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Baker's Dozen

There's Always A Story: Martin Carthy's Favourite Music
Patrick Clarke , November 8th, 2023 10:32

Martin Carthy speaks to Patrick Clarke about his 13 favourite records, his love for the new wave of traditional musicians, encounters with Bob Dylan and The Beatles and more


The Pennywhistlers – The Pennywhistlers

It’s a bunch of Americans who call themselves The Pennywhistlers, doing very faithful and well-earned versions of Balkan choral stuff. It’s bloody lovely. They’re led by a woman called Ethel Raim who’s a mate, and just a fabulous musician. She had a group who were called The Harvesters and they sang a lot of Woody Guthrie stuff and a lot of the lefty political stuff that people sang in those days, two women and two blokes, and they were good. It was heavily arranged stuff. Then, at some time or another, she got into Balkan music and especially Bulgarian music. I think that might well be her family background. I’m sure if you talked to her, she’d direct you to ‘proper’ versions of the songs, and say something like ‘Well ours is OK, but you want to hear this, this is the real deal.’ She’s a sweetheart, and she’s very dedicated to that music.