Eliza Carthy, Rice
Mercury Prize nominated albums from the daughter of Topic legends Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy.
Though now sold as two separate albums, Red and Rice were originally released in one package, earning short-listing for the U.K.'s prestigious Mercury Music Prize. Besides, being the daughter of Topic legends Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy, Eliza merits double consideration. Purists need not be frightened by her dyed-red hair on the cover. Sure, there are trip-hop blips on the tune "Red Rice," but by and large these are organic recastings of English folk music with a global scope. Red kicks off with the calypso fling of "The Accordion Song," while "Billy Boy" gives the traditional song a folk-rock-reggae twist before a lively electric guitar solo and spirited fiddle conclusion. Rice takes a sparer approach, the opening "Blow the Winds" building as a stern, erotic epic with acoustic backing that sounds like a skeletal Fairport Convention.