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Saturday 18 May 2013

Wayward Daughter: Definitive Biography Of Eliza Carthy Now On Kindle

It's an open secret and a passion shared among many that we here at The Brighton Magazine are big fans of the work, heritage and personality of Eliza Carthy. A while back author Sophie Parkes released Wayward Daughter: An Official Biography of Eliza Carthy. And now there's a new fangled way to get your mitts on this excellent authorised biography.

Soundcheck Books has released a version for the Kindle (which can also therefore be read on iPhone and iPad for people that download the free app). 

This contains all the pictures and text from the original book and, in addition, there is an extra chapter bringing the story bang up to date, as a result of an interview that Eliza gave Sophie early this year.  

Here's our original review:

Brighton-based Al Scott is a producer of much renown following his work with, among others, Oysterband, Levellers, Asian Dub Foundation and Monty Python, and when Warner Brothers came-a-calling, at the turn of the millennium, and asked him to work on an album project with Eliza Carthy, it must have seemed like a match made in musical heaven.

But it was then that the inevitable fallout from the clash between independence-of-spirit and corporate-of-outlook changed Eliza"s view on her future recording and performance.

After much interference from a company that saw Eliza more as an emerging pop star than the blossoming English rose of the tight knit folk tradition, what finally hit the record store racks, Angels & Cigarettes, was a great album. Sadly, her core audience weren"t along for the ride and much heartache and deliberation followed.

But history has a way of repeating itself, and more than a decade after the release of Angels & Cigarettes, Eliza is once again mulling over her place in the great musical scheme of things.

In just twenty-one short years folk"s wayward daughter, Eliza Carthy, has seemingly neither put a foot or a note out of place, yet her latest offering, Neptune, fell well short of expected sales.

Inexplicably, even her trusted followers aren"t turning out in the numbers they used too. We demand answers, and luckily author Sophie Parkes has supplied them in abundance.

Sophie has pulled together the definitive word on the life and music of Eliza, in the form of her excellent official biography, Wayward Daughter (Soundcheck Books).

There may well be strength in numbers, and to prove the point Eliza"s heritage is one of a dynasty seeped in the music and tales of this fine isle.

She is the daughter of Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson. The clan has often been rightly described as folk"s royal family.

Martin was in Steeleye Span, Albion Dance band and the Watersons as well as holding down a successful solo career. Norma was a member of the Watersons folk group.

Amazingly enough Eliza – both strong of will and independent of mind – didn"t rebel.

She used her parents as teachers and took what they offered and infused it with her own unique twist. Not for her was the often held stuffy stereotypical image of the British folk scene.

Her 1998 double album, Red Rice, was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for UK album of the year, one of two nominations – the other coming in 2003 with Anglicana – and it was inevitable that a big label would come-a-calling and offer up a tempting dollar-or-two.

Wayward Daughter follows Eliza right up to the present day, through her musical growth, motherhood and family illnesses.

She"s a fighter, with an incredible gift, who, via her many projects (do not miss her forthcoming visit to Brighton Dome as part of the Imagined Village collective), will no doubt be mentally undressing her next project as she once again moves from team player to centre stage.

Sophie Parkes" Wayward Daughter: An Official Biography of Eliza Carthy, is a beautifully crafted tale of one of this country"s prized assets. Read the book, buy the albums and get off yer arses and go see Eliza Carthy live.

Visit for more info. 

by: Mike Cobley


Photo credit: Sante D'Orazio

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