The Sea

Martha Tilston

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Format: CD

Cat No: SQRCD08

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Release Date:  06 October 2014

Label:  Squiggly Records

Packaging Type:  Digipak

No of Units:  1

Barcode:  5052442005803

Genres:  Folk  Singer Songwriter  

  • Description

    Traditional folk songs about the sea, collected, sung and played with family & friends - Kith & Kin

    "I've always had it in mind to make a traditional album" says singer and contemporary songwriter Martha Tilston. "Singing trad songs is what I grew up with, not just from my father (Steve Tilston) and step mother (Maggie Boyle) but also on my stepfather's side of the family with its Geordie heritage" (her stepfather is Frank Whately and uncle Kevin Whately, the actor known for his iconic roles in such beloved TV series as 'Lewis' and 'Morse' as well as movies like 'The English Patient'). Among the family friends of her childhood was the legendary Bert Jansch (and Martha includes 'Black Waterside' as a nod to his influence and presence in her work). 'The Sea' is a brand new album of traditional songs about the sea and the stories of those whose lives are intertwined with and guided by contact with it. Each song has one of the above-mentioned family members, plus brother Joe Tilston and friends, singing or playing with Martha and she says: "it has been a beautiful experience. We recorded most of it in a cliff side cottage in Cornwall and enjoyed trying to capture the magic and treachery of the deep". "I wanted to include" she continues "people in the project who have made folk music integral to my own musical journeys. Last year, at my step mum's Northern benefit gig, to raise money for her treatment for cancer, I was consumed by the beauty of the folk music being played and struck by what an important influence Maggie Boyle has been not only on me, but on so many in the folk world She has been quietly, humbly getting on with making beautiful music whilst supporting so many other musicians, and i just thought I have to do this, and do it well if I can, but most importantly let go of any self doubt and make it happen.

    "Most of the songs were worked out with my house band – The Scientists (Matt Tweed, Nick Marshall and Tim Cotterell) - then the guest singer/player would add their own magic, sometimes just small sections, sometimes the whole song as more of a duet. We went with what sounded organically best for each track. Due to the geography of where we individually live, and because my family are busy away working, touring and teaching, we often would only have a short slot to set up recording gear and capture them. But it seems to have worked well. "Nick Marshall was integral to the whole creative process, often introducing a beautiful guitar line to what I had conceived for the song to hang on. Matt Tweed would then add his unmistakable wizardry on bouzouki, Tim Cotterell came down to the cottage in Prussia Cove, Cornwall where we recorded and he would just close his eyes whilst playing as if the song instantly took him to a different sphere. There was a bit of cross pollination to the recordings; so we have Maggie playing flute on songs on which she is not the guest singer and John Thorne (Lamb) is playing double bass on the 'Lowlands of Holland' (on which my uncle Kevin Whately sings, revisiting something he did prior to his acting success)." The end result is music that is captivating, beautiful and as much a joy to listen to as it, undoubtedly, was to make. Traditional folk songs about the sea, collected, sung and played by Martha with family and friends; a personal and family testimony to the power of song and traditions forged by kith and kin.

  • Tracklisting

      Disc 1

      Side 1

      • 1. Lovely On The Water
      • 2. Lowlands Of Holland
      • 3. Shipwreckers
      • 4. Shallow Brown
      • 5. Blackwater Side
      • 6. Fisherlad Of Whitby
      • 7. House Carpenter
      • 8. Waters Of Tyne
      • 9. The Mermaid Of Zennor