National treasures Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick embark on rare UK duo tour

Two leading interpreters of English folk traditions – folk guitarist/singer, Carthy, and squeezebox virtuoso/singer, Kirkpatrick – are long-time collaborators in a variety of seminal musical projects; from John’s iconic 1976 Morris tunes album Plain Capers through Steeleye Span to Brass Monkey.

John Kirkpatrick’s deep love of music was instilled from birth, and family gatherings always included a hearty sing-song. School choirs, the Church choir, playing recorder and piano ensued, until he joined the Hammersmith Morris Men, in their second week, in 1959.

While with the team, he took up the melodeon, then the button accordion, then the anglo concertina, and got hooked on the traditional songs that were accompanied with a post-dancing pint.

John has gone on to become one of the most prolific figures on the English folk scene, performing solo, in duos, acoustic groups and electric bands, and has established an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso and session musician, as well as a leading interpreter of English folk music. He has been a member of the Albion Country Band, Magic Lantern, The Richard Thompson Band, Umps and Dumps, Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey, Trans-Europe Diatonique and Band of Hope, as well as numerous ceilidh bands.

For more than 40 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, one of its best-loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also beyond it. Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums, only 10 of which have been solo.

Whether in the folk clubs (which he continues to champion), on the concert stage, or making TV appearances (he was the subject of the acclaimed Originals music documentary strand on BBC 2), there are few roles that Martin Carthy hasn’t played. He’s a ballad singer, a ground-breaking acoustic and electric guitarist and an authoritative interpreter of newly composed material. Perhaps, most significant of all, are his settings of traditional songs with guitar, which have influenced a generation of artists on both sides of the Atlantic, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon.

In June 1998 Carthy was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He was named Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2002, and again in 2005.

Don’t miss your chance to see these two giants of the folk world, perform live. Book now!

Performance on February 26 at 7.45pm, The Hawth Studio Crawley

Tickets, priced £18 (£19.50 on the door), can be purchased from The Hawth Box Office on 01293 553636 or by visiting www.hawth.co.uk.

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