Now is a good time to buy a Waterson:Carthy, Martin Carthy, or Norma Waterson CD.

If you had been thinking of sampling a CD from British folk veterans Martin Carthy and/or Norma Waterson, now would be a good time to do it. Norma has been sick for the last three or four months, Martin has been at her side in hospital, and so there has been no income coming in from touring. Here’s the full story:

This page is intended to give brief details of any benefit events being organised for Norma Waterson, so that others wishing to put on an event can avoid clashes with other, similar ones.  It is, at the moment, very brief – but we hope that it will fill up as time passes.

To clarify a point that several people have raised: this is being done with Martin Carthy’s approval.

For anyone not au fait with what’s prompted this, the following should help:

Many MT readers will be aware that Norma Waterson has been critically ill in hospital for the past three months.  Last November, towards the end of the brilliant ‘Gift’ tour, Norma got an infection in her knee.  She went to the closest hospital, Warrington, where they prescribed strong antibiotics, to be taken as an in-patient.  Two days later she was on dialysis and a ventilator in the Intensive Care Unit.  Our dear Norma had been in the ICU for 11 weeks! with Martin by her side, loving her and making sure she is getting all the necessary attention.

She has at last been moved to an ordinary ward, but the journey back to normality will be a long climb; of course if she could climb there’d be no problem, but after 12 weeks in bed there’s not much of her body that has any muscle power at all.  And having had a tracheostomy in her throat for most of that time, she’s not even talking or eating normally yet.

As well as an appalling physical and emotional situation for the family, there is the little matter of finance when the breadwinners are unable to work (Martin has only been able to do 3 or 4 gigs in all that time!).  Some of their friends in music – being able now to think about the future rather than just the present – have realised what an awful extra burden this has/will consitute, and are organising benefit events.  Keep your eyes and your purses open, and please consider the possiblities for your club or organisation.  We will try to liaise with all such organisers, and with Alan Bearman, their Agent, to see that things go smoothly, and don’t clash with each other.  If you do consider organising some kind of benefit event, please let us know.

Thanks to the Musical Traditions page – go there for a full list of benefit concerts and events. None of the concerts are on our side of the Atlantic, so those of us in North America who love Martin and Norma and their music can only donate to the PayPal site, or buy a few more CDs.

If you’ve never heard Martin and Norma’s music, look them up at we7 and have a listen. They are two of the greatest living English folk musicians and Martin is one of the most original guitarists playing today. Why not take this opportunity to buy some of their music and help them out in their time of need?


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