Back in 2011, before all things festival, FolkEast tried a “folk-taster” evening at The Cut in Halesworth. The artists performing were duo Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick. It was an immediate sell out. In 2024 FolkEast return to where it all started with the legendary Martin Carthy in conversation with Jon Wilks (Tradfolk ) and with a little bit of music from both.
An extra-special chance to hear master craftsman Martin Carthy perform and reminisce on his illustrious career in folk song to date, with musical interludes and conversation with his talented friend, musician and journalist, Jon Wilks (Tradfolk). Martin has an insatiable musical curiosity…and a lifetime of wonderful stories and songs to share. There will also be a chance for audiences to ask freely questions of this mighty oak of the English folk tradition. Expect frank and fascinating insights into all manner of subjects…from Scarborough Fair to the Beastie Boys!
82 this year, Martin Carthy is one in a million: one of folk music’s greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. A consummate storyteller, singer, guitarist, oral historian, he is renowned for his settings of traditional songs as well as his authoritative interpretations of newly composed material.
His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it…from Bob Dylan to Billy Bragg.
Martin was a key player in the English folk revival and remains as relevant to stages today as he was in the heyday of Soho folk clubs. Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick, his much-missed wife (the legendary Norma Waterson) and his talented daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums. Martin has only recorded 10 solo albums over the decades…but the great news is that there is a new one in the pipeline, revisiting previously recorded material which has evolved over the years – sometimes radically – to sit more naturally within Martin’s canon of songs.
Jon Wilks is an acclaimed fingerpicking guitarist and singer of traditional folk songs and broadside ballads from the English repertoire, and a devotee of Martin’s work. His background as a journalist (a former editor of Time Out magazine and contributor to Dazed & Confused, The Guardian and other publications, as well as the founder of the Tradfolk website) means that he has a great eye/ear for a story. The only thing he anticipates difficulty with is keeping Martin on track. There are so many stories to unearth and track. Expect a different conversation every night.