Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles


This is the album that Waterson:Carthy have been wanting to make for a long time. In 1965, their forerunners The Watersons released the landmark album Frost and Fire – A Calendar of Ritual Magical Songs, and the concept continues to fascinate them. With Holy Heathens they have eclipsed even that seminal album, amd the sound is a resoundingly full blooded one. The resonant ensemble singing is bolstered by The Devil’s Interval, a young and exciting new vocal trio of Lauren McCormick, Emily Portman & Jim Causely. They are further accompanied by guitar, fiddle, mandolin, brass and percussion. This fuller sound harks back to The Watersons and Blue Murder, but surpasses them for sheer excitement and thrills.

In Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man, Waterson:Carthy have produced their best album to date – no question about it.

    • “Beautifully played and sung and illuminated by Martin Carthy’s scholarly sleeve notes.” ★★★★ The Guardian
    • “Their singing elevates the soul. Eliza Carthy has rarely performed more evocatively than on her uncle Mike Waterson’s ‘Jack Frost’ and Tim van Eyken’s version of ‘On Christmas Day It Happened So’ makes you shiver.” ★★★★ Mojo
    • “… Whether it’s the presence of The Devil’s Interval, the inspirational nature of the material or the power of the seasons, Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy sound positively reinvigorated in the midst of it all, their voices and total conviction immediately identifiable. It’s a genuinely uplifting collection with fire in its belly.” fRoots
    • “Eliza’s singing of her uncle Mike’s ‘Jack Frost’ is simply stunning. You should buy a copy of Holy Heathens for everyone you know.” The Living Tradition

    1  New Year Carol – Residue
    2  Sugar Wassail
    3  St George
    4  May Song
    5  Christ Made A Trance
    6  The Falling Tear
    7  Cherry Tree Carol
    8  Reaphook and Sickle
    9  Jack Frost
    10  While Shepherds Watched
    11  On Christmas Day It Happened So
    12  Time To Remember The Poor
    13  Jacobstowe Wassail
    14  Awake Awake
    15  Diadem
    16 Jolly Old Hawk
    17  Gloryland

    Norma Waterson vocals, triangle
    Eliza Carthy vocals, fiddle, mandolin
    Martin Carthy vocals, guitar
    Tim van Eyken vocals, melodeons
    with The Devil’s Interval
    Jim Causley vocals
    Emily Portman vocals
    Lauren McCormick vocals
    Martin Brinsford percussion
    Alice Kinloch trombone, tuba
    Tom Allan trumpets
    Oliver Knight cello

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