It may take them decades of post-psychedelic rehab and decades more of just learning to sing and play in tune and in time, but one day the freak-folkies may catch up with Waterson:Carthy
. If they don't, it's only because the first family of British folk music is light-years ahead of the acoustic heads before and after them at least in terms of pure talent and knowledge. Matriarch Norma Waterson knows songs that are so obscure they might no longer exist were it not for her weighty, copper-bell voice; patriarch Martin Carthy's paradoxical guitar work is at once baroque and minimalist. Daughter Eliza Carthy adds verdant fiddle and precise mandolin, as well as sprite-like harmonies that sweep away any curatorial dust.