Folk Radio UK favourites Wilful Missing have released a lovely four track EP titled Scarborough Fair which brings together previously unreleased recordings from 2011 to 2013. It’s available via bandcamp on a ‘name your price’ tag (please pay what it’s worth to you). It opens to that lovely Yorkshire ballad from which the EP is named.
Martin Carthy brought the song to prominence (excuse the following swooping sidetrack). He performed this and Lord Franklin one winter evening in 1962 at the King and Queen near Goodge Street in London. At that performance was Bob Dylan who very soon after reinterpreted them as Bob Dylan’s Dream and Girl from the North Country on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan LP.
I was told a story about this encounter not too long ago which Martin has since retold in interviews. Dylan headed back to Martin’s digs one evening which was freezing cold. Martin promptly took down a samurai sword he had been given as a birthday present to chop up a piano for some firewood. Dylan was shocked and stood between Martin and the piano saying ‘You can’t do that, that’s a musical instrument!’ Carthy said, ‘It’s a piece of junk’. Before he took a swing at it Dylan whispered in Martin’s ear, ‘Can I have a go?’
There is no doubt that Martin Carthy was a big influence on Dylan and many more….so great to hear it’s still happening! If you’re new to Martin Carthy then get yourself a copy of ‘Essential’ a double CD (33 tracks) released on Topic Records in 2011: Amazon Link.
Back to the Wilful Missing…you can listen to the album below which includes a song they recorded for a film, another that featured on TV, a live acoustic version of a song from our Molehills Out Of Mountains album.
Dylan Photo: Credit Alison Chapman McLean
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