Born into a formidable musical dynasty, her mother Norma was one of The Watersons and her father Martin Carthy is a hugely influential singer and guitarist. Eliza was championed from an early age by the likes of John Peel, Andy Kershaw, Billy Bragg and Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis and has moved through English folk music like a force of nature, both stirring it up and putting it back on the map through television, radio and live performance.
She has been a judge at both the Q Awards and the Ivor Novello Awards, and in 2005 co-presented the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards with Benjamin Zephaniah. Her achievements have been acknowledged with numerous BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, two Mercury Prize nominations, and in 2003 she was the first English traditional musician to be nominated for a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music. Her own vastly eclectic tastes, along with her knowledge of (and interest in) musical traditions from all over the world continues to fuel her creativity to this day.
As well as recording numerous albums at home, in recent years she has worked on several high-profile commissions for theatre and film. A fruitful working relationship with the respected Shakespearean director Barrie Rutter OBE led to her composing music for The Two Noble Kinsmen at London’s Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and – closer to home – for Jack Lear at Hull Truck Theatre. She has also acted as a musical consultant and made important contributions to the soundtracks of two Hollywood movies: Far From The Madding Crowd (2015) and Tulip Fever (2017).