green Wedding, The Plains of Waterloo, The January Man, and The Bonny Black Hare) are sung without accompaniment. (The thirteenth, The Siege of Delhi, is an instrumental.) Well, even if it's not "full strength", it's an hour of vintage Carthy and well worth your time.
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