Howard and I discovered the beautiful music of the Crow Puppets last month, when they shared a stage with Howard's band, the Nosey Crows, at a music festival in north Devon. (There seems to have been a bit of a crow theme that day.) Crow Puppets consists of singer/songwriters Cara Roxanne and Em Marshall, who "first met when they moved into a haunted house by a crumbling castle fringing Dartmoor." Their "homespun folk music" has a mythic and magical bent, and I recommend their new album, Whispering Hills, Tangled Hair. The Crow Puppets are based in Ashburton, Devon, which is just across the moor from Chagford.
Above, Cara Roxanne's animation for their song "Red Ribbons" - a rather cold and wintry song for a mild summer day, but nevermind. Below, The Crow Puppets perform "Whispering Hills" at last year's Accoustica Festival in Exeter. The artwork on the left is "Summer Crow" by Rima Staines.
The Crow Puppets' music reminds me a little of another wonderful West Country musician, Martha Tilston, who is based in Cornwall. Her most recent CDs are Lucy and the Wolves and Machines of Love and Grace, but all of her albums are lovely.
Above: Martha and her band perform "More" (a song whose sentiments I agree with wholeheartedly) for Folk Radio UK last autumn.
Below: Martha performs "The Golden Surfer" back in 2006. It's not particularly well filmed, but the song is terrific: an updating of an old English folk ballad to reflect surfer culture on the Cornish coast. (Previous Monday Tunes from Martha are here and here.)
And one last piece today:
The charming video by Martha's brother, Joe Tilston, for his song "Liza and Henry." It comes from Embers (2013) -- another recommended album, influenced both by Joe's punk rock past and his family roots in the English folk scene. (There's an interesting post on the album's art and design by Tim Rickaby here.)