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Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?

03 Mar 05 - 12:42 PM (#1426052)
Subject: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Santa

Today James Griffiths reviewed the new show by Sharon Shannon and Eliza Carthy for the Guardian . He liked them, thought Sharon "folk with a capital F", but was tempted to place Eliza in the category "pop stars who play folk". Possibly because she was "a slick and engaging performer...challenged purists...cosmopolian entertainer...regales us with anecdotes and sings in a slightly husky voice...." Presumably folk singers don't do that sort of thing, then?


03 Mar 05 - 01:37 PM (#1426090)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Little Robyn

I'd have said she was a Folkie who played pop!
She was certainly brought up a folkie but you know how kids are - mine is into heavy metal at present!
Perhaps they'll grow out of it?
Robyn


03 Mar 05 - 02:03 PM (#1426111)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T

Who cares. The important thing to me is that she's a shining talent with something good to offer any audience.....Brilliance!

She has been my favourite performer for a long time now, and will be for a long time yet. She'll still be going from strength to strength long after some other current stars have burnt out.

Don T.


03 Mar 05 - 02:08 PM (#1426112)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: The Shambles

Country and Western.......*Smiles*


03 Mar 05 - 02:22 PM (#1426124)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: John C.

I must admit that, as a self-confessed purist, I was prepared not to like Ms Carthy. Then I saw her live a couple of times and also saw her on the telly and had to come to the conclusion that this was an artist with real talent - and more important, passion and imagination! Most 'pop stars' are just 'fashion victims' with not a lot of either.
I will certainly be listening to what Eliza Carthy decides to do next with great interest.


03 Mar 05 - 02:28 PM (#1426127)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: GUEST

I would say she is a folkie that plays Folk. She expresses herself sometimes in a different style, but has 100% commitment to the tradition. Pop stars don't turn out in mid winter to play for the 'Goathland Ploughstots'!!!!
Cheers
Les


03 Mar 05 - 02:43 PM (#1426141)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: George Papavgeris

She a child of her time, as well as of her parents. You don't necessarily outgrow your early likes, you just get nostalgic about them. She is a folkie; and a contemporary artist too. She can thrive in both areas (and I think she will). And if she helps her following cross from one to the other, that's even better.


03 Mar 05 - 02:45 PM (#1426142)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: GUEST

Oh gosh..she talks to audiences! Entertains them! Sings in a slightly husky voice!!!!!!!!!!
OOHH! Shock Horror!


03 Mar 05 - 04:26 PM (#1426217)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Compton

I was in a theatre (Lichfield Garrick) last thursday with other "Over 45.s" watching Ms Carthy and the Ratcatchers. I saw nothing there that was remotely "Pop"...But I was thinking at the time how much younger people could take to these people, especially with the "Heat" (Volume!) turned up!


03 Mar 05 - 05:42 PM (#1426306)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: shepherdlass

Pundits do seem to need nice straightforward boxes into which they can fit performers. But I'd have thought Eliza Carthy was a shining example of a musician following her family tradition without any concern over what's self-consciously "folk with a capital F". Good for her - maybe the journalists will just have to broaden their categories.


03 Mar 05 - 06:51 PM (#1426369)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: s6k

folk.

but her albums are getting "pop-ier" with each new release.

her best album is Rice, its an essential album to own. i pity the fool who doesn't


04 Mar 05 - 12:45 PM (#1426628)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: greg stephens

Doesnt make much difference what anyone catgorises her as, that is the concern of the person makinng the judgement. Doesnt effect what Eliza Carthy actually is or isn't. What she is, in my humble opinion, is the finest perfomer the English revival has produced(since the Watersons that is).


04 Mar 05 - 02:49 PM (#1426773)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: GUEST,Nerd

Actually, pigeonholing her as a pop star who plays folk may have something to do with her major label album Angels and Cigarettes, which wasn't very folky. It may well be the only album of hers that the journalist had heard!


04 Mar 05 - 05:52 PM (#1426902)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Big Al Whittle

well if you want my opinion, I think we've got to draw the line somewhere. i mean we can't let just anybody be a folksinger. Keep it exclusive I say. we need some sort of standards or it would be anarchy.


04 Mar 05 - 06:02 PM (#1426911)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Dave Wynn

Why try and put anyone in a neat little box. Define "folk" then define "pop". Is she a musician or a singer? Are singers musicians? Then to quote Mudcat "it starts to get a little complicated"

Spot


05 Mar 05 - 06:03 AM (#1427198)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Dave Hanson

Who is James Griffiths anyway ?
I suspect he knows very little about folksingers.

Real folksinger Bob Copper loved the blues.
Real folksinger Doc Watson sings anything as long as he likes it, even ' pop '

Eliza Carthy falls into the same category.

eric


05 Mar 05 - 06:49 AM (#1427228)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Ned Ludd

I don't give a b*****. She'll do for me.

The general.


05 Mar 05 - 08:37 AM (#1427277)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Hand-Pulled Boy

Well said Ned. But can she cook?


05 Mar 05 - 09:48 AM (#1427307)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: GUEST,Bill the Collie

Liza is a popular folkie.


And she rocks.


05 Mar 05 - 10:12 AM (#1427313)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: GUEST,old man

Take it from an old un, Eliza C is brilliant .


06 Mar 05 - 05:54 AM (#1427894)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: GUEST,nickr90

Let's compromise here. Would you not agree that today's folk and traditional songs and tunes were the pop of their time? Pop is popular.


06 Mar 05 - 08:49 AM (#1427977)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: John C.

So, nickr90, "today's (?)folk and traditional songs and tunes were the pop of their time" were they? Well, if they are "today's" their time is 'now' and they're not 'pop' now, are they?
If I stop being a pedantic old git for a minute (but it gives me such pleasure!!!), are you are saying that they were once 'pop' music and once had the same status as today's pop music? I would have to say that this is a gross oversimplification and highly debatable. It also doesn't get us much further towards answering the question about whether Eliza Carthy is 'pop' or 'folk'. I would say that Ms Carthy is definitely popular within the Folk community and possibly beyond it.
On the categorisation debate, my view is that definitions and categories are useful. It can be difficult to realise comprehensive definitions - but trying to achieve such definitions can be very enlightening. I notice that those who are anti-definition/categorisation seem to be completely at home with crass marketing definitions - eg. anything 'acoustic' is 'folk' - including military band music!


06 Mar 05 - 10:49 AM (#1428055)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Santa

At the risk of diverging from the topic, and preparing to be in a minority, I must say that I am a lot happier with including military brass band music in English (or even British in the widest possible sense) folk than I am with including blues - a distinctly US form.

However, when I started this thread I wasn't really looking for categorising Eliza as such - she's folk in my book, if she's pop as well then good for her. I just found it amusing that she could even be considered as being "outside the fold" and wondered about the terms in which such a judgement could be made. What makes a performer "pop" rather than "folk" - and in this sense other than "pop" as a simple shortening of "popular". I'll repeat the reviwer's comments: "a slick and engaging performer...challenged purists...cosmopolitan entertainer...regales us with anecdotes and sings in a slightly husky voice...." Is this really what the outside world expects NOT to see in a folk performer?

I might accept that some folk performers are less than cosmopolitan - but then I happen to like Border Ballads. Others may not challenge the purists - though find me a purist who can't be challenged by the most trivial "offence". Others are not that slick.... does all this add up to a sticker on the forehead?


06 Mar 05 - 10:50 AM (#1428057)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: greg stephens

Categorising music seems to me an interesting and informative exercise(though extremely difficult or impossible in a lot of cases). What muezzins sing from minarets is quite different from what choirs sing in Anglican cathedrals, and different again from a Polynesian fishing chant. For those intrigued by such things, the differences are fascinating.
   Similarly, a lot of the material of folk origin sung by Eliza Carthy is radically different in many quite classifiable ways from material sung by the Spice Girls, say. The description and analysis of these differences interests me, and I think that mental exercise is very helpful in understand a lot about cultural history, politics etc. That's my area of interest, other people like writing down the numbers on the front of diesel engines, or counting varieties of garden birds. Fine, fair plsay to them.
    Similarly, there is some intellectual mileage to be had out of analysing whether the remarkable E Carthy is a folk or a pop singer (IMHO neither, actually). But if, having established which she is to your own satisfaction, you then proceed to to use that decision to help you decide whether her performance is worthy of praise or not, you are a seriously ignorant prat.


06 Mar 05 - 02:43 PM (#1428221)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Santa

I don't think anyone in this thread has done that - not even the reviewer concerned. He had plenty of praise for both Eliza and Sharon.

I entirely agree that categorising music is useful: as long as it is remembered that the borders are fuzzy.


06 Mar 05 - 03:13 PM (#1428240)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: The Shambles

I entirely agree that categorising music is useful: as long as it is remembered that the borders are fuzzy.

Perhaps that is why she lives on the Borders?


06 Mar 05 - 03:57 PM (#1428275)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Strollin' Johnny

Music. Real, live music played and sung with love by a real person who CAN! Not the plastic, overproduced, multitracked, vocoder-ed vocals and session musicians of the pop music world. IMHO.
S:0)


06 Mar 05 - 07:39 PM (#1428418)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: Richard Bridge

I don't think she can be pop: she markets music, not knickers abs and knockers. I know of record labels telling female pop singers that they are too old at 25.

Maybe she's rock or somewhere between folk and folk-rock.

Definitely not vapid enough for pop. Remember the old tin-pan-alley judgememnt "Too good. Too classy. The kids won't like it".


07 Mar 05 - 04:06 AM (#1428587)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: s6k

rock - no!


07 Mar 05 - 05:39 AM (#1428609)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: fiddler

Come on eliza - We know you read this forum!

Where do you put yourself - metaphorically of course?

Andy


07 Mar 05 - 06:04 AM (#1428618)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: greg stephens

Innovative musicians(of which EC is one) are bound to be unclassifiable for a bit, unless they are clever and invent a catchy name and concept for a category to put their music into. Otherwise, it will take a while before someone comes up with a new category, or decide which of the old categories to shohorn the musician into. Some innovators spawn a huge breed of followers and the category becomes obvious(eg early New Orleans players and jazz). Others remain more or less solo oddities, and don't really need a category, they are themselves(eg Tiny Tim). Time will tell. Maybe a new category of "husky" will arise, and Eliza Carthy will be the chief exponent.


07 Mar 05 - 10:38 AM (#1428846)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: GUEST,banjomofo

she's 30'somethings hippy mums and dads music


07 Mar 05 - 11:26 AM (#1428896)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: GUEST

Yes.


08 Mar 05 - 09:13 AM (#1429644)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: fiddler

Why do we have to 'box' 'pidgeon hole' everything - I've worked in Opera, I've lit (stage lighting) Rock and Pop bands,
I play fiddle (surprise eh) and Call barn dances, manage some festival activities.
I love Music and all that surrounds it and to have that is a gift given to me by my parents and to box it all up carefully would detract from it!


08 Mar 05 - 09:57 AM (#1429682)
Subject: RE: Eliza Carthy: Pop or folk?
From: GUEST,eliza c

i'm a rubbish lurker. they spotted me. i'm a folksinger.my pop album was hardly that anyway,since no bugger bought it! ;-) xe dunno about hippies tho banjomofo.people that like adulterated english stuff are a strange and diverse bunch-suppose we get one or two.