Martin Carthy

Crown of Horn

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Ashley Hutchings produced this very lively solo album (Tony Cox adds some synthesizer on two tracks, otherwise it's just Carthy's voice and guitar, and, as on "Locks and Bolts," ajust his voice), which relies heavily on his dexterity on guitar. The sound of the latter instrument is pushed very far into the front in the mix of this, perhaps Carthy's best recorded album, with a very "hot" all-acoustic texture. Other songs include "Geordie," "King Knapperty," "Bonny Lass of Angelsea" (featuring some amazingly restrained and tasteful synthesizer), and "Palaces of Gold," the latter an angry, topical original by Leon Rosselson about a mining disaster. The only track that doesn't entirely work is "Willie's Lady," a seven minute epic that, effective as it may be in concert, needed something more than just Carthy's guitar and voice to carry it off on record.

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