The daughter of British guitarist/vocalist Martin Carthy and vocalist Norma Waterson, Eliza "Liza" Carthy has continued in her parents' footsteps.
Carthy and her solo work have showcased her ability to breathe new life into England's traditional folk music. Carthy's earliest performances were as leader of her own band, the Kings of Calicutt, in 1990. Although they recorded a self-titled album, with producer John McCusker of the Battlefield Band, in her mother's home in 1994, it wasn't released until three years later. By that time, Carthy's debut solo album, Heat Light & Sound, had been available for a year. In 1992, Carthy began to play in a highly technical duo with Nancy Kerr. Their first duo album, Eliza Carthy and Nancy Kerr, released in 1993, was followed by Shape of Scrape in 1995. Occasionally performing with her parents in the Watersons, Carthy has been active with a traditional folk trio, Waterson:Carthy since the early '90s. The trio has recorded two albums, Waterson:Carthy in 1994 and Common Tongue in 1996. Carthy has also recorded with Basque band Hirutruku. In 1998, she released the critically acclaimed Red Rice, which received a Mercury Music Prize nod, and two years later she returned with Angels & Cigarettes. Red Rice, which is a two-disc box set of traditional songs and musical crossovers, appeared in spring 2001. Carthy returned to her folk roots on 2002's award-winning Anglicana, followed by a greatest-hits collection in 2004. The following year saw the release of Rough Music, a multi-layered collection of modern/traditional English music with her whip-smart backing band the Ratcatchers. Carthy followed up that release with her second collection of self-penned songs, 2008's Dreams of Breathing Underwater, which took seven years to make. She was forced to cancel the supporting tour after she developed a cyst on her throat. In 2011, she released Neptune, and two years later it was followed by Wayward Daughter. The latter is a collection that spanned her then-21-year career. Carthy put together a 12-piece band to tour with, and in 2016 she released Big Machine, an album she made with the same band. ~ Craig Harris