Recently honoured by BBC Radio as Folk Singer of the Year, Martin Carthy is one of the giants of contemporary British music. He is regarded as one of the finest singers and interpreters of traditional music of the British Isles, as well as a highly influential, innovative, intelligent, and much imitated guitar player.
Martin Carthy decided to learn how to play guitar after hearing Lonnie Donegan sing The Rock Island Line in the 1950's. In the 60's, the music of Big Bill Broonzy and Elizabeth Cotton drew him towards the folk music of the British Isles. By the early 60's, he was resident at The Troubadour Folk Club in London, where his playing and highly emotive singing had a significant effect on all sorts of musicians, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon (who famously adopted Martin's arrangement of Scarborough Fair intact!)
In 1966, Martin teamed up with fiddler Dave Swarbrick in a trailblazing musical partnership that endures to this day. During the 70's and 80's, Martin was also a member of Steeleye Span, The Albion Country Band, Brass Monkey, and The Watersons, with his wife Norma Waterson, and her siblings Lal and Mike.
Between and during group ventures, Martin has maintained a busy solo career, recording such aclaimed albums as Crown of Horn (1976) and Because It's There (1979)
In the 90's, Martin started to work alongside his wife and daughter, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy as Waterson: Carthy. Their first two CDs Waterson:Carthy and Common Tongue were released to showers of superlatives, both capturing the unique musical empathy that lies between the members of this exceptional family.
Nearly 40 years into what he still refuses to think of as a career, Martin has lost none of his drive and enthusiasm. He continues to apply a fresh approach to song, preferring to follow an insatiable musical curiousity, rather than cash in on his position as one of folk music's great innovators. His considerable skill, stage presence, and natural charm have won him many admirers from within and beyond the folk scene.
Martin Carthy has received an MBE for services to English folk music, and the Carthy Chronicles, a boxed set retrospective, has been released on Free Reed Records.
Anita Best is one of Newfoundland's best known traditional singers and has made major contributions to the preservation of our culture as a performer, broadcaster and historian. Her work as a solo artist, and as half of the duo, Anita Best and Pamela Morgan, has brought the power of Newfoundland song to stages all over the globe. Anita's beautiful recording Crosshanded, a CD consisting entirely of unaccompanied songs, proves that the human voice is still the world's most powerful instrument. Anita also promotes the music of the province through her popular concert series, Newfoundland Voices.