Watersons: The Best in Folk Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Watersons are a British family folk music group, originally from Hull, Yorkshire. The group was founded in the early 1960s by siblings Lal, Mike and Norma Waterson, and later joined by Norma’s husband, A. L. Lloyd. The Watersons are considered one of the most influential and significant of the British folk music revival bands.

The Watersons: A folk music institution

Pioneers of the British folk music revival, The Watersons were a family band who exerted a significant influence on the course of the genre. Comprising siblings Mike, Lal and Norma Waterson, and Norma’s husband, Martin Carthy, the group was particularly celebrated for their richly harmony-laden vocal style.

The Watersons first came to prominence in the early 1960s with their subscription-only album, Frost and Fire. Considered one of the classic folk albums of all time, it showcased the group’s exceptional vocal talents and laid the foundations for their distinctive sound.

The group went on to enjoy a long and successful career, releasing a string of acclaimed albums and performing at major folk festivals around the world. They were inducted into the English Folk Dance and Song Society Hall of Fame in 2005, and their musical legacy continues to inspire new generations of folk musicians.

The Watersons: A family affair

The Watersons are a highly influential English family Folk group, originally from Hull, who had a significant impact on the British Folk music scene of the 1960s and 1970s. The core of the group consisted of three siblings: Lal and Mike Waterson (parents of Eliza Carthy) and Norma Waterson (grandmother of Carthy).

Originally formed in 1955 as a traditional singing group, they began to experiment with contemporary songs written in traditional style by Mike Waterson, which would become their trademark sound. They were inspired by American Folk music, particularly the work of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and decided to add instruments to their performances. They were soon joined by Martin Carthy, who would become one of the most important figures in English Folk music.

The Watersons: A musical legacy

The Watersons are a British folk music group that was founded in the early 1960s. The group originally consisted of siblings Mike, Lal and Norma Waterson, and their cousin John Harrison. The Watersons were part of the British folk music revival of the 1960s and 1970s, and their sound is often associated with the northern English town of Hull, where they were based.

The group’s repertoire consisted of traditional songs from the Yorkshire area, as well as original compositions. The Watersons’ harmonies were influenced by the close harmony style of American groups such as the Weavers and theNew Lost City Ramblers. In addition to their recordings, the group also toured extensively, both in the UK and internationally.

The Watersons disbanded in 1968, but re-formed in 1974 with a new lineup that included Mike Waterson’s wife Ann. The new group recorded several albums before disbanding again in 1990. However, the Waterson family continues to perform and record together; Mike and Norma’s daughter Rachel Waterson is a member of the band Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, while Norma’s son Oliver Knight is a member of The Young’uns.

The Watersons: The sound of English folk music

The Watersons are a well-known and respected English folk music group. Formed in the early 1960s, the group is comprised of four members of the same family: Norma Waterson, Lal Waterson, Mike Waterson, and John Harrison. The Watersons have been credited with helping to revive interest in traditional English folk music, and their harmonies and arrangements have influenced many other folk groups.

The Watersons have released several albums, including The Watersons (1972), Frost and Fire (1985), and The Complete Watersons (2001). In addition to their recorded work, the group has also toured extensively, both in England and abroad. They have appeared at many major folk festivals, including the Cambridge Folk Festival and the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

Whether you’re a fan of folk music or just curious about this important musical tradition, The Watersons are a great introduction to the sound of English folk music.

The Watersons: Influences on folk music

During the 1960s and 1970s, the Watersons were one of the most influential folk music groups in Britain. Their sound was based on traditional British folk music, but they also incorporated elements of jazz and blues into their music. The Watersons were particularly known for their close harmonies, which set them apart from other folk groups of the time.

The Watersons were made up of four siblings: Norma Waterson, Lal Waterson, Mike Waterson, and John Waterson. Together, they recorded a number of folk albums that are now considered classics, including Sounding the Waters (1965), Frost and Fire (1966), and Bright Phoebus (1972). The group disbanded in the early 1980s, but Norma and Lal continued to perform and record together as a duo until Lal’s death in 1998.

The Watersons had a profound impact on the British folk scene, and their music continues to be influential today. If you’re a fan of traditional British folk music, or if you’re simply looking for something different to listen to, check out the Watersons’ catalog – you won’t be disappointed!

The Watersons: The folk music scene today

Sincerely considered to be the First Family of Folk, The Watersons were a huge part of the 1960s British Folk Revival. Their close harmonies and gritty songs about love, loss, and social justice won them a devoted following, and they inspired a generation of younger musicians. Today, their work is more relevant than ever.

The Watersons were always at the forefront of the folk music scene, innovating and experimenting with new sounds and styles. They were one of the first groups to embrace electric instruments and to bring traditional folk songs into the modern era. In recent years, their music has been rediscovered by a new generation of fans who appreciate their raw energy and passion.

The Watersons are still active today, performing at festivals and concert halls around the world. They continue to influence the folk music scene, and their work is asrelevant as ever.

The Watersons: Music for all occasions

The Watersons are a British traditional folk music group, originally from Kingston upon Hull in Yorkshire. The group’s personnel has varied over the years, but its most well-known and influential members were siblings Lal and Mike Waterson, Norma Waterson and John Harrison. The Watersons’ first album, Frost and Fire (1965), is generally considered to be a key work of the British folk revival of the 1960s and 1970s.

The group was known for their distinctive four-part harmony singing, which they called ” close harmony.” Their repertoire consisted mostly of traditional songs from the north of England ( particularly Yorkshire), as well as some self-penned material. The Watersons’ interpretation of traditional songs was often seen as being more authentic than that of other folk revival groups, due to their close connection to the oral traditions of Northumbria and Yorkshire.

The group disbanded in 1968, but later reformed with a different lineup. Since then, they have continued to perform and record both traditional and original material. In recent years, the Watersons have been joined onstage by family members including Norma’s daughter Marry Waterson and Lal’s son Oliver Knight.

The Watersons: A unique sound

The Watersons are a unique and influential folk music group. Formed in the early 1960s, the group was originally made up of three siblings – Lal, Mike, and Norma Waterson – and their cousin, John Harrison. The Watersons were part of the British folk music revival of the 1960s and 1970s, and their sound was a unique blend of traditional English folk songs and modern harmony singing.

The Watersons were known for their powerful live performances, and they released a number of influential folk music albums, including ‘Sound, Over Sound’ (1965), ‘Green Fields’ (1966), and ‘Frost and Fire’ (1967). The group disbanded in 1974, but reformed in the early 1990s with a new line-up that included Norma Waterson’s daughter, Eliza Carthy. The Watersons continue to perform and record to this day, and their influence on the folk music scene is undeniable.

The Watersons: The future of folk music

The Watersons are a folk music group from England who are widely considered to be one of the best in the business. The group is made up of four siblings – Norma, Mike, Lal and Ray Waterson – who all sing and play a variety of instruments. Their sound is unique and unlike anything else in the folk music genre.

The Watersons have been performing together for over 50 years, and they show no signs of slowing down. In fact, they seem to be getting better with age. Their latest album, “Bright New Morning”, was released in 2016 to critical acclaim. It’s clear that the group has a bright future ahead of them.

The Watersons: The best in folk music

The Watersons were a British traditional music group, originally from Hull, in the East Riding of Yorkshire. The group was founded in the early 1960s by three siblings: Norma Waterson (née Carr), Lal Waterson and Mike Waterson. The group’s repertoire consisted mainly of traditional songs from the repertoires of their family and friends, many of which had been passed down orally over several generations.

The Watersons’ first album, Frost and Fire, was released in 1965 and is widely regarded as a classic of the British folk revival. The group continued to release acclaimed albums throughout the 1960s and 1970s, before disbanding in 1974. They reformed briefly in the late 1980s before permanently disbanding in 1991.

The Watersons’ influence has been particularly strong on the subsequent generations of English folk musicians, with many artists citing them as an inspiration. Their work has also been an important influence on the development of the English folk rock genre.

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