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ELIZA CARTHY - Restitute 

ELIZA CARTHY - Restitute 
Topic Records TSCD599 

Eliza steps away from the band gigs that have become her norm to make her first solo album in 14 years, recorded in exceptional circumstances and for an unusual reason. Hearing her recorded in this simpler setting means direct comparison with those earlier solos is possible. Even as a schoolgirl she was an exceptional singer, but now we can hear how she has matured. The emotional range is wider, the tonal range is wider, the power is breathtaking.

Once the surprise of the opening track is over (Eliza accompanies herself by beating chopsticks on the open strings of various fiddles!) we are straight into a well-known song from The Transports, sung here as well or better that it has ever been. This is just with her fiddle and her dad on guitar. In other places she revisits songs previously recorded to display her current way with them, giving us different takes on Burns’ The Slave's Lament and Dream Of Napoleon, the latter sung alongside another great voice, that of Jon Boden. Jon's concertina against her voice on Leon Rosselson's The Man Who Puffs The Big Cigar is another of many highlights.

The overall impression is that the straightforward approach is very refreshing. The circumstances were that the album was recorded in an almost 'as is' state in her bedroom, and the reason… well in her own words it “is dedicated to paying the members of The Wayward Band in restitution for the monumental con they suffered in 2016”.

Vic Smith


This review appeared in Issue 130 of The Living Tradition magazine