A true troubadour who taught Bob Dylan and Paul Simon a few chords back in the day will grace Falkirk Folk Club with his presence next month.
Martin Carthy might not have plugged into an amp and “gone all rock” like His Bobness did or mined African musical gold like Wee Paul with his album ‘Graceland’, but it could be argued that Dylan and Simon might not have enjoyed the level of success they did if not for Mr Carthy’s selfless tutorial skills in their formative folk years.
In 1962 a visiting Dylan’s eyes were glued to Carthy’s left hand as he chorded his own arrangement of the traditional tune ‘Scarborough Fair’ and the American would pinch the chords and melody to make his own ‘Girl From the North Country’. And any casual fan of Simon and Garfunkel knows what they did with ‘Scarborough Fair’.
Not that Carthy lives on past glories.
The head of a folk dynasty that includes wife Norma Waterson and daughter Eliza Carthy, 72-year-old Martin is a walking, talking, singing and picking history lesson on English traditional music who keeps his songs and performances grounded very much in the present, as people will see for themselves at the Tolbooth Tavern, Tolbooth Street, on Thursday, August 1.
Having played to Falkirk audiences in the early days of the club, Martin will return to dazzle the folkie massive with his intricate finger picking and alternative tunings and pluck their heartstrings with his emotive songs.
Influenced by blueser Big Bill Broonzy and skiffler Lonnie Donegan, young Martin could be found of a night down at The Troubadour folk club in London’s Earls Court in the early 1960s. He released his debut solo album ‘Martin Carthy’ in 1965 and has been performing for over 40 years as a solo act, in partnership with Dave Swarbrick and in bands like The Watersons, Steeleye Span and the Albion Country Band.
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