by Norma WatersonNorma Waterson


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A follow-up to their excellent 2010 mother-daughter record The Gift, U.K. folk luminaries Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy lead a nimble six-piece ensemble on the richly reflective and occasionally whimsical Anchor. An especially poignant return for Waterson, who endured a harrowing illness that left her in a coma after their last release as a duo, Anchor is a powerful performance arriving late in her career and is a testament to both her strength of will and creative voice. As with most releases in the Waterson-Carthy family canon, husband and father Martin Carthy assumes his role as guitarist and, on a haunting rendition of the traditional classic "Scarborough Fair," lead vocalist. For her part, Eliza nearly matches her mother's earthen elegance as a singer while turning in some of the most natural and sympathetic fiddle work of her career. Recorded live in a chapel in the family's Yorkshire hometown of Robin Hood's Bay, Anchor is very much a living organism, grandly bearing every creak and rustle, every scuff of rosin, and string slide to create a rich environment of sound and sometimes fury. From Norma's evocative telling of Tom Waits' "Strange Weather" to Eliza's brassy and wild take on the Monty Python's Meaning of Life classic "The Galaxy Song," there's an ease of drama, humor, and confident mastery across the board. Credited as the Gift Band, the sextet behind the two singers is as deft and experienced as its leaders with some especially tasteful playing from pianist/accordionist Phil Alexander and the great British pop woodwindist, Kate St. John. A darkly textured rendition of KT Tunstall's haunting "Shanty of the Whale" brilliantly features all three primary singers interwoven in familial unison, and the Eliza-led "The Elfin Knight" has the most rock & roll spirit, but it's 78-year-old Norma's aching version of the late Michael Marra ballad "The Beast" that provides some of the most bittersweet moments on this wonderful set.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/01/2018
Label: Topic Records
UPC: 0714822005944
catalogNumber: 594

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Norma Waterson   Primary Artist,Vocals
Martin Carthy   Guitar,Vocals
Neill MacColl   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Thumb Piano
Kate St. John   Accordion,Oboe,Alto Saxophone,Background Vocals,Cor anglais
Eliza Carthy   Violin,Vocals,Octave Violin
Phil Alexander   Organ,Piano,Accordion,Background Vocals,Bandoneon
Erin Anderson   Background Vocals
Dave Donnelly   Bass,Background Vocals
Marry Waterson   Background Vocals
David Delarre   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Izzy Curran-Carthy   Background Vocals
Johnny Mohun   Background Vocals
Ann Waterson   Background Vocals
Joe Gilhooley   Background Vocals
Joanie Crump   Background Vocals
Hardeep Singh Kohli   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Peter Bellamy   Composer
Stephen Foster   Composer
Kurt Weill   Composer
Tom Waits   Composer
Kathleen Brennan   Composer
John Du Prez   Composer
Eric Idle   Composer
Nick Lowe   Composer
Neill MacColl   Arranger,Producer
Michael Marra   Composer
Kate St. John   Arranger,Producer
Eliza Carthy   Arranger
Norma Waterson   Arranger
Rudyard Kipling   Composer
Phil Alexander   Arranger
Maxwell Anderson   Composer
Traditional   Composer
KT Tunstall   Composer
Mattie Foulds   Engineer
Elly Lucas   Layout
David Delarre   Arranger

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